How you doin’!*
As you may recall from our proposal presentation, our project aims to develop social media strategies for American retail giants Abercrombie & Fitch. Of late, A&F has unfortunately suffered plummeting sales, attributed to several key events surrounding their exclusionary marketing techniques. A&F has We thus seek to augment A&F’s ongoing global rebranding exercise, specifically in the Singapore market.
Social Media Listening
USA: An initial analysis of A&F’s brand sentiment on various social media platforms in their primary market, found the tone of these mentions to predominantly neutral, skewed towards positive. However, thorough examination of a 500-post representative sample revealed 112 negative, 74 positive, 54 truly neutral, and 260 irrelevant posts. This provides support for the unfavourable brand perception noted across several surveys and op-eds. However, it is encouraging to observe posts acknowledging A&F’s new, inclusive brand identity.
Singapore: A similar analysis of 64 posts in Singapore between Feb 12, 2016 and March 14, 2016 revealed 15 negative, 12 positive, 20 truly neutral and 37 irrelevant posts. The analysis provided three notable insights. First, A&F brand conversations in Singapore are insignificant, allowing for room to meaningfully influence brand perception. Second, current perception, based on the limited results, is neither favourable nor unfavourable. This is further supported by the A&F store being tagged or featured in largely neutral posts generated by users, for example, on Instagram. Lastly, many posts are simply shared from sources in the US.
A&F – Current Social Media Strategy
Upon analysing their current social media strategy, we found that A&F enjoys a large following on their global pages. Thus, potential exists for A&F to leverage on its social media platforms to execute a campaign that could influence a large target audience.
However, the key shortcoming of their overall social media conversation is that the conversation is predominantly one-way. Despite a large following, A&F’s social media pages do not engage meaningfully with their followers by inviting comments, creating alternative content appropriate for generating buzz, or featuring user-generated content. With minimal interaction between the brand and its audience, A&F misses out on an opportunity to communicate its rebranding exercise with its followers.
Additionally, A&F’s social media content is static – simple product visuals and model shoots, which by nature not engaging enough to like or share by its audience. Unsurprisingly, the brand’s global Twitter page regurgitates content from its Facebook and Instagram pages without adjusting for user behaviour on each specific platform. The brand thus does not leverage on its wide following to craft a strong, relatable brand identity through its social media.
Our First Strategy: #AFreshbreath, #TrendyAF
The key objective of our proposed strategies is enabling A&F to leverage on its existing social media capacity to continue their rebranding exercise, positively influence brand image, and capitalize on market opportunities in Singapore, through:
(i) A CSR-style strategy
This campaign focuses on communicating the importance of second chances, and how A&F champions this philosophy, and aims to subtly portray A&F’s efforts to right its past wrongs and adopt an inclusive brand identity moving forward.
(ii) A brand ambassador strategy
An influencer-based campaign would further our objective of community engagement and two-way conversations, by advocating the message of ‘looking good’, which celebrates each individual’s ability to look good – in stark contrast to A&F’s previous cookie-cutter, stereotypical idea of attractiveness.
(iii) Native advertising
Native advertising has proven to be successful at influencing tastes and preferences of shoppers active on social media, particularly teens and millennials.
Our proposed strategies are aimed at stepping up A&F’s rebranding exercise in Singapore, drive home the principle of looking good, and engage and involve the target market across a variety of platforms.
Consequently, we hope that A&F will be able to solidify its brand image as a premium lifestyle retailer in the Singaporean market with its quality offerings and engaging brand atmosphere.
Looking forward to sharing our project with you in greater detail tomorrow!
– Alethea, Ser Yang, Shaurya, Sheena & Shivin
*Fun fact: ‘how you doin’!’ is A&F’s classic in-store greeting.