G2 | Group 3 | American Apparel

Founded in 1989, American Apparel has an estimated 242 retail stores selling trendy basic apparel across 20 countries. Targeted at teenagers, the company was popular for its edgy image and ethical, Made-in-America production process that does not involve sweatshop labour. But in recent years, American Apparel has faced much controversy – consumer and employee dissatisfaction, dwindling sales, and even filing for bankruptcy in 2015.

After a change in leadership, American Apparel has now undertaken a turnaround plan. Some changes include:

  • New mission: “be a financially sound, socially conscious, iconic brand that provides high quality American made products to consumers while maximizing stakeholder value”.
  • New target audience: 15 to 35 years old AKA millennials

Drawing lessons from their past issues and taking into account their strengths, our group has derived a proposal to help American Apparel revolutionize its brand. Thus our research question is:

“How can American Apparel leverage on its social media outlets to regain their foothold in the apparel industry?”

The specific objectives are:

Objective 1: To increase American Apparel positive brand awareness and recognition

Objective 2: To improve stakeholders’ engagement

Objective 3: Expand E-commerce to increase online sales

A quick analysis across social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) showed us that negative sentiments toward American Apparel still dominate positive ones, and that for each social media platform, differing consumer sentiments dominate.

Synthesio sentiment-overview-1458455909693
Synthesio analysis of social media sentiments towards American Apparel
Comparison across platforms
Comparison of consumer behavior across social media platforms

This is a summary of consumer behavior across the platforms:

  • Twitter – negative sentiment, trending topics
  • Instagram – positive sentiment, AA products
  • Facebook – neutral sentiment, AA and its competitors

From these, we have developed 3 strategies, corresponding to each platform, to meet our objectives and realize our research question:

Strategy 1: Facebook Campaign – The Voice of AA’s Employees

Raise awareness to both employees and the public about AA’s change, from the employees’ perspectives through posting employee testimonials on Facebook and Instagram.

Strategy 2: Instagram & interactive catalogue campaign – Leveraging on ootd selfie culture

Promote e-commerce through consumer OOTD competition on Instagram with the hashtag #aninclusiveAA. While winners get to receive prizes, winning outfits will also be on discount on e-commerce site.

Strategy 3: Twitter Campaign – Capitalising on brand communities

Re-establish brand identity and increase positive brand awareness through engaging customers on Twitter. A Twitter competition will be held based off trending topics and the winning tweet will be designed into an AA t-shirt. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go toward a chosen non-profit organization.

We will be sharing more about our project, specifically these 3 strategies, in class. So stay tuned for our presentation!

Cheers 🙂

Dorothy Lee Chin Teng | Ko Yu Hui | Maisarah Ahmad Zohry | Tan Jing Yi | Toh Le Qi




One response to “G2 | Group 3 | American Apparel”

  1. Dear AA team,
    Thank you so much for your earliest report on our blog.
    It is important to keep in mind that blog posting is aimed at an audience far wider than your class colleagues. That being so, may I suggest that for members of that wider audience you add more details about the core essence of your research findings. You don’t know who they are but, I assure you, they are there! For example, some might come across your blog posting with hashtag search or keyword search relevant to the organization of interest or related topic in social media marketing, or for creating online buzz. Bear them in mind, please.
    Thank you, again.


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