WWD – Think Tank: How to avoid being a socially awkward retail brand

Brad Fay, chief research officer of Engagement Labs, explains.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. had a rough 2016. The company watched as its stock declined from a high of more than $32 to a low of just over $11. Why?

One reason may be that the company has done a poor job in managing its “TotalSocial” brand [TotalSocial is a proprietary metric developed by Fay’s firm, Engagement Labs]. Literally, they have not been able to manage how people talk about it either on or offline.

Retail and apparel brands are dependent on social influence, as it drives sales — and what consumers say about your brand is at the core of who you are. Whether it is conversations that are taking place off-line IRL (in real life) or online, these conversations are greatly influenced by what is being worn by those we admire and know personally. That’s why it’s fairly surprising to learn Abercrombie & Fitch, a brand that has undergone a major transformation in the last two years with a new lead designer and overhaul of its brand marketing campaign — has been floundering for a while, and has yet to figure out how to effectively manage its social marketing strategy.

Read the entire WWD article, here.

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