Tag Archives: Abercrombie & Fitch

Public Relations Saves The Day!

5 Dec

dollardress1The economy is in a bad place right now…yada yada yada. Don’t freak out and the market will bounce back…yada yada yada.

True, public relations practitioners need to be aware of these trying times but might we find diamonds in the rough? Brand perception means everything to companies right now because consumers are reluctant to buy. People are purchasing trustworthy brands and seeking out product information to make the best economic decisions. Public relations is the key to garnering this consumer trust.

Brand perception is the most important element to a company’s success rather than slashing prices. “I see a lot of people in my industry who are over-reacting. Stores that are over-discounting, designers who are creating collections for the price and what sells rather than to reflect who they are,” says Anna Wintour in New York Magazine’s The Cut.

Along with Abercrombie & Fitch, as mentioned in my previous post, Neiman Marcus is hanging on to their luxury-brand image and perceived value.

The Fashion Rag reports that luxury department store, Neiman Marcus, plans to open a new store in Bellevue, Washington, at The Bravern in March 2009 and a three-story store in the Macerich-owned Broadway Plaze in Walnut Creek, California.

I recently had a discussion on Twitter about Neiman Marcus’ behavior. Jordana Bruner, fashion blogger for Clutch22, explained that “their primary customers still spend $$ in spite of the recession. It’s similar with some other luxury brands.” Pierce Mattie Public Relations replied with, “It’s just interesting that when other brands are being cautious, they are going full throttle. Do they know something we don’t?” This is an interesting question to ask and I hope it will be answered in the near future.

I urge companies to keep pushing forward because their business is what drives our economy. Also, know that investing in public relations will build trust in a company’s brand perception to drive business.  Stay strong and remember that public relations will save the day!!!

How do you think brand perception affects business in a recession?


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Abercrombie & Fitch Refuses to Lower Prices

21 Nov

abercrombie_fitch

Many luxury brands have recently slashed prices. “This is an unusual time. You have to be creative at this moment,”says Ralph Toledano, chief executive of Chloé. Although lowering prices can help business, some believe it can affect brand image.

“While $2,000 handbags and $700 stiletto heels are still expensive for most people, if prices drop precipitously, the perception of a label’s value may also drop,” explains Rachel Dodes and Christina Passariello in the Wall Street Journal article, In Rare Move, Luxury-Goods Makers Trim Their Prices in U.S.

Abercrombie & Fitch agrees with this concept of prices affecting brand identity. “Even though their sales for the third quarter decreased 46% (and even though holiday sales account for nearly half their total sales), Abercrombie says it won’t jump on the sales bandwagon,” writes Natalie Hormilla of Fashionista.

Abercrombie & Fitch should pay attention to those luxury brands slashing prices and follow suit. In a time of financial crisis, people expect brands to lower their prices. It is fundamentally understood that as sales decrease so do prices. Their brand image will not change if they lower prices like the rest of the market. Do you think high prices are crucial to Abercrombie & Fitch’s brand identity during a global financial crisis?

Abercrombie & Fitch’s CSR Attempt

22 Apr

Corporate social responsibility is a great way for businesses to recognize the interests of society while acknowledging their impact on their audiences and environment. Abercrombie & Fitch has come up with a “brilliant” CSR tactic donating $10 million to the construction of a trauma center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The most shocking part of it all: The NCH could be renaming the building to the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department and Trauma Center. 

It makes sense for their CSR attempt tot arget children in hopes to further encourage support for its children’s store, abercrombie kids. However, Abercrombie & Fitch needs to change their advertising campaign. The use of sexual advertisements to represent a company that targets children and teens doesn’t seem to go hand-in-hand with a children’s hospital and many are speaking out against this relationship. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has sent a letter signed by approximately 70 pediatricians and academics stating their position on the situation.

Both the New York Times and Fox News have covered the protest against renaming the hospital. Fox News features an article written by the Associated Press that ends with the following quote: “Abercrombie & Fitch is well known for pushing the envelope in terms of teen sexuality, and to have an emergency room named after them is ludicrous,” said Dr. Victor Strasburger, a professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico, who signed the letter faxed to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

How would you handle the bad press from this CSR move? I think it’s time for some crisis communication.