Issue No. 144: Authenticity Prevents the Rebrand

Archive: Why A&F Will Continue To Rebrand and Rebrand and Rebrand?

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From Today’s Columbus Dispatch:

The rebranding will be launched during the holiday season with the company’s largest advertising campaign. At the same time, Abercrombie will introduce a redesigned website, new digital advertising across video streaming websites, music platforms and social media and marketing in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

After the relaunch, Abercrombie will begin revamping its stores next year.

“This new brand position is the product of an 18-month effort to create a brand identity that communicates our focus on our customers’ needs and aspirations,” said Fran Horowitz, president and chief merchandising officer, in a statement.

An excerpt from an earlier blog of mine (January 2015):

The brand’s most capable play is their very first one. The majority of America doesn’t know that the brand is over 115 years old. And that’s important because the next evolution of the brand will be a reversion to its glorious past.  On a 37 foot wall of a New York City gathering place, there is an elephant head. Legend would have it that Teddy shot it and donated it to his alma mater and yes, his favorite social spot – New York’s Harvard Club. Roosevelt killed the elephant wearing Abercrombie & Fitch. Earhart flew her planes in Abercrombie & Fitch. Being a retail / branding geek, I ponder what I would do if I were in-charge of rebranding Abercrombie. It’s simple, I wouldn’t aim to evolve; I’d aim to remember.

Abercrombie’s history is so rich, it’s nauseating. So many pivotal historical moments happened with that logo on a pioneer’s apparel. The Abercrombie & Fitch brand is too entrenched in history to ignore it. The rebranding efforts will shutter a lot of today’s status quo but if they can get it right, it will be here for another 100 years. And their marketing executives do what they’re supposed to, the old outdoors brand will be heralded for what it was when Teddy was king.

This new strategy is unlikely to achieve the objectives that the company needs. [ANF]

See more of the issue here.

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