Once on top, Abercombie & Fitch was the IT brand among teenagers. It´s fresh style and cool look made the young segment to look at them as the preppy brand-to-wear by excellence.
A couple of bad institutional decisions, communicational faux pas and a huge arrogance later, places nowdays the company in jeopardy. Being part of one of the toughest industries there are (The Fashion Industry), Abercombie must strategize wisely or the future will never be as bright as it once was.
Colossal Competition– Yes A&F, there are other fashion brands out there, and huge ones. Forever 21, H&M and Zara are revolutionizing the fashion business. Their controversial strategy of copying designs right of the runways of the high fashion brands and selling them at a cheap price is working so well for them. Trying to compete with them, but with high prices, makes no sense.
Brand Friendemy– Having a terrible CEO, Michael Jeffries, who seems more like an enemy to the brand than a friend. Making terrible declarations saying that their target are the “cool kids” and that they are “exclusionary”. Seems that they are trying so hard to fit in.
Logo-less Brand– Removing the institutional Moose from the clothing in the US and not in the other countries sends a mixed message. Trying to follow the same strategy as Tommy Hilfigher and Ralph Lauren (in some of their fashion lines), without sophisticating the clothes it’s a big problem.
Abercrombie needs to go back to marketing basics. Get to know the consumer insight and innovate in what they offer. A brand can always keep the same concept essence, but they must evolve somehow. Looking at the brightside, they do have models actually wearing clothes in their new advertisement for Spring 2015.