For some months now we have seen brands like Athleta and Old Navy from Gap Inc steal the public’s attention, from collaborations with stars like Simone Biles to the inclusion of sizes for an entire brand, however, there is another brand that is now looking to reposition itself.
We refer to Banana Republic, another Gap Inc brand, which in the midst of a time of decline and crisis seeks to be different from its sisters, which is why it undertook a massive makeover under the slogan “Imagined Worlds”.
The new Banana Republics
The brand director, Ana Andjelic, assured Adweek that “we promise our clients an expedition in imagination and we offer them ‘Imagined Worlds’”, on the new positioning of Banana Republic, which will be presented on September 28.
“We started with a very clear vision of what this iconic American company can be and what we should do in terms of the quality and design of our products, packaging and service, [así como] our digital experiences and experiences in our stores to provide this vision of life, ”said President and CEO Sandra Stangl.
The intention is to create a “fictional far away place”, something like Wakanda or Middle Earth, that works as a springboard to present their new products, under a concept of activism and sustainability.
To do this, the brand will update its 700 stores with the intention of offering a better customer experience from hospitality and style services to design and merchandising, although it is unknown what will happen first.
In addition, the retailer’s garments are evolving from just workwear and casual staples to suede gabardine dresses or photojournalist vests, under its new line The New Look, which will be presented in the next few days.
“Our goal is to create a brand that is relevant for the present and for the future, robust and versatile enough to respond to trends, but also secure enough to be unique and different and recognizable,” Andjelic said.
The strategy, will it work?
The campaign scheduled for the end of September will be broadcast through digital, social and media channels, seeking to turn its past with a new brand identity, reinventing itself for the modern world after 43 years in the market.
Banana Republic will take as its starting point the customer experience in the form of “democratic, accessible and inclusive luxury”. With immersive stories about the products, both in store and online, even with the quality of the designs and fabrics, there will be more experiences and details in all the points of sale, as indicated by the retailer.
In digital stores, the brand is reinventing itself to be an engaging experience with inspiring images, videos and music that immerse customers in “the new world of Banana Republic”.
This could be a success or a resounding failure, but the repositioning of Banan Republic comes at a point where falling sales force them to take the risk to fight the crisis.
In fall 2020, parent company Gap Inc. planned to trim Banana Republic’s store fleet, closing about 130 locations by early 2024. In the first quarter of the company’s current fiscal year, Banana Republic’s comparable sales fell by 4 percent year over year. year and were down 22 percent from 2019. In the second quarter, they were down 5 percent from 2019.
With this in mind, and seeing how the rejuvenation strategies turned out for other brands like Athleta, Old Navy and Gap itself, this could be Banana Republic’s big opportunity.