Abercrombie & Fitch’s growing influencer strategy

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F), a 130-year-old company, is implementing a mix of paid and organic advertising on TikTok to reintroduce the brand to Gen Z and millennial consumers. Additionally, they collaborate with TikTokers. This reintroduction is part of Abercrombie’s broader brand makeover in recent years. The brand, previously known for its exclusive preppy image among teenagers in the early 2000s, has evolved into a more inclusive label targeting twentysomethings looking for stylish essentials. This transformation, led by CEO Fran Horowitz since 2017, needed to happen authentically before promoting the changes on platforms like TikTok, as explained by Megan Brophy, the senior director of marketing at A&F.

Credit: Abercrombie

Abercrombie & Fitch’s Journey Towards Inclusivity and Diversity

Brophy mentioned that customers need time to revive the brand and believe in the authenticity of the transformation, emphasizing that A&F has broadened its product sizing and aimed for greater representation of customer diversity in models and other aspects. The idea is that diversity should permeate all aspects of the brand, not be confined to one space. The ongoing journey towards this goal has garnered increased attention in recent times.

In the 2nd quarter of 2021, A&F initiated a collaboration with Gen-Z consultancy IF7 to reach the expanding TikTok users base and promote its evolving, inclusive brand image. To convey its message across diverse TikTok viewers and highlight the varied audience the brand now caters to, A&F, in partnership with IF7, engaged with fashionistas and various creators such as comedians, chefs, and dancers, as shared by Michelle McAlear, the COO and co-founder of IF7.

Brophy revealed a budget shift to TikTok for talent and ads, emphasizing the connection with diverse talent to mirror the current consumer base. The approach involves seeking talent from various backgrounds to portray Abercrombie’s contemporary identity.

Rather than dictating specific content, the brand and consultancy provide creators with an overarching creative strategy, enabling them to produce content for their channels and A&F’s TikTok.

Fashion influencer Ashley Lopez is wearing A&F jeans. Credit: The Washington Post

Adapting Strategies: Abercrombie & Fitch’s Dynamic Approach to TikTok Marketing and Influencer Collaboration

Brophy explained their adaptive approach: “We fine-tune how we work with creators as we go. We assess performance each month, sticking with consistent and effective talent while introducing new creators to maintain diversity. The creators’ number is always in flux.”

Abercrombie & Fitch and IF7 have not disclosed the exact amount allocated for TikTok advertising or creator collaborations. Nevertheless, Brophy admitted that TikTok is gaining significant attention and financial investment as the brand relies on it to convey its transformation to the intended audience. In the initial nine months of 2021, A&F spent $25.9 million on media, a slight decrease from the $26.8 million spent in 2020, as reported by Kantar. These figures exclude expenditures on social channels, as Kantar does not monitor such spending. Industry analysts predict an increasing trend among most marketers, asserting that A&F is not the only one leveraging TikTok to alter brand perception.

Danielle Wiley, Sway Group’s CEO of influencer marketing, noted that brands are utilizing TikTok to reach a different audience, providing an opportunity to transform their image. The platform allows them to shed a perceived stuffy image and project a more youthful and fun brand identity.

Wiley anticipates a shift toward greater diversity in influencer approaches on TikTok in the coming months. She emphasized the changing preferences of audiences, stating, “People are weary of the ‘perfect’ influencer; they crave more realness and authenticity. TikTok serves as a platform to convey that a brand is for everybody, not just those considered ‘perfect.'”

Influencer Marketing for Product Launches in 6 Simple Steps

Leveraging the reach and credibility of influencers can significantly impact a product’s visibility and consumer trust. Next, we’ll explore six simple steps to master influencer marketing for product launches.

Step 1: Identify Your Target Audience

Before diving into influencer marketing, defining your target audience is crucial. Who are the people most likely to be interested in your product? Once you clearly understand your audience, you can search for influencers whose followers align with your target demographic. This ensures that your message reaches the right people and resonates with potential customers.

Step 2: Find Relevant Influencers

With your target audience in mind, start searching for influencers who share interests, values, and demographics similar to your product. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok are popular for influencer marketing. PopTribe can help you find influencers with engaged followers and a style that complements your brand. Quality over quantity is key, as genuine connections between influencers and their audience often yield better results.

Step 3: Build Relationships with Influencers

After spotting possible influencers, concentrate on forming genuine connections with them. Interact with their content, leave comments on their posts, and spread the word about their creations. Building personal ties makes teaming up feel more natural and boosts the chances of a favorable reply. Reach out to influencers with a sincere appreciation for their work and a straightforward explanation of how your product fits with their brand.

Step 4: Craft a Compelling Message

Communication is key in influencer marketing. Work collaboratively with influencers to craft a compelling message highlighting your product’s unique features and benefits. Ensure that the content fits seamlessly into the influencer’s style and resonates with their audience. Authenticity is crucial, so avoid overly promotional content and focus on storytelling that genuinely connects with viewers.

Step 5: Implement Tracking and Analytics

To measure the success of your influencer marketing campaign, implement tracking and analytics tools. Monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as engagement rates, website traffic, and conversion rates. Analyzing these metrics provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your campaign and helps refine future strategies. Be prepared to adapt your approach based on the data you gather.

Step 6: Encourage User-Generated Content

Motivate influencers and their followers to produce and spread user-generated content linked to your product. User-generated content brings genuineness to your brand and grows your audience naturally. Form branded hashtags to monitor and display user-generated content, transforming your audience into supporters of your brand. This move not only prolongs the impact of your influencer initiative but also nurtures a feeling of community around your product.

Final Thoughts

Influencer marketing can be a game-changer for product launches when approached strategically. By identifying your target audience, collaborating with relevant influencers, building authentic relationships, crafting compelling messages, tracking performance, and encouraging user-generated content, you can create a powerful influencer marketing campaign that propels your product to success. Keep it simple, stay authentic, and watch your product launch soar to new heights.

Check PopTribe’s platform to find the right influencer for your brand. Like Abercrombie, you can use the power of social media to spread the word about your products. Register today and contact us if you need assistance.

Finally, check how to use Reddit for your influencer marketing campaigns.

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