As Abercrombie
& Fitch’s revenue declined, the number of people who still believe
Jeffries’ view of the consuming world has also declined drastically.

Is Abercrombie and fitch a Valuable Brand? When the ranking
and evaluation list of the most recent Most Valuable Brands was revealed,
Abercrombie & Fitch did not make it. According to Millward Brown, brand
consulting firm, the monetary value of the Abercrombie & Fitch brand was
not enough to place them a place on the yearly Top 100 list. In the last eight
years, Abercrombie & Fitch do not feature at all. For years Abercrombie
& Fitch has been determined to be less valuable than KFC, IKEA, H&M,
Starbucks, and McDonald’s (Farfan, 2017).

Customer Satisfaction: In February 2016, the American Customer
Satisfaction Index was released, and Abercrombie & Fitch broke records, received
the lowest customer satisfaction ratings in the history of that measurement
system, it’s not definitively clear how much of Abercrombie & Fitch’s
current negative relationship with consumers is connected to the negative
relationship can be attributed to the controversial choices and words of Mike
Jeffries (Shen, 2017).

Competitors: With strong competition from fast fashion
retailers such as Zara, H, Forever 21 and Topshop, the brand has had a hard
time appealing to customers. This has meant that they have been forced to try
to compete with more on trend brands, by emulating and offering more
fashionable options, similar to the cheap styles found at its fast fashion
competitors. However, Abercrombie’s clothes cost more than its fast-fashion
competitors.   

Abercrombie & Fitch in the media: They
have also faced a sequence of mistakes in the media, such as when
former CEO Mike Jeffries claimed his brand was for the “attractive
all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends.” Later, the
retailer faced repercussions for refusing to hire a Muslim woman because
she wore a hijab (Kasperkevic, 2015). 

Sizing: Abercrombie and fitch’s sizing only
ranges from XS to XL. If they wish to entice more customers, they must cater to
as many potential buyers as possible.  Today,
the average female wears a size 14. In the
United States alone plus-size clothing is now a £12.9
billion market (Abnett, 2015) and £5.08 billion in the UK (Hendriksz, 2017),
but it remains one of the most underserved segments of the fashion
industry. Stores usually only have a small plus-size section, often hidden
at the back. If Abercrombie & Fitch made plus sizes a prominent part of
their collections, their popularity will more likely increase.

 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

Following its
rebranding, Abercrombie & Fitch has completely changed its brand identity
and values, because the brand was not acclimatised to its ever-changing
consumers over time. But Abercrombie & Fitch’s brand image and perceptions
will take time draw level. Abercrombie & Fitch must listen to its consumers
and to progress its brand identity over time.

Abercrombie
& Fitch’s rebranding can be described as ‘vanilla’ as it isn’t exciting any
consumers. The brand is target market is now too broad, and has a weak brand
identity and little brand differentiation. As a result, Abercrombie &
Fitch does not stand out from a crowded marketplace and so consumers are not
interested. As a consequence, the brand’s sales declined even further
throughout 2016. 

For Abercrombie
& Fitch to rebuild their brand, to make it relevant to consumers and
stand out from the crowded marketplace, they must:

Have a clear understanding of who they are, and are
now trying to target:

A must
establish Who are they, what they need, and/ or aspiration does the brand
fulfil. A are trying to steer away from their exclusive group ideology,
and trying to compete with more fast fashion brands such as H and Topshop.
However, their garments are still high prices, excluding a great deal of
potential customers they are aiming to target. They must either, stay with
their exclusive branding and improve upon their branding, or they should invest
in manufacturing cheaper products for their consumers. In the
past, A has been known for their expensive and lasting
products. However, consumers today don’t want to spend a large amount of money
on one item. Nowadays, consumers would rather pay a high price for several
items at a time. One way to do this is to lower the price and quality of
products. Women’s jeans can cost up £88. If this price were lowered to £50 or
£40, A would get more attention. 

Evolving the brand with the consumer:

it is impossible
to change a brand image and associations from one day to the next, as they
evolve slowly in the mind of the consumers. You should thus take the time to
shift your brand identity and values over time. Consumers are forever evolving,
and you need to ensure your brand evolves with them. One of the main reasons
Abercrombie & Fitch lost its core consumers, and thus needed to rebrand,
was because the brand did not adapt to its ever-changing consumers.

To adapt to your
ever-changing consumers, you need to follow consumer, market and societal
trends and understand how they affect your consumers, brand and market. You
should also constantly monitor your consumers, and their needs, challenges,
aspirations and behaviours, and evolve your brand identity and values in
line with your consumer changes.

Consumers are
always looking to be up to date and on trend. A should release new
apparel that is more appealing to the modern trend. Over the last few
years, symbols of A (such as their moose t-shirts or
sweatpants) have lost popularity. To increase sales, new styles should be
included into a new catalogue. Style such as ruffles, bold graphic tees and
oversized jumpers are on trend at the moment.

Stand for current values that consumers can get behind
and will help the brand to stand out:

From your
consumer definition will follow your brand identity and values; they need to
answer your consumer needs and aspirations, and appeal to your consumers. A
must rebuild their brand for consumers and with their consumers in mind.

A significant difference
from competitors is essential. In order to so, analyse your competitors’ market
positioning and rebuild your brand identity, position and values to be
clear, distinct and different. If you are not different from your competitors
and you do not have a distinct brand offering, you will not stand out from the
crowded marketplace

Abercrombie and Fitch Co. should
manufacture their apparel in all sizes. These sizes should include XXS through
XXL. The purpose of increasing the size range of clothing is to welcome
consumers of all shapes and sizes. If people see that A&F are interested in
catering for multiple sizes, more people will buy. The more sizes, the more
consumers. 

A&F should consider advertising their brand on T.V. and on the internet.
Commonly used websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram would be the
perfect sources of advertisements. Another way to advertise would be
in catalogues or on billboards on the highway. Advertising would help the
company because the more people see A&F’s new attire, the more will be
interested in buying their products. In the past, Abercrombie has used
extremely skinny and photoshopped models for their advertisements. To
better their reputation, A should also use non-photoshopped men and
women who have average body sizes in those ads. This will promote a better self-image. 

It may help if A should create a memorable slogan to attract consumers.
Slogans can provide a fun and simple attraction to a company. Some slogans can
make people feel better about themselves which will attract them into buying a
company’s products. Something short and catchy such as “Treat
Yourself” could work as A&F products would then be seen as an indulgent
luxury, with the word ‘treat’ gives connotations of good quality, therefore encouraging
customers to buy A&F products

CONCLUSION

While
Abercrombie & Fitch reviving their former golden days, it will not be easy,
or even unlikely for them to achieve the success that the brand once had,
A&F have made some steps in some stores towards making their stores more
enticing for consumers to visit.

Predicting buyer
activity is difficult, which is why to revive the business, CEO Fran Horowitz
is changing the A&F’s focus from brand image to customer engagement.
Throughout 2017 and 2017, A gained consumer feedback through speaking to
one and a half million consumers on what they are looking for in their shopping
experience. This feedback was then mirrored in its first new concept store in
15 years in Columbus. The front of the store features a runway of mannequins
sporting 20 looks to inspire and guide potential customers on how to create outfits
(Thau, 2017). They have installed tech-enabled fitting rooms, in which
consumers can adjust the lighting to see how an item would look at the beach or
a darker setting, such as the club or a bar. Customers also have access to phone
recharging stations. As a result, Abercrombie’s international markets saw an
improvement in the way consumers responded to the brand’s seasonal range, which
was helped by the change in how the retailer engaged with its customers in the
brick and mortar stores (Young, 2017).