Abercrombie & Fitch is Rethinking its Brand Position

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales by Vaughn Highfield

Abercrombie & Fitch clothes

Abercrombie & Fitch is removing branding from its clothing

Abercrombie & Fitch has been in a tricky financial situation for a while now, this is the seventh quarterly loss in a row and so it’s decided that it’s time to pull the branding from its products and possibly follow a similar tact to H&M – which is stealing business from the retailer with more affordable clothing.

The announcement was made after disappointing second-quarter results, stating: “We are confident that the evolution of our assortment will drive further improvements going forward, in particular as we move past the headwind of adverse likes in our logo business as we work to strategically reduce that element in our assortment.”

That’s clearly not a very well explained announcement, stating no real reasons for the abandonment of its own brand logo on clothing, but that seems to be what’s happening.

It’s not too surprising that this needs to be done to revitalise the business though. Following online trends and attitude to the brand, Abercrombie & Fitch has had a rather bum rep recently – the same goes for its sister brand Hollister, which is also having logos removed from clothes.

It doesn’t help that a campaign against company CEO Mike Jeffries went viral last year thanks to a comment he made back in 2006 resurging once again. And, in fairness, when you see what he said, coupled with company policy of burning clothes instead of giving them the the homeless (so it doesn’t damage brand image), it makes sense that pretty much anyone with sense dislikes the company.

The brand has struggled to keep profits up and remain relevant to changing youth culture and its trends.

It probably doesn’t help that its online image is also not overly positive – it may have a busy and communicative set of followers, but a quick Twitter search shows a lot of vitriol around the business and its practices. So, can they find success by abandoning the logo on their clothes and aiming for a position more in line with Swedish retailer H&M?

Personally, I think they’ll have a hard time achieving that, but scrapping their logo-based shirts can’t be a bad place to start – but they’ll probably need to change their business practices along the way.