GAP: The arbiter of normcore and the once shining beacon of fashion in malls across the country has fallen on hard times. With increasing competition from fast-fashion retailers and a sister brand that eclipses sales of its parent company, the once retail king is struggling to reinvent itself in the ever-evolving retail space.
Who are GAP fans, and what can GAP do to maintain and capitalize on its fanbase?
GAP fans are music followers. Perhaps GAP should’ve taken up Kanye West’s offer to become the brand’s creative director. People with a favorable view of GAP are more likely to follow music trends. They also enjoy music and entertainment TV.
The brand has tested the waters with this connection with popups at festivals, but GAP could dive deeper, seeking more musicians in marketing campaigns. Pop songstresses like Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani are a couple of GAP fan favorites.
GAP fans go green. GAP shoppers are more likely to be concerned about environmental issues and buy environmentally friendly products. Combined with their higher likelihood to donate to environmental causes, GAP fans put their money where their causes are.
GAP made headlines in 2016 with ambitious sustainability goals, but the brand could do more with its marketing to put that mission at the forefront. The retailer isn’t a stranger to social consciousness (see (RED) campaign), but GAP should recognize the issues its fans will put their money behind.
GAP fans go for the three-pointer. Somewhat surprisingly, fans of GAP are more likely to be NBA fans and closely follow college basketball. Given the fashion-forwardness of many league stars, the brand should outfit more players for post-game press conferences or events.
GAP fans are food fanatics. While we all must eat to live, GAP fans take chow time to a new level. People who consider food an important part of their lifestyle are more likely to be fans of GAP. GAP fans are more likely to eat out for lunch and dinner, and regularly research recipes online. The retailer should consider partnerships with high-end food brands or restaurants to boost visibility.
Bringing GAP together with a food brand could boost sales and catch foodies that are likely to be fans.
GAP fans go for ads. GAP has a long history of bright and flashy holiday ads, but chances are, these don’t appeal to fans of the store anymore. The 18-34-year-olds who have a favorable view of GAP are less likely to be influenced by ads on TV. They are more influenced by social media–especially Pinterest.
GAP should take a page from Old Navy’s notebook and create more partnerships with bloggers and social media celebs. This grassroots advertising will do more for the brand than a :30-second holiday spot on TV; GAP fans are more likely to use DVR anyway.