Thursday, May 16


Never before have I gotten more "Hey Jim, have you seen this?" messages in one day.

And never before have I seen a consumer (a consumer!) take over a brand quite the same way.

I talk all the time, as do many others, about how consumers are taking control of brand messaging, and influencing brand activity as a result.  Sometimes it's incredibly positive (ala JCPenney), and sometimes not so much.

Well in response to Abercrombie & Fitch's CEO recent comments about "cool kids," one consumer took the matter in his own hands.  He made a video encouraging people to donate their Abercrombie & Fitch clothing to the homeless.  A video that has now gone viral.

And as only can be done "now a days," he's making a movement of it through social channels and his hashtag #FitchTheHomeless.  Love how it turned it into a verb!  A movement, of sorts!

Now there is a little bit of uncomfortableness here, which makes me wince to tell you the truth.  Not sure that I like the idea of "using" the homeless to prove a point, but I do admire this man's efforts.  And I do love the idea of donating clothing you no longer want to the homeless as well.  In that effort, it's a win-win.

The marketing point I'm trying to make here, though, is that we see once again consumers responding to a brand "platform" and either supporting it or negating it ... and using their individual power to influence others.  While consumers have always had the power to purchase, they've not quite had this level of ability to communicate and persuade.

From that perspective, I say Bravo!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
- President, Cohn & Wolfe NA
- Author, The Experience Effect series
- Professor, NYU
- Contributor, Entrepreneur

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