Monday, May 13

Targeting Abercrombie & Fitch

I recently wrote this article for Entrepreneur about Abercrombie & Fitch.  I'd love to hear what you think....

There's no misunderstanding the message that the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Mark Jeffries, recently sent out: the brand delivers a certain "look" and wants to maintain it.

His comments about "fat people", being one of the "cool kids", and "thin, beautiful customers" have, for the most part, been seen as grossly offensive, and as a father of two teenagers, I myself wince.

But from a pure marketing perspective, I'm not sure that he was wrong. When you look at it without any emotion, you'll see that he is applying classic marketing techniques to his business.

What's your experience?  Jim.

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


  1. Sounds like Mark Jeffries has been drinking a little too much of his own Kool-Aid. Brands SHOULD have a certain "look" they strive to maintain. Every good brand knows this. However, there's a difference between letting the advertising speak for itself (sexed-up, homoerotic sportswear, anyone?) and the CEO publicly making spiteful, derisive comments in a feeble attempt to define his customer.

    Hey, I'm all for being "cool," but it doesn't have to be at the expense of those who are "less cool." As for looking at this without any emotion as you suggest, that is clearly NOT what Jeffries wanted when he made these comments. Even from an academic viewpoint like yours, JJ, it's easy to see that the only "classic technique" this guy is employing is Grade-A Douchebaggery.