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by • 5 May, 2009 • CONSUMER INSIGHT, MEDIAComments (0)1057

Repurposing Retail: Apparel brand sees versatility of spandex!

2009_04_aamaternity.jpgIn consumer media, the current recession has taken a grin-and-bear it tone with Holly Hobby headlines offering “tips”  on bargain-hunting and doing more with less. Echoing this consumer charge, it seems as though American Apparel examined its own product line with an eye toward repurposing its merchandise for new prospective consumers: the expecting.

As remarked on retail blog RackedLA, and women’s blog Jezebel, American Apparel’s foray into materity isn’t actually a new line of products, just a reassemblage of spandex and stretchy garments, well, stretched onto a new silhouette.

For marketers, re-purposing products can be a genius move. Anectdotal research has found at least 30% of Preparation H sales are for its affect on undereye bags, an unintentional but effective secondary purpose. The benefit of secondary segment marketing is that it broadens the audience of prospective consumers, ideally without alienating the original consumer base.

American Apparel’s move cleverly continues the unpredictable tone of its marketing (which recently stirred up the neurotic ire of Woody Allen for an unauthorized, insulting use of the director’s likeness for billboard spots; Allen has launched a lawsuit over the imbroglio). As for its real prospect for penetrating the maternity market, spandex jumpsuits aren’t terribly practical for mums-to-be, but American Apparel can be lauded for adding some edge and pinache into a rather dismal corner of the fashion market.

Thinking of repurposing your retail brand to fit a new audience? Call Criterion Global for media strategy and guidance – even in a downturn, bright ideas and sound execution can breath life into your brand.

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