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Banana Republic

The Gap’s upscale clothing brand, Banana Republic, needed to stay on top of trends to succeed. To achieve this, it had to find a better way to connect with its trendsetting customers. Vision Critical worked with the brand to launch Banana Republic Insiders – a Vision Critical insight community of nearly 50,000 fashion-savvy members. Banana Republic gained a stronger sense of who its customers are and garnered a tremendous resource to help guide the design of its clothing line and its in-store experiences.

Overall, the benefits of our Insiders Panel have been extremely quick turnaround and rapid research, with access to results in real time.
Challenge: 
  • In the fashion business, staying on top of trends is critical.
  • Banana Republic needed help to ensure it would set fashion trends, rather than follow them.
  • To make this happen, it would need a new way of connecting with its trendsetting customers all across the US.
Solutions: 
  • The brand launched an insight community of fashion insiders who are always ready to discuss the latest in fashion trends. This customized community includes almost 50,000 members across the US.
  • Vision Critical developed the recruitment plan, and now manages the insight community and creates new ways to maximize engagement.
  • Community members participate in monthly surveys and receive sweepstake incentives and newsletters to keep them on the inside of Banana Republic’s fashion news.
Results: 
  • Banana Republic now has a much stronger sense of who its customers are and how they express their personal style.
  • In one particular exercise, members were asked to photograph themselves in various outfits. The result allowed Banana Republic to peer into its customers’ closets.
  • This has had a real impact on how the company designs both its clothes and its in-store experiences. “Our insight community is cost effective, category specific, and very proprietary. We’re able to use it for hypothesis generation and directional validation.”

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