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Banana Republic creates content hub to push authenticity following brand repositioning

Banana Republic has created a content hub as part of a major storytelling push, marking the latest phase in its brand overhaul, which has seen the fashion house focus its marketing on brand authenticity and transparency.

The New Look of Banana Republic campaign, which launched earlier this month, aims to push the brand to a new audience and highlight its heritage as it “pulls back the curtain” to engage with consumers on a deeper level.

Catherine Sadler, global chief marketing officer of Banana Republic, told The Drum that the new positioning marks “a significant step forward” in the brand’s evolution and will see marketing activity follow the lead of magazines as it uses the content hub to push its messaging.

“We’ve been on a journey with our marketing campaign to really articulate the brand in a way that celebrates who we are and our heritage but at the same time resonate deeply and emotionally with our customer.

“Today we have become publishers of content in the marketplace, we may not actually be printing them in magazines, however we are syndicating them across all these different channels. To do that one has to have the discipline of more traditional storytellers, like a magazine, and create a content hub. It may never come together as a true magazine but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a discipline and the thoughtfulness to pin point what those stories are that we feel will resonate with our customers.”

Sadler revealed that the brand is beginning to lean harder into social – it previewed the new autumn campaign on Snapchat – and has signed a partnership with Instagram as one of the image-sharing site’s first advertisers.

Banana Republic is working directly with Instagram to leverage its insight into its audience and Sadler said that the ads will take the form of an organic feed which is relevant to the platform, rather than “turning it into a traditional medium” of advertising.

In a bid to open up the brand in line with its inclusivity stance, it is using social to shine the spotlight on new creative director Marissa Webb, using her own social media following to showcase the design journey.

“I think Snapchat was a great example and a first for us to be more transparent and to allow our customers and people at large to experience the launch in a way that felt real. More and more we’ve been moving towards a level of transparency to pull back the curtain and let customers get a sense of what’s going on.

“It’s also part of the reason we’ve exposed Marissa the way we have, she herself is an influencer and people really care about her. She has an organic social channel and so really celebrating that and sharing the process that goes in to the making of the campaign… all helps us be a participant in our customers lives and to showcase ourselves in a way that feels more true and honest.”

The New Look of Banana Republic campaign features real-life couples including singer Aloe Blacc with his wife, and hip-hop artist Maya Jupiter.

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