It’s easy to get lost in a sea of sameness when you’re trying to stand out in the denim clothing and teen retail market. American Eagle Outfitters decided to set themselves apart from their competitors and develop their own brand DNA by emphasizing “real people” as the core of their image and brand.

In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference, Jamie Simoni shares how American Eagle Outfitters is using Project Live Your Life’s contest campaign to allow real people to drive their marketing and help individualize their brand. Jamie explains how entrants and voters participate by sharing their individual style, passions and talents while also showcasing American Eagle Outfitters’ core tagline: Live your life.

Here are three big takeaways from Jamie’s presentation:

  • Showcase your fans: Waves of contestants’ posts and images showed American Eagle’s fan-base is very diverse and unique. By sharing these stories, the company was able to amplify that brand image to their followers and the public as a whole.
  • Learn about your audience: For a brand in the retail market, it’s vital to get to know your fans. Project Live Your Life allowed American Eagle to learn things about their fans they did not know beforehand. The overwhelming contest entries showed the company that people love to share and want to show their real-life experiences and talents.
  • Don’t add too much, too fast: As Jamie explains, the team experienced a few missteps when the campaign began, and they launched the contest later than anticipated due to too many ideas roaming around. They learned they needed to stay within scope of the project and realized they could always add more features later.

Watch Jamie’s presentation below. The slides are available for download.

If you like this presentation, see more great social media case studies like it live at SocialMedia.org’s BlogWell conference Oct. 22 in Boston.

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