J.Crew was founded in 1847 by Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles. These two men wanted to create a clothing company for upper middle class women. They wanted to develop a brand that landed itself somewhere in between the preppy Ralph Lauren and the business casual The Limited
For about 50 years, the brand coasted through. They made their sales every year and developed a very famous and successful catalog. However, in 2003 things started to go downhill for the clothing line. In the time of a recession sales started to plummet. The brand had opened up many new stores a little too quickly which forced stores to not make their sales. This quick expansion hurt J.Crews stock and revenue. The high cost of the clothing did not help.
When sales started to go down hill the company implemented some new management. The hired Millard Drexter, who had major success for The Gap. He wanted to re-energize J. Crew and took it upon himself to move many employees around, hiring new clothing designers, creative workers and other major management positions for the brand. Within his first two years he earned 3.8 millions dollars which was the first profit for J.Crew in 5 years.
Drexter’s idea was to rebrand the 50 year old company J.Crew. They were previously known for their super preppy style which only targeted a specific group of people. He wanted to reach a more artsy and diverse target market all while improving the quality of his clothes. He wanted to get away from the preppy look and focus on simple items that could be worn interchangeably creating more outfits.
After establishing Drexter’s objectives, he created three new brand extensions. He created a clothing line for children titled Crew Cuts, which turned the brand into more of a family brand letting current customers dress their children in their favorite line. Next, he created the wedding collection which included wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, a line for the mother of the bride, flower girl and ring bearer outfits and casual comfortable honey moon attire. This line also included a full wedding service where a bride would get her own personal shopper who would create their outfit itinerary for the entire event start to finish. He also created a couture collection called the J. Crew Collection which consisted of higher end pieces because which clothing brand does not have a luxury line.
J.Crew’s efforts even reached the First family. Michelle Obama took a major liking to J.Crew’s collections and represented them at major events. She dressed her family in all J.Crew outfits for the Inauguration, modeled in advertisiments for the website, as seen in the picture and advertised J.Crew on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. SHOW VIDEO
All of Drexter’s efforts resulted in major results for J.Crew. He has helped to raise their revenues 107% because of his expansion of his target market. Aiming at a new audience and adhering to their needs helped put J.Crew on the map which they had fallen off of. Michelle Obama’s support helped raise the stock in J.Crew as well. After her appearance on the Tonight Show, stock rose 8.2%
Affective component- -Continue using diversity in the catalog is key for J.Crew. Catalogs will show different types of people including different generations to show how diverse the brand is making everyone feel welcome in a J.Crew. .Bringing in a fragrance to the store could also be a great addition to the brand. The fragrance we would create would be a fresh, crisp and light scent that highlights the simplicity everyday feel of the brand. By bringing a fragrance into the picture, new customers may be drawn into the store and find that there are clothing pieces that are simple enough for them to wear. We want to make new customers feel the open arms of the new and re-energized J.Crew.
Word of mouth is one of the most crucial forms of advertising for J. Crew. They do not use a lot of print or television advertisments so they rely on customer loyalty to bring people into stores. Up and coming social media sites like Tumblr and Pinterest is a new form of word of mouth with the ability to make it viral. They make it possible to share J. Crew outfits and catalog pages that users want on tumbling sites. These types of networks need to be utilized by J.Crew. This will encourage the online user to do more and hopefully draw new customers to the website.
In the April catalog, J. Crew’s president Jenna Lyons was pictured painting her son’s toe nails pink. Which was meant a cutesty advertisement featuring one of the brand’s creative directors backfired and raised some negative press for J.Crew. People were outraged that a little boy would have pink toenails. Critics started to label J.Crew as having “gender identity problems” saying the child was going to need therapy. In a time were gay rights are being challenged this opens up a great door for J.Crew to make a relationship with a different crowd and changing the publics beliefs leading us to Cognitive component strategies.
Current beliefs- J. Crew is preppy, overpriced, a specific style that isn’t me. How to change -- J. Crew provides basics that are business professional and great quality that will last. - Michelle Obama continuing to promote J. Crew as well as working in other business professionals and CEO’s. Sending catalogs to businesses. Also, after the brand controversy we just spoke about it is important for J.Crew to implement some crisis control. We would want the brand to take a stance on sexual orientation, publically announcing that J.Crew accepts people of all shapes sizes. This will not only gain respect from the gay community it may also draw in a new set of shoppers.
History• Founded 1947 by Mitchell Cinader& Saul Charles• Upper-Middle class women• Niche between Ralph Lauren and The Limited
The Problem• 2003 sales start to plummet• Quick expansion• High costs
New Management• Millard Drexter • new CEO 2003• “re-energize J. Crew”• 2005 earned 3.8 million • first profit in 5 years
Rebranding• Shift from preppy to basic• Change target market • “artsy” feel• Improved quality
Bridal and Children Collection• Crew Cuts• Start to finish wedding service• J. Crew Collection
Michelle Obama•Tonight Show appearance•Inauguration•J.Crew advertisements