Traditional American clothing brand L.L. Bean is successfully targeting a younger audience with its Signature Collection.
L.L. Bean is one of those traditional American brands that pride itself in durability, quality and tradition. Offering a lifetime guarantee on the apparel and outdoor equipment that has made it such a renown name, the brand hasn’t, in it’s 96 year history, ever really been associated with cutting edge fashion. Yet, interestingly enough, this is exactly the new found position the brand is taking up.
Through support from forward thinking style blogs such as Street Etiquette, who have emphasized the real wear-ability of their products, the brand has been exposed to a whole new audience. The perennial L.L. Bean consumer could typically be defined as 40+, middle class and white, something which has began to change over the past few years.
With a new Signature Collection that brings contemporary design to the classical element of L.L. Bean, a young man called Charlie Carey, a 19 year old freshman from Bates College, Maine, approached the history rooted brand offering help in bringing the company to a more youthful audience. Through grass root marketing means, and participation from his ‘team’ of young adaptors (he has gathered students from across the Northeast), Carey has engineered product placements, catalogue distributions and hosted trunk shows in an attempt to redirect young consumers towards the brand. This culminated last week in the organization of a launch event of the Signature Collection alongside that of a new site to host the line.
Recognizing the quick influence of creating a buzz amongst the target market, L.L. Bean quickly jumped at the opportunity to engage and interact with these young consumers on a more interactive and genuine level. This was seen as a necessity; a new direction for a brand, particularly one steeped in so much heritage, can be tricky to say the least. Carey and his spritely team are very much along the way to achieving this interaction and level of engagement necessary for a brand to tip, and, in doing so, perhaps emulating what the Lower East Side of NYC did for Hush Puppies in the 90s.