My daughter, Ashlea, works at Aeropostale, so over the past several months, I’ve been in the store many times. I’ve also been paying attention to what they do and how they do it when it comes to how they create and market their products (clothes and accessories). Aeropostale is hugely popular with the younger generation and it’s evident that they understand their demographic (14 to 17 year-olds) very well. Heck, even I like a lot of their clothes and I wouldn’t consider myself a part of their target audience. That said, there are a few lessons we can ALL learn from Aeropostale when it comes to branding and product creation.
For Aeropostale, branding and product creation are synonymous. If you’ve been to one of their stores or to their website, the ONE thing that will stand out immediately is that their brand is on everything…their clothing turns their customers into walking billboards. It’s rather brilliant actually. Of course, they’re not the only company to do this…many do…but I’d have to say they’re one of the best at it for sure.
Aeropostale also provides a LOT of variations with their products. Now stay with me here…their main brand simply involves their name and the year they began their company…1987. Here is where it gets fun…the variations they create on those two elements is nearly limitless, it seems. As a product creator, this is an important lesson to understand. With just the words Aeropostale, Aero, 1987, A87 and other variations, they produce hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on the theme. You can do the same thing with your products and your business…especially if your products are image based!
Here is a challenge for you…go the the Aeropostale website and just look at their t-shirt lines…that’s it. Now, using Aero’s approach as your inspiration, consider a graphic, photograph, logo, or brand related to your business and make a list (or sketches) of every possible variation on the theme you can think of. Ask friends and family to do the same. You will be surprised (and amazed) at the outcome. I guarantee it! Then, share your results and what you learned here in the comments! I can’t wait to see what you come up with!