Tuesday, April 28, 2009

vineyard-vines-american-original.... This is great!!

Going To College
Early on, the company focused on the college market as a key demographic and it has been a successful effort.

A la Jimmy Buffet, Vineyard Vines has “college tours” that bring the VV lifestyle directly to college students on their campuses. Complete with beach parties and pink foam whale hats reminiscent of Buffet’s “land sharks” they are marketing the Vineyard Vines brand directly to a core consumer audience.

To say that Shep and Ian created and effective and inclusive grassroots marketing environment is an understatement; they knew exactly which demographic they were targeting and how to reach it.

Unfortunately, they might have been a little too successful in that particular market. In the eyes of some, the brand has become somewhat synonymous with beer chugging, rowdy preppy frat boys.
While not an image problem per se, this reputation among college and immediate-post college consumers does somewhat degrade the brand’s image within part of its core market.

Unflattering subsets aside, this kind of legwork develops an enthusiastic customer base that sees their support of the brand as part of their own lifestyle. The company has a business unit dedicated to producing customized designs for colleges, their sport teams and fraternal organizations.

Whale heads

To keep these collegiate efforts coordinated and effective, it also has dedicated brand managers who focus solely on the university market; working with student leaders, administrators and sports teams. A key goal of course is that as these students grow up and head off to their own careers, a new supply of Vineyard Vines diehards are ready to open their wallets.

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