Can Urban Outfitters Compete?

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Can Urban Outfitters Compete?

Over the next three weeks, I will look at the three major clothing brands under URBN: Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie. All though all three have a similar ambiance about their Instagram feed, each one caters to a different target market, so they all have slightly different approaches.

Urban Outfitters is a “lifestyle” brand, meaning that not only do they sell clothing, but also home decor and gifts. They have their own private labels that you cannot find in other stores. They target a younger group: high school and college students who are inspired by stunning dorm room decor and achievable fashion pieces they see on celebrities like Kylie Jenner. They have a rewards program encouraging people to download their app. Users can scan their specific QR Code in order to receive rewards. Typically, their rewards are $5 of of a $50 purchase. So, they aren’t huge, but they bring me into the store or on the app.

Their Instagram portrays their brand to a tee: I feel like I am in an Urban Outfitters store while scrolling through their posts. They have your typical pictures with their product on models, but they also have everyday people wearing their clothing. Consumers can use the hashtag #UOonYou on their posts for a chance to be featured on the Urban Outfitters Instagram, making their posts obtainable by consumers. Most of their posts include the product tagging feature, taking someone directly to their website or app. They also offer a source of inspiration: they post pictures of New York City or beautiful floral arrangements. This makes them more than a brand who is trying to sell, and creates a community. They also promote specific deals going on online/in stores, like 30% off of all furniture, which creates awareness, and gets consumers on their site. Their captions are simple and trendy; they include lingo that their target market understands and relates to.

There doesn’t seem to be much interaction between customer service and people with questions about the product being pictured in the comments. However, they are known to be super interactive across platforms (named most engaged brand among its competitors in 2018 according to ShareIQ). They are also famous for partnering with popular brands among millennials like Adidas or Levi’s, and crossposting the content, creating a lot more buzz about the product.

Urban Outfitters has been much different from the other fast fashion brands I’ve looked at so far, but they still have a very successful way of managing their Instagram account. They do not necessarily use trendy campaigns with short-lived hashtags or polls on their Instagram stories, but they portray a theme that draws in their target market, creating very strong brand loyalty.


3 Comments

Emily Lambert

Emily Lambert

September 18, 2018at 3:13 pm

These three companies are all owned by the same entity, but their marketing approaches are very different. I’m interested to see how you analyze Free People and Anthropologie. Urban Outfitters definitely draws a younger crowd than the other two sister companies, and I think this also has a lot to do with the pricing of their products.

Sophie Bluestein

Sophie Bluestein

September 20, 2018at 11:38 am

I absolutely love Urban Outfitters. I find myself constantly engaged with every single one of thier instagram posts. They do a great job of appealing to the correct consumer of girls from age 15-25. I love to look at their home stuff as well as see the latest and greatest trends for clothing. I find Urban Outfitters to be a brand of community and vibrance in all aspects, in store, online, and on social media.

Chantel Mccarty

Chantel Mccarty

November 4, 2018at 7:23 pm

I definitely will be keeping up with your other two blogs. I think it is interesting to see how Urban markets and how URBN’s other brands market. They all have such distinct themes that when I come across Urban’s social media posts I recognize that its their “aesthetic.” I think it is good that the brand doesn’t need to use short campaigns and it shows that they are an established brand for sure. I wonder why they don’t interact as much with users though.

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