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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Learning How Not To Market From the Big Guys

It seems, Abercrombie and Fitch . . . .mmmm, borrowed the name "Hollister" from a California town for one of its lines of clothing.

Seems after they did, they wouldn't even put an outlet in the town to help the Hollister folk with their economy (the economy being another story entirely!).

Seems a local woman decided to use her own town's name on a small line of her own jeans.

Seems A&F didn't like that.

Now it seems that the whole town is up in arms. They want to reclaim their name and they're publicizing the injustice done them everywhere!

Seems to me that A&F made a whole string of public relations booboos here. Seems to me that A&F should backtrack. Say, "I'm sorry." Hire the Hollister woman to design jeans for them. When the economy does an upturn, put in an outlet and use that magnanimous gesture to glean all kinds of counter publicity. Ahem!

Marketers--that means anyone who has anything to sell from retailers to authors--can learn from the mistakes made by the big guys. Keep a pulse on when your name is being praised and/or taken in vain by using Alerts from Google and others. Have a considered plan before catastrophe strikes. Admit your wrong-doing (if any) immediately and apologize. Fight back immediately when necessary but don't blame others for your booboos.


This post is based on information from the LA Times, an article written for the business section by Hugo Martin. The blogger is Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques ( and the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books including The Frugal Book Promoter ( and The Frugal Editor ( All are also available on Kindle.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson's FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques launched at the National Stationery Show at Javits Center. Because she is the author of the multi award-winning how-to books for writers,The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success, retailers will also find essentials of writing for blogs, Web sites, and newsletters on this blog. She is the author of an award-winning novel, This Is the Place; and other fiction and poetry. She blogs on better writing at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog. Find her tweeting for retailers at @frugalretailing . If your followers at Twitter would benefit from this blog post, please use this little green widget to let them know about it:


  1. Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before.
    Brand Consultant
    Neeti Biz

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