Don Draper: Marketing Guru of the ’60s, Fashion Icon of the 21st Century

28 Apr

There are two things on my mind as of recent: the ABAN project and our co-branding objective, and David Meerman Scott’s ideas in his book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. I stumbled upon a juicy AdAge article about the Banana Republic that has applied both co-branding principles and the new rules of marketing. Crazy when the concepts you learn in class can be identified and applied in real-life, right?! Welcome to college 🙂

Here’s what I found:

Screen Shot taken by Ashley Bunting

Screen Shot taken by Ashley Bunting

Banana Republic and sibling stores Gap Inc. and Old Navy are switching gears from uneven performance to global brand management. Last month, Catherine Sadler was appointed as the Chief Marketing Officer. What’s her number one goal, you might ask?

‘To establish a singular brand voice and more-consistent brand experience around the world.’

Global brand management is a sizable initiative, no doubt about it, but Sadler is determined. She is conscious that her biggest challenge will be connecting with loyalists and first-time customers in the same way.

To add a little more spice into the equation, there has been a shift in Banana’s buyer style. This ‘new look’ is more corporate and less casual. In other words, customers want the sleek professional look. This also means that Banana can also charge higher prices for clothes incorporated in this line of products.

Mad for Mod: The ‘Don Draper’ Look

Accommodating the new shift in the buyer’s style, Banana Republic has fostered a partnership with AMC’s award winning series, Mad Men. For those of you who may not be familiar with the series, let me provide you with a little background information on why the partnership ‘clicks.’

  • Mad Men, based in the 1960s, tells the tale of the corporate and personal affairs of Don Draper. Draper is the Creative Director and a Partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ad agency, otherwise known as famous marketing guru and advocator for mass marketing. During a little bit of my Don Draper investigation, I came across this blog post from REAL MEN REAL STYLE that guides men on how to capture both the classic and casual Don Draper look. According to REAL MEN REAL STYLE, “There’s one icon of the Mad Men style that stands above the rest, and it’s Don Draper.
  • Want to view more of Don’s style? Check out the Complete Don Draper Look Book Here, courtesy of GQ.
Image retrieved from collegefasion.net

Image borrowed from collegefasion.net

In this partnership, Banana Republic has been working with Mad Men’s costume designer, Janie Bryant. Together, they have been busy creating Banana’s third line of the “Mad Men” collection and launched an online content hub called “Mad for Mod.”

Only four years ago, Banana Republic was promoting Mad Men style with manikins in its store windows. The new rules of marketing are in full force. Sadler is implementing a re-focus within marketing. Web content is being re-evaluated and Banana is taking a stab at ‘thinking like a publisher.’ This means that Banana is aiming to produce a more content driven website. Sound familiar? According to David Meerman Scott, content drives action. To me, it looks like Banana is headed in the right direction. No news yet on when the third Mad Men line comes out, but I’m keeping my ears and eyes peeled. Also curious to see how Banana will continue to implement the ‘new rules of marketing’, otherwise they could fall into more than one Don Draper trap and go back to the old ways.

Source: Banana Republic’s CMO Talks New ‘Mad Men’ Collection, Unifying the Brand

Dress Like the Mad Men: the Fashion on Don Draper

The Complete Don Draper Look Book

This blog post is a part of a series for Integrated Marketing Communications at Elon University.

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One Response to “Don Draper: Marketing Guru of the ’60s, Fashion Icon of the 21st Century”

  1. Prof. Mac May 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

    Ashley,
    Well, I have this to say: I hope you continue to blog! You have found a fabulous platform for your passionate voice and your unique perspectives. I have no doubt that a NASCAR executive will see your blog and will think “gotta get this woman on board!” Thank you for digging into your blog and into our class with such depth and enthusiasm. You were a terrific conversation starter and I could always count on you to speak up and add to the exploration.
    I hope you’ll stay in touch as you face your last year at Elon and beyond .. clearly, there are BIG things ahead for you.
    Cheers to you!
    Prof. Mac

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