Banana Republic Brings Sustainability Effort In-Store

Christine Birkner
Marketing News Weekly
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Key Takeaways
  • ​​​Gap is teaming up with packaged water company Boxed Water Is Better to conduct a sampling effort in its Banana Republic stores. ​

  • Boxed Water has ties to the fashion world, conducting sampling efforts at New York Fashion Week this year, thus making it a good cause marketing match for Banana Republic​.

  • Throughout the month of June, Boxed Water will be featured in the window displays of 11 Banana Republic stores in New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto and Vancouver, and customers at these stores will receive free samples of the product.​

Showcasing sustainability initiatives can be a brand builder, as more consumers are conscious of brands’ commitment to and impact on the environment. San Francisco-based Gap Inc. has shown a commitment to sustainability by installing energy-efficient lighting in its stores and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions in its U.S. operations by 20% in 2015, and recently, the company decided to display its sustainability interests more explicitly.

This month, Gap is teaming up with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based packaged water company Boxed Water Is Better to conduct a sampling effort in its Banana Republic stores around the country. Boxed Water, which is packaged in milk-carton-shaped recyclable paper containers, is billed as a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic water bottles. The company donates 1% of its annual revenue to reforestation and water accessibility efforts across the globe.

Boxed Water has ties to the fashion world, conducting sampling efforts at New York Fashion Week this year, thus making it a good cause marketing match for Banana Republic, says Jeremy Adams, vice president of marketing at Boxed Water. “We got a call from Banana Republic. They really appreciated our design aesthetic and the fact that we were taking a more sustainable approach to the packaged water business, and asked if we wanted to work with them.”

A Banana Republic representative did not respond to requests for comment by deadline, but in a press release, Aimee Lapic, senior vice president and general manager of customer experience at Banana Republic, said: “We’re excited to partner with Boxed Water to raise awareness around sustainability. It’s a small step forward to be more conscious about the environmental impact we all have in our daily lives.”

Throughout the month of June, Boxed Water will be featured in the window displays of 11 Banana Republic stores in New York, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto and Vancouver, and customers at these stores will receive free samples of the product. “It was a great opportunity for us to reach a new audience with a sustainability message, and we were able to put Boxed Water in more consumers’ hands in our largest markets,” Adams says.

The campaign has received positive feedback from consumers on social media. Banana Republic’s tweet about the effort was the company’s most favorited tweet of the week, according to Adams. “The customer response has been amazing,” he says. “We’ve gotten comments on social media from people who are excited to try the product.”

The AMA is hosting its 2015 Nonprofit Marketing Conference July 13-15, in Washington, D.C. Visit AMA.org/Nonprofit to register.​ 

This article was originally published in the June 23, 2015, issue of Marketing News Weekly​.


Author Bio:

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Christine Birkner
Christine Birkner is the senior staff writer for Marketing News and Marketing News Weekly. E-mail her at cbirkner@ama.org.
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