Building Call It Spring’s Brand Purpose Strategy

Yulu led the brand purpose strategy development for Aldo Group brand, Call It Spring, working with the global shoe and accessories brand since early 2019 to drive communications behind the brand’s transition to becoming fully vegan, and to develop more comprehensive brand purpose strategy to be embedded across all aspects of the brand in both the short and long term. Yulu has been working on an ongoing basis to help communicate commitments and steps taken in the brand’s sustainability and social purpose journey.


The Challenge

As a global brand within the Aldo Group, a company rooted in purpose with a number of social and environmental initiatives already in place, Call It Spring wanted to expand its position as a youth-focused brand offering stylish, affordable products, by offering increasingly sustainable options to a more conscious consumer. There is, however, a level of skepticism in the fashion industry when it comes to global brand claiming better sustainability. As a result, Call It Spring needed to tread carefully with a well-thought-out strategy, messaging and positioning that authentically and transparently speaks to its current initiatives, desired impact, and tangible goals.

“Yulu's team are social impact experts. They have significant experience working with various organizations to help formulate what the basis of their social impact should be, and we have a lot of trust in what they do. They’ve been incredibly helpful in guiding the conversation for us both internally and externally. We were lucky to find a communication agency that specializes in this niche area.”

Caitlin Benn, Marketing Manager, Call It Spring / Aldo Group

The Strategy

Beginning with a deep dive into the brand and the complex world of fashion and sustainable fashion, Yulu conducted a number of stakeholder interviews as well as industry benchmarking to uncover best practices and potential challenges the brand may face when progressing in its sustainability journey. During this strategic research process, it became clear that the fashion footwear industry lacked clear standards in defining sustainability, resulting in consumers often being misguided to believe that vegan = sustainable, which is not always the case. Yulu recommended that Call It Spring lead with transparency and humble authenticity, positioning itself as a brand going to significant effort to become more sustainable while still understanding and owning that it has a way to go. Yulu identified an opportunity for CIS to leverage its existing heritage of being part of a certified climate neutral company, as well as having FSC-approved packaging and being PETA-approved vegan, using these achievements as a launchpad from which to communicate its roadmap to becoming more sustainable, with follow-on announcements of removing single-use bags from stores, and launching the brand’s first sustaibaly vegan styles. Phase two of the brand purpose strategy focused on building an internal taskforce to embed purpose, both social and environmental, across the brand’s department teams, ensuring actionable steps were clear and accountable, continuing to challenge the brand to create a better tomorrow.

The Results & Impact

Yulu developed careful and thoughtful messaging that went beyond traditional PR efforts and informed all content for the launch, including store signage, staff briefings and training, website copy including a transparent FAQ section, as well as the brand’s visual direction, video and imagery. The vegan launch was extremely well received with the vast majority of Call It Spring customers (83%) agreeing that going vegan was a good or perfect fit with the brand. As well as securing 26 quality media hits around “vegan” including Glossy, Fashion Magazine, and key trades such as Retail Insider, and Footwear News, Yulu’s messaging around the brand’s journey towards greater sustainability was included in all media coverage, providing a platform for sustainability-related announcements to come. The brand purpose strategy work continues, with an active taskforce of twelve departments continually advancing their work in line with the strategic approach.