Building Call It Spring’s Brand Purpose Strategy

Yulu is leading the brand purpose strategy development for Aldo Group brand, Call It Spring. Yulu began working with the global shoe and accessories brand in early 2019, driving communications behind the brand’s transition to becoming fully vegan as part of its journey towards greater sustainability. However, during the initial consulting phase, Yulu identified the opportunity to develop a more comprehensive brand purpose strategy to be embedded across all aspects of the brand in both the short and long term.

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 a move towards sustainability. As a result, Call It Spring needed  to tread these waters carefully with a well-thought-out strategy, messaging and positioning that authentically and transparently speaks to its current initiatives and desired impact.

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, learning best practices and identifying potential challenges the brand may face when moving into this new phase. During this strategic research process, it became clear that the fashion industry, particularly the vegan fashion sector, lacked industry standards in defining sustainability, often resulting in consumers 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 ways to go. Yulu identified an opportunity for CIS to leverage the Aldo Group’s heritage of being certified climate neutral, having FSC-approved packaging, and now the brand itself being PETA-approved vegan, using these achievements as a launchpad from which to communicate its product trajectory and roadmap to becoming more sustainable. The follow-on phase in the brand purpose strategy focuses on building an internal sustainability taskforce to embed all impact initiatives across the brand’s departments, as well as building a sustainability timeline to ensure actionable steps are clear and accountable, continuing to challenge the brand to create a better tomorrow.

RESULTS & IMPACT

Yulu developed careful and thoughtful messaging that went beyond traditional PR efforts, informing 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 by both the public and media, with the vast majority of Call It Spring customers (83%) agreeing that going vegan is 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.