By Erin Zaranec
How do you rebrand a traditional company that is nearly 40 years old and markets to females age 8 to age 80? For Vera Bradley, this started with one simple question for the company’s target audience - why #ItsGoodToBeAGirl.
Holly Wager, a public relations and product placement representative for Vera Bradley, hosted the Why It’s Good To Be a Girl session at National Conference, giving 240 student attendees insights on the iconic company’s rebranding efforts.
“It’s been an evolution, not a revolution,” Wager said of the company’s #itsgoodtobeagirl campaign.
Launched in August 2016, the campaign encourages Vera Bradley’s fans and customers to share reasons for loving and embracing femininity - which the company believes is a superpower.
During the session, audience members across the gender spectrum proudly shared their reasons about why #itsgoodtobeagirl.
“I think it’s really kick-ass that women are responsible for carrying and creating all human life on the planet!”
“As a female, I get to defy expectations and break barriers for my gender.”
“Gender doesn’t equate with the ability to slay.”
“It’s good to be a girl because I love my mother and she is the foundation of my family.”
The audience laughed, clapped and cheered as reasons rang out loud and proud - one of the most powerful effects of the campaign.
“We at Vera Bradley… we say that femininity is not dead and, in fact, it’s a super power,” Wagner said. “We are celebrating everyday reasons why it’s good to be a girl.”
The campaign did more than just create a catchy hashtag, it started a new era for the classic brand.
Vera Bradley’s rebrand, created by Redscout, had three key goals: to ignite a social movement, inspire creative energy and increase brand visibility.
The company opened the first Vera Bradley showroom in New York, opening a SoHo location that creates an exclusive shopping experience that isn’t open to the general public. By partnering with key influencers and hosting a VIP opening event, the company garnered media coverage across print and web platforms, bringing new visibility to the brand.
Vera Bradley has transformed from a handbag company to a lifestyle brand. To combat the challenge of marketing to such a large audience, the brand created Amanda: The Day Maker. This persona is your typical joiner - she loves to be busy and takes on any challenge life throws at her, she’s the hostess of the party and is making sure everyone feels comfortable and everything flows smoothly.
Amanda represents the girl that Vera Bradley previous lost after college because they struggled to transition the brand into their career and professional life. Vera Bradley’s leather line and other new brand initiatives create “beautiful solutions” to the busy girl’s life and is timeless and classic for any age.
To supplement the campaign, the company created an online hub featuring multimedia content that spreads the message of femininity being a super power. Users can go on the website and share their reasons for why #itsgoodtobeagirl, sharing product photos or plain text.
Overall, the campaign is still going strong today with strong female partners like blogger Amber Fillerup, actress and professional dancer Julianne Hough and singer Kelsea Ballerini. More than 225 million impressions have been generated online as a result of the campaign.
Another reason #itsgoodtobeagirl? Free product at National Conference sessions! All student attendees at the session received a free Vera Bradley makeup bag and everyone received Vera Bradley lanyards at conference check-in.
Erin Zaranec is a senior public relations major and is PRSSA Kent's president. Contact her at email@example.com.
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