Aeropostale Makes Magic With Blogger Bethany Mota

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Aeropostale Makes Magic With Blogger Bethany Mota

By Jessica Binns, Apparel Contributing Editor - 05/19/2014
Bloggers are becoming an important part of many brands' marketing budgets, increasingly seen as savvy and strategic partners in authentically reaching target demographics. That's what teen retailer Aeropostale had in mind when it reached out to trendsetter Bethany Mota, the 18-year-old dimpled darling of YouTube,  with millions of faithful fans and followers across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and the social video site. 

Aeropostale's work with the effervescently girly Mota (in her brand logo, the "O" in Mota is a mashup of a heart and a peace sign) began with a section of its website dedicated to a curated selection of "Bethany's Faves." "We hosted a few meetups in our stores and saw the impact right away," says Barbara Fevelo-Hoad, senior vice president of production and technical design. "Thousands of girls came to meet her, and it seemed like a natural fit for the brand to have her design a collection."

Aeropostale says Mota herself designed the capsules, sold online and in stores, instead of simply providing input and guidance. Tasked with delivering the inaugural special collection in time for the critical holiday season,  Aeropostale turned to product development specialist YuniquePLM to enhance collaboration across multiple teams. The brand has been on the platform (with its Aero and Bethany Mota collections) for the past seven months and Ann E. Joyce, Aeropostale's senior vice president and CIO says Yunique simply possesses a deep understanding of both retail and product development — "and how to bring that into technology." 

Aeropostale worked diligently to establish a cross-functional product development team and transition members from their previous disparate processes to one fully aligned and automated process. Working on the YuniquePLM platform enabled the brand to go from concept to delivery in less than three months, and Fevelo-Hoard credits the "internal synergy" as well as the unified, centralized platform for contributing to the capsule's success, especially as pieces from the collection are manufactured in both hemispheres.

Naturally, the Bethany Mota collection is heavily promoted on social platforms and Aeropostale decided to let the blogger announce any capsule-related news on her channels first — because her tween and teen-heavy fanbase is most enthused when they hear directly from their idol, after all. Whenever Mota makes an announcement, her designated hashtag #moremota begins trending worldwide immediately, says Fevelo-Head, who notes that Aeropostale is able to "chase product very easily" when particular items suddenly spike in popularity post-tweet.

Among the bestsellers are the collection's many t-shirts, bedecked with phrases such as "is it friday yet?," "Salt Hair Don't Care," and  "The Sass Is Real!" Items that sell out can be replenished with new shipments in just two weeks.

While Aeropostale is mum on future collaborations with Mota, the company is very pleased with the success of the capsule, even using the collection to springboard into new social platforms. The brand ventured onto SnapChat in early April with Mota's new summer video.


Editor's Note: Be sure to read about all of our 2014 Top Innovators!