There’s no rest for the global apparel market. To stay competitive, brands constantly innovate their designs for the next season, launch campaigns to engage a new market, evolve manufacturing practices to keep up with our changing world, and make sure customers are enjoying a memorable shopping experience.
Lippincott’s partnership with Banana Republic and its parent company, Gap Inc., spans 10 years and an array of groundbreaking projects. We have worked together to create a frictionless global design and manufacturing process, put in place a store-centric talent development model, and designed and facilitated global leadership events.
When Banana Republic needed to sharpen their competitive edge, the company partnered with us again to revitalize its brand, starting from the inside.
We helped Banana Republic develop an internal culture grounded in a clear, inspiring brand vision that employees were empowered to embody in their daily work and customer interactions.
— Jeremy Morgan, Partner, Organizational Engagement
Step one: Solve your identity crisis
We began by designing a highly collaborative and creative exercise for senior leaders to help them clarify Banana Republic’s brand vision. We asked them about their commitments as an organization and as individuals. Through rigorous questioning, probing and redefining, we came away not only with the company’s purpose but also design principles that would guide future aesthetic choices for product development.
This kind of positioning framework was a step change for Banana Republic. With refreshed emotional buy-in and a brand vernacular and toolkit in place, leaders are able to provide focus and direction for their teams. In turn, their team members have core decision filters to guide their creative process for new collections and seasons.
Step two: Create a blueprint for who you are
To further engage employees with the internal strategy behind the brand, we set out to build up a design culture that would bring it to life. We asked leaders to define their ideal state for the organization. And with this aspirational vision in mind, we conducted a rigorous audit to measure where they were succeeding, but more important, where and how far the internal environment needed to change.
Which brought us to the Banana Republic cultural blueprint. We wrote a narrative, which includes a rationale for why we shifted the company’s internal belief system, a set of organization-wide commitments and behavioral shifts. In addition, we designed a culture change road map to support this foundational document, and we identified the leadership, engagement, talent and process interventions that will drive the organization toward its ideal internal culture. We then invited the organization’s leaders to get hands-on. At our Global Leaders Summit in San Francisco, we introduced Banana Republic’s new behaviors and put them into practice through improvisation training, blog writing, mock debates on key strategic issues, and refinements to the governance model that would empower the next level of management.
Step three: Stay true to yourself
Within one year of the culture program, key engagement scores increased by a impressive 25 points. With an authentic and consistent internal culture, we helped Banana Republic reduce frictions between teams, implement global strategies and bring to market their new positioning and campaigns.