Calvin Klein highlights pros and cons of using established Facebook communities to support sub-brand repositioning

Calvin Klein highlights pros and cons of using established Facebook communities to support sub-brand repositioning

Calvin Klein’s CK One campaign shows that using a universal Facebook page to support repositioning of a sub-brand has both benefits and disadvantages. Loyal Calvin Klein fans on the established Facebook community respond positively to updates about the new activity. However, fans enthusiasm for the parent Calvin Klein brand means responses are often off-topic, as consumers treat posts about the repositioning as an opportunity to praise Calvin Klein overall.

Calvin Klein recently launched a major digital campaign to support their repositioning of the CK One fragrance as a lifestyle brand which also covers jeans and underwear. The campaign integrates offline activity and a digital hub with social media, using Facebook and Twitter to support the repositioning. Calvin Klein posts updates and polls consumers on its global Facebook page to drive awareness of the activity and encourage consumers to interact.

WaveMetrix analysis shows that Calvin Klein has mixed success in engaging Facebook fans with the repositioning. Many respond well to the brand’s posts about the campaign - the responsiveness of the community makes it easy for Calvin Klein to encourage discussion around lifestyle and CK One products. However, loyalty to the parent Calvin Klein brand means posts about CK One frequently elicit unrelated responses. Many consumers are prompted to share their “love” for Calvin Klein without acknowledging CK One, suggesting they have not fully engaged with the repositioning message.

CK One’s repositioning encourages an increase in relevant lifestyle discussion, but fails to distract some fans from the Calvin Klein parent brand:
  • Compared to posts around previous Calvin Klein campaigns, Facebook updates on the CK One repositioning successfully encourage consumers to talk about lifestyle: By asking fans to share details of their “favourite songs” and things they “secretly like”, the brand gets consumers talking about issues which align with the lifestyle-focused repositioning
  • However, even posts about the repositioning attract a high proportion of responses about the Calvin Klein brand: Although the brand’s posts focus entirely on CK One, consumers use them as a prompt to comment on Calvin Klein - suggesting global fans are not fully engaged with the campaign’s message
Consumer language is highly positive, but comments tend to be cursory and often off-topic:

  • Fans respond very positively to Calvin Klein’s updates on the CK One repositioning: They praise videos of models like Lara Stone as “good”, “sexy” and “amazing”, saying they “like” the campaign. Discussion is very positive overall, suggesting Calvin Klein has avoided the backlash which can occur when brands attempt new positioning. Some are prompted to discuss relevant products like “perfume” and “pants”, indicating that the repositioning message is understood by consumers
  • However, a significant proportion of fans comment only about Calvin Klein: Discussion tends to consist of concise exclamations, as consumers use the abbreviation “CK” to refer to the parent brand, remarking that Calvin Klein is “great” or “the best”. These responses, which ignore the context of the brand’s original posts, suggest the global fan page is not consistently successful in fostering meaningful engagement with CK One's repositioning

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