gap

Remember back in 2010 when the Gap tried to swap out its classic logo for something new and the social world launched into massive, angry protest?

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Breathe easy there, spirited Internet users; this is not one of those situations. While the classic logo remains untouched, the outfitter known for its basic tees and jeans has undergone a bit of a catalog revamp.

In mid-February the Gap launched Styld.by, a campaign that puts their Spring catalog in the hands of influential fashion bloggers from around the web.

Who cares about bloggers?

Statistics from Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogosphere Report show that consumers trust traditional media 46% less than they did five years ago. 35% believe blogs are taken more seriously as sources of information, and 19% believe blogs are written better than traditional media sources.

Does everyone flock to the blogosphere for fashion advice? Maybe not, but fashion bloggers with a small following and similar tastes are growing more and more appealing and because they are easier to identify with than fashion magazines or celebrity icons.

If that warm and fuzzy feeling isn’t doesn’t demonstrate the powerful influence of fashion bloggers, the raw numbers do. Below is a rough look at average monthly traffic for the 6 partner blogs that the Gap selected for Styld.by.

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Styld.by campaign

The Styld.by campaign is a collaboration between the Gap and six of the Internet’s most popular fashion bloggers: Refinery29, WhoWhatWear, FabSugar, Lookbook, Rue and MOG. branding, gap

Each partner styled looks using items from the Gap’s Spring 2012 line as the basics, which they then complemented with items from other brands. The philosophy here is that normal people don’t dress head-to-toe in one brand, so why not be realistic and create eclectic outfits generated from different stores, eras and price ranges?

Most of the looks feature only one or two items from the Gap, and links to these items are featured within the same catalog page with a “Shop Now” link that takes you right to the item you’re looking for.

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Looks are sorted according to blogger on the Styld.by website. Each look has a hub of share buttons that allow users to directly share the looks they like via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon or Pinterest.

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The looks also live on each of the partners’ sites in the form of a small ad and a full post on the catalogue shoot, with a quick, personalized blurb about the blogger’s Styld.by experience. Posts and ads all link back to the Styld.by site. Below is a screenshot of a post about Stlyd.by on designlovefest.com.

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Success Metrics

As of March 6, 2012:

Facebook

  • 975 people like the Styl.dby photo album on Facebook
  • 100+ people like each of the photos within the Styld.by album
  • 82 Styld.by album shares

Pinterest

  • 5147 follow the Gap’s Styld.by board on Pinterest
  • 500+ combined repins of the 26 pieces of content on the board

Twitter

  • #styld.by hashtag used over 75 times in the past week

Instagram

  • 22 photos tagged #styldby

The clicks and engagement are certainly discoverable, but we don’t have access to the sales metrics that tell us whether or not blogger partnerships actually drive sales for the Gap. And we’re a long way away from evaluating the long tail of these developments to see overall impact across the brand.

But with or without them, the Gap is forging positive connections with consumers by using the bloggers that consumers know and trust as a channel. Through social sharing and blogger promotion, Styld.by campaign is attracting clicks and positive attention to people who otherwise might not have even noticed the Gap’s Spring 2012 line. And while we can’t evaluate financial success at this early stage, we can say it’s a good step for digital marketers searching for engagement that leads to ROI.

What do you make of the Gap’s Styld.by campaign? Share your thought with us on Twitter.