On Wednesday, LOFT — a brand owned by Ann Taylor Inc. — posted pictures of a tall, blonde catalog model in the brand’s new silk cargo pants on its Facebook Page with a click-to-buy link in the captions.
Nothing about the post was uncommon — except, perhaps, Fans’ responses. While many Fans acknowledged that the pants looked good on the model, they complained that the pants were “not universally flattering” and would “look great [only] if you’re 5′10″ and a stick like the model in the photo.” The post led several women to request — politely, of course — that LOFT show the pants on “real women.”
The next day, the fashion retailer posted pictures of its own staff posing in the cargo pants. The women — drawn from different departments of LOFT’s design, styling and marketing staff — ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″. Each styled the pants for a specific occasion, and explained why they liked the pants or why the pants worked well on their individual bodies.
As you can imagine, Fans were very pleased. “I sooooo appreciate you taking the time to ‘listen’ to our comments and show these pants on ‘real’ women,” one Fan wrote, while still acknowledging that the pants were ugly.
This is, in our opinion, a great example of a big company using social media to drive customer loyalty and satisfaction. And while many other large companies — like Comcast, Ford, Virgin Airlines, Starbucks and Best Buy — have also used social media to connect with their fans in smart, personable ways, we’ve rarely seen this level of engagement from a fashion company. It’s certainly a step in the right direction after the brand’s run-in with the FTC, social media-wise.
What do you think of LOFT’s response? Have you ever had a positive interaction with a big brand using social media? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments.