L.L. Bean’s Brand Influence on Geography
July 17, 2015
July 17, 2015
I recently visited Acadia National Park for the first time. After hearing numerous stories from friends and relatives about its glorious natural peaks and picturesque views, I was very excited to experience the destination on my own. Little did I know I would leave with an invaluable lesson from the small island of Mount Desert Island, Maine.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival at my humble, mountain-side hotel was the local newspaper laying across the check-in desk. A story revealed that L.L. Bean had donated over $3.25 million to the organization Friends of Acadia since 2002. At this news, my jaw dropped. I was a big fan of the brand L.L. Bean already, but I had no idea it had committed this much money to a regional area in the past. I found myself wondering, why? Is Acadia National Park that important to the strength of the brand of L.L. Bean?
As we made our way further and further into downtown Bar Harbor, the presence of L.L.Bean became harder and harder to ignore. Everywhere I looked I seemed to find the L.L. Bean logo. It was on the clothes. It was on the backpacks. It was on the dogs. It was even on the very bus I rode into downtown. The next day, all throughout Acadia National Park, I continued to find signs of L.L. Bean. I couldn’t believe how strong its brand presence was in a single geographic region. I couldn’t help but begin to equate Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor to the brand of L.L. Bean itself.
Then it hit me—this investment is genius. Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor are exactly the type of brand imagery L.L.Bean wants to conjure when a consumer thinks of an outlet for outdoor apparel, equipment and advice. L.L. Bean’s integration into these two target geographic areas not only aligns with its brand origin, but also speaks to its mission and goals as a reliable, authentic brand for quality outdoor apparel and advice.
Turns out, this partnership is apparent not only in Acadia, but also online. L.L. Bean’s website features images of stunning Maine skylines, its Instagram features local pictures of not only Maine, but from all across the United States, and its Facebook is practically breeding ground for outdoor, adventure day dreams. L.L. Bean wants its customers to think of places like Acadia National Park when thinking of its products.
To me, this is the ultimate definition of public relations success. When a company is able to equate a brand to more than just a product, but also to an emotion or some kind of external motivation for the greater good, it has truly succeeded. I will now purchase L.L. Bean not only for the sake of a sports jacket or bag, but instead for the greater experience of preserving nature, history and the beauty of Acadia National Park.