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Sustainability &

VF Corporation
5 Executive Summary

6 Brand Analysis

Table of Contents
7-9 Competitor Analysis

10-13 Consumer Analysis

14-18 Primary Research

19 Message

20 Objectives

21-29 Strategies

30 Evaluation

31 Conclusion
The Team
Emily Ambrose
Majors: Strategic Comunications &
International and Global Studies

Meghan Huffman
Major: Strategic Comunications
Minor: Political Science

Katie Kroll
Major: Strategic Comunications
Minor: Digital Art

Cierra Seawright
Majors: Strategic Comunications &
Dance Performance
Executive Summary
VF Corporation is an environmentally and socially
responsible parent company with an emphasis on “doing
the right thing.” They combine their powerful brands and
platforms into one force for change. VF Corporation is
Made for Change.

VF Corporation’s main environmental initiatives include

carbon reduction, water conservation, and waste
management. VF employs a circular business model into
their environmental efforts. With the circular business
model, the company is able to use recycling to maximize
their efforts.

Their social initiatives focus on fair labor,

non-discrimination in the workplace, and gender
equality. VF is not only committed to making the world
a better place, they care about delivering innovative
products to their consumers and creating long-term
value for their customers and shareholders.

Our mission is to reach college students by creating

video content, leveraging VF’s most popular brands
among college students (Timberland, Vans, The North
Face, and Jansport), creating Instagram and YouTube
advertisements, establishing a presence on college
campuses (via partnerships, events, and scholarship
competitions), and supporting the communities that
inspired VF brands.

With this plan, VF Corporation will secure audience

awareness and establish its place as a leading
environmentally and socially conscious company.

Brand Analysis

Through research, we have found that

people are not aware of VF Corporation
and their sustainability efforts.

It is our mission to raise awareness of VF and

the good they are doing for our environment.

We believe that VF Corporation is an

environmentally and socially
responsible company
that strives to pick up the slack of
others in this industry.

6 To see where VF stands, we looked at the competition.

• Popular brand among Target Audience
• Main initiatives - water conservation, waste minimization and
sustainable materials
• Target audience doesn’t think of Nike as a sustainable
• Price point is high

• Circular Business Model with ReThreads program
• Community outreach program to supply clean drinking water
• Owns all production facilities
• Not popular with younger generations
• Not known for their sustainability efforts

• Circular Business Model
• A climate-positive company
• Popular amongst target audience
• Associated with fast fashion
• Unsustainable due to lack of control over factories
• Recent socially-unconscious decisions

• Employees work in safe and fair environments
• Fights for equality for women, teens, and young adults
• Focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Doesn’t resonate with target audience
• Dependence on external manufacturers
• No brand voice

Where do they stand? 7

Competitor Grid


1. Where VF Corporation is currently situated.

8 2. Where our plan can situate VF Corporation.

Currently, VF Corporation is
struggling with lower awareness
levels than their competitors.

The challenge our team faces is to raise

awareness of VF Corporation and their
sustainability efforts amongst
Generation Z.

Our mission is to use strategically placed

messages that will raise awareness
levels amongst Generation Z

In doing so, VF Corporation will be able

to stand out as a leader in sustainability
among their competitors.

In order to take advantage of this knowledge,

we set out to learn about our audience....
Our Target Audience includes
members of Generation Z, a generation
of individuals that grew up not knowing
a life without technology and the
internet. They have also grown up in a
world where environmental and social
issues are a great concern. For our plan,
we are defining Generation Z as
individuals born between 1998 and 2014.
Further, we are narrowing our target
audience to members of Generation Z
that plan on / attend a four-year college
or university.

Our target audience is extremely

present online, checking social media
as often as 100 times per day. They have
a short attention span, meaning it is
important to strategically place
campaigns in a way that will engage
and interest them.

They generally want to see authenticity

in brands, meaning they want to know
and interact with the brand behind the
camera. Our audience places an
importance on highlighting real people
in advertisements and other marketing
efforts. Further, they care about
transparency in the production process
and want to know more about where
their products come from.

10 Who are we speaking to?

While our target audience is aware
of the need for more sustainable
industries, many are not particularly
motivated to take action. These
consumers have the capacity to
promote and support sustainability,
however, many need to be inspired
to do so. Our target audience has the
tools to inform themselves about
environmental and social issues
around the world and they believe in
their power to make lasting change.

We determined that when

our target audience is made
aware of VF Corporation’s
sustainability efforts, they
will be encouraged to take
part in VF’s mission of
“doing the right thing” for
their campuses and

We wanted to further narrow our target audience and

determine what characteristics represent who our message
is aimed towards. In doing so, we were introduced to Jake
and Shelby, two people who embody different variations of
our target audience. Our messages are aimed at these
individuals and the individuals they represent.

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J a ke:

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W io u vo l
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“so b itio

Jake is a 22-year-old senior at the

University of New Hampshire,
double majoring in Political Science
and Human Service Studies. Jake is
originally from Denver, Colorado
but primarily spends his time in
New Hampshire pursuing his higher
education. At UNH, Jake is heavily
involved in the Outdoor
Adventure Club and the Debate
team. In his free time, Jake likes to
go to the gym, participate in
outdoor activities, and volunteer
at the local soup kitchen. Jake
often finds himself concerned about
the environment and the social
climate of the communities he
volunteers in.

Jake respresents members of our target audience

who are active participants in sustainability efforts
online and offline. Jake would love to participate in

12 VF-sponsored events on his campus.

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th at pir
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Wo ng” s to “li kea
tg “n eed
“ou e d”
t ion
ll- int

Shelby is a 19-year-old sophomore

at University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, majoring in
Communications. Shelby is
originally from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania but primarily spends
her time in North Carolina earning
her degree and participating in
North Carolina-based summer
activities. At UNC, Shelby is
involved in Feminist Students
United, Student Television, and
Yackety Yack Publishing. Shelby is
a morally-conscious human who
prides herself on making proactive
decisions. Shelby is always willing to
learn more and use her resources
to help others.

Shelby respresents members of our target audience

who care about sustainability, but they need that
extra push in order to participate. With our plan,
Shelby will be informed about and feel motivated to
participate in VF- sponsored events happening on
her campus. 13
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n i d
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Ja So

111 Survey

7 Focus Group

7 Experiment

What did we find?

111 responses
7 questions

Target audience:
Elon University underclassman that identify with Generation Z
values. Students outside of Elon University that identify with Generation Z values.

Students surveyed suggested…

• Nearly 50% (48.65%) of participants said they do not
think about the environmental impacts of the clothes
they buy.
• 53% of participants said they sometimes think about
the social impacts of the clothes they buy.
• The most important environmental issues to the survey
participants is global warming.

What does this mean?

1. VF should display their social contributions

2. Generation Z cares about the impacts of global warming
3. For Generation Z shoppers, knowledge of a company’s
sustainability efforts may effect their consumer decisions

Focus Group
What did Jake & Shelby tell us?

7 participants
• Social media & technology makes learning
Duration: 45 minutes about social/environmental issues easy, but
can be overwhelming
• Participants reported using online
self-education methods to find out about
environmental occurrences
• They are moderately conscious of the
environmental/social impact of products
• Would be more conscious of
environmental/social issues if companies
brought attention to them
• Companies should bring more
attention to the good they do
• Community participation is beneficial
when helping environmental/social issues
“Campaigns that are solely
• Creates a feeling of connection/reward,
online can be annoying or
as well as an increased level of
can blend in with others” optimism

What does this mean?

1. VF should display their social contributions
1. Generation Z is likely to support VF Corp’s actions if they are aware
2.2.Generation Z cares
VF Corp should about
highlight the impacts
the good of global
they do and warming
themselves as the leader
3. For Generation Z shoppers, knowledge of a company’s
Generation Z wants
3. sustainability to actively
efforts participate
may effect theirinconsumer
change decisions
4. They don’t know how to get involved

We put Jake & Shelby to the test

“White T-Shirt Experiment”

7 participants Participants were asked to act as if
they were shoppers in a store or
online. Each shopper was required to
rank shirts from most to least likely to

First, they ranked shirts based solely

on price and brand. We used the
following brands in our experiment:
The North Face, Gap, H&M, Nike, and

Then, the shoppers chose from the

same shirts, except the brand name
was removed and replaced with the
sustainability efforts of each company.
The shoppers then ranked the shirts
based solely on price and sustainabilty.

Does our target audience change their consumer

decisions when they are aware of a company’s
specific sustainability efforts?

Experiment Results

Our Message

We want to create
more awareness of
VF Corporation and of the
environmental and social
good that they do.

Our Objectives
To have 20% of target audience say they

recognize VF Corporation as the parent
company of diverse brands such as
The North Face, Vans, Timberland, and
Jansport by December 2019.

2. To have 18% of target audience say that

VF Corporation is a sustainable company
by December 2019.

To have 10% of target audience participate in

at least one VF Corporation-sponsored
environmental or socially conscious program
by December 2019.

20 We have some strategies to meet these objectives.

Online Strategy

Generation Z spends large amounts of time online;

therefore, we must catch their attention using the formats
they most often interact with. Our strategies will capture
the attention of Generation Z and will raise awareness of
VF Corporation and their sustainability efforts.

Offline Strategy

We want to physically interact with Generation Z by being

present and involved on college campuses. Events and
scholarship competitions will encourage students like
Jake and Shelby to participate in VF’s mission of “doing
the right thing.” The campuses selected for this plan have
local ties to VF Corporation and some selected VF-owned

Online Consumer
... of Generation Z learns about new
products on social media

• Marketers have about 8 seconds to

reach target audience
• Ads should have an early impact
• Content should be bite sized

... of Generation Z will opt in to an ad when

brands provide incentive for interaction

• Youtube - preference for shopping

• Influencer endorsements are more effective
than celebrity endorsements

... of Generation Z has a greater tendency to

buy a product that has a positive social or
environmental impact

• They believe that their purchasing power can

create lasting change in the fashion industry in
terms of sustainability

22 With this data, we created an online strategy.

Online Strategy
Tactic 1:
Partner with YouTube and Instagram
influencers that promote sustainability. The influencers
would participate in VF-sponsored events and discuss
their experience with VF Corporation.

Tactic 2:
Instagram advertisements-
Instagram ads will interupt our
target audience’s Instagram
feeds and draw their attention
to VF Corporation.

Tactic 3:
YouTube advertisements-
Advertisements play on
popular YouTube videos.
These ads are viewed by
many. We will target specific
videos that our target
audience is likely to watch.

Sample Video #1
YouTube advertisement

This video will be a YouTube advertisement.

This video focuses on the idea that VF’s brands are
doing their part to help the environment. This
video leverages VF’s brands and connects them to
VF Corporation. This video establishes that both VF
and its brands are “doing the right thing” by
helping the environment. This video features Jake
and Shleby to represent our target audience.

Sample Video #2
YouTube advertisement

This video will be a YouTube advertisement.

This video focuses on the people who work
behind the scenes at VF Corporation. The
video shows that those who work for VF go
above and beyond their duties and
volunteer to better their communities.

Campus Strategy
Tactic 1:
Campus partnerships- (Various colleges)
Partner with environmental and social clubs on campus
(campus influencers, sororities & fraternities, the Sierra
club, etc.) to host events on campus and in the local

Tactic 2:
Scholarship competition-
Students will submit different pieces on sustainability
(photographs, essays, short films, songs, poems, artwork,
etc.) and each category will have a winner. Each winner
will receive a scholarship.

Tactic 3:
Backpack recycling event-
As the leader in backpack manufacturing, VF Corporation
will host backpack recycling events at college campuses
that are located near its global headquarters in
Greensboro, NC. Backpacks will be donated and filled
with school supplies. The filled backpacks will be
donated to children who are not able to afford
school supplies.
Sample Video #3
Event promotion

This video will promote the VF

Backpack Recycling Event on select
college campuses. The video will
include footage from the event and
will feature student interviews.

Community Strategy

VF’s dynamic brands are tied to the roots of where they originated. This
is unique to VF and gives each brand a local flare.

Countless VF brands are active members in the betterment of the com-

munities that influenced them. We believe it is important for VF’s name
to be associated with these events.

For example, Timberland is headquartered in Stratham, New Hamp-

shire. Timberland contributes many hours to community service
around the world.

Our strategy is to partner with brands such as Timberland in order to

connect VF Corporation with their brands. These events would be
hosted at college campuses that are located near brand headquarters.

VF-sponsored events will be hosted at University of New Hampshire

(Timberland), University of California, Berkeley (Jansport, The North
Face), and University of California, Los Angeles (Vans).

Sample Video #4
Event promotion

This video will promote VF-sponsored

events on select college campuses.
Each campus will be selected due
to its proximity to where a VF brand
originated. Each event will be based
on the featured brand. This video
features a Timberland event.

Our target audience’s awareness of VF Corporation’s
sustainability efforts will be measured through
pre-and post-interviews and surveys. Our objectives
will be used to measure our plan’s success.

To have 20% of target audience say they

recognize VF Corporation as the parent
company of diverse brands such as
The North Face, Vans, etc. This will be conducted
through surveys and interviews.

To have 18% of target audience say that
VF Corporation is a sustainable company
by December 2019. This will be conducted through
surveys and interviews.

To have 10% of target audience participate in at least

3. one VF Corporation-sponsored
environmental or socially conscious program by
December 2019. This will be conducted through
surveys and interviews.

After conducting thorough research and analysis, we
have concluded that VF Corporation will greatly
benefit from using our plan to target the Jake and
Shelby’s of the world. Much like VF Corporation, these
individuals have the capacity to be socially and
environmentally responsible, determined,
ambitious, and involved. Our plan to engage
audiences both online and offline through social
media and campus involvement programs will
further Generation Z’s brand loyalty to VF. We
believe that with proper implementation, this plan
will be a success for VF Corporation.