While we’re still not convinced this wasn’t some weary social media manager’s elaborate ploy, LL Bean signing off from socials for the entire month of May — its “off the grid” initiative to encourage stepping outside for Mental Health Awareness Month — appears to have been a great move.
In May, LL Bean’s Instagram impressions were actually up 95% YoY. One LinkedIn post from LL Bean’s chairman garnered millions of views, per Marketing Dive.
- It’s far from LL Bean’s first offbeat marketing tactic. Last year, its Bootmobile drove 5k+ miles and garnered 65k in-person customer interactions.
This all seems to be working in the company’s favor, with revenue reaching $1.8B in 2022, its second-best year on record.
LL Bean isn’t the only outdoor apparel retailer going against the grain of standard marketing and business strategy — and reaping the benefits.
- REI’s Black Friday counter-programming is an annual hit, part of the co-op’s record 2022, when it hit $3.85B in sales.
- Patagonia’s owners made a PR splash when they gave their $3B stake to a nonprofit designed to ensure the retailer’s ~$100m of annual profit is used to benefit the earth.
BTW: We were today years old when we learned: A) LL Bean was founded by Leon Leonwood Bean in 1912, B) The company’s flagship store in Maine is open 24/7, and C) The company sold eight pairs of its top-selling slippers per minute during the holidays.