Banana Republic's performance has been uneven in recent years as the brand, like siblings Gap and Old Navy, sought to distinguish itself in the crowded specialty-apparel category. But 2012 was a turning point, with same-store sales up 5%, marking the brand's best results in at least five years. Now Banana Republic, along with the rest of Gap Inc., is moving to a global brand-management structure and is trying to better leverage its marketing investment across nearly 700 stores worldwide.
The first move was to appoint Catherine Sadler, its top marketer in North America, as the global chief marketing officer, effective last month. In her new role, she's charged with establishing a singular brand voice and more-consistent brand experience around the world.
Ms. Sadler says her biggest challenge will be to create a global brand positioning that resonates with both longtime customers and those experiencing the brand for the first or second time. "Awareness may be at a different level of development," Ms. Sadler said. "We'll be unified, not uniform."