A Bathing Ape aka BAPE is a Japanese Streetwear fashion brand created and managed by fashion designer and music producer Nigo in 1993. The brand sells in their 19 stores, streetwear clothes for men, women, and children as well as lifestyle accessories. The brand logo is an ape that represents the focus of the brand, which is young people who lead complacent and privileged lives.
Their website role is transactional because BAPE provides some products for customers to purchase online and it can also be a brand-building site since not all products are available to purchase online. Additionally, the website provides a full experience to the customer through lookbooks, which gives the brand support and awareness.
Compared to BAPEs competitors websites such as Supreme and Palace, two skateboarding clothing brands. BAPE website is very organized and catchy throughout the website, especially with its use of ape logos and patterns in different colours. On the top, you can find either news, lookbooks, store list and the webstore. On the top right corner, there is the option to change currencies meanwhile in their competitor’s websites it can be difficult to find. Also, they make it simple for the buyer to segment their purchases depending on the type, category, and price of the clothes. Neither Supreme or Palace websites have that option which can result in longer purchase process since the customer has to click on every item to check the size availability. It is highly recommended for them to offer the category-specific sorting for all products depending on the size and stock availability.
One thing in common the three brands have is that when the buyer is looking for the item, all the pictures are just portraits of the item itself but there is not a picture of someone actually wearing it. By doing this it could convince and attract more people to purchase online as you can tell and imagine how a specific item will look on you. However, they all still have the lookbook option where you can find all the photoshoots with models and celebrities wearing all their clothing, thus, it makes all the shopping process longer and the majority of the people would not have always the time to go through the lookbook option.
The brand uses a mix of demographic, geographic and psychographic segmentation strategies including people all around the world, but, mostly people living in urban highly populated areas with a high art culture as Tokyo, Shanghai and New York. Mostly the brand targets high income, upper middle class Asian and American from kids to elder men/women who are interested in streetwear fashion or follow the streetwear social group. Constant BAPE buyers are segmented in a member’s only group system called BAPE Mania, optimizing their experience by rewarding them with points for every purchase they make and also there are some products only available for those members. The behaviour and psychographics of their customers are mostly related to exclusive people who do not like wearing what everyone else is as they consider streetwear an art movement. Therefore, BAPE doesn’t produce large quantities, consequently, people resell items at a high price in the secondary market.
It is important to emphasize that these brands target almost the same customers but BAPE is inspired by Japanese lifestyle and culture (Hip-Hop) meanwhile Supreme is inspired by the European one (skateboarding) regardless it is an American brand, similar to Palace which is a more culture-oriented brand. Ultimately, the personal, cultural trend preference of the customer it is very important when customers are picking a product.
In conclusion, this website is very unique and captivating because of all the colours and graphics they use which generate emotion and empathy. It is also clear that BAPE knows how to segment their market in order to keep being exclusive and boosting their social media through lookbooks and exclusive luxurious style for the youth. It is important to keep up to date with the trend and changes not only clothing wise but media and how the website is created in order to attract and maintain clients. Ideally, meet the customer needs.
Here are some Personas of Bape:
And their Customer journeys: