Fueling Newness to your brand…Lacoste paving the way

Rebranding is a risky business… A very risky one…However, it might be highly needed to sustain your presence on the red carpet of business.

Most successful companies ranging from startups to those enlisted on the Fortune 500 have had rebranding attempts. Companies might realize that they need to strengthen their perception in the eyes of their consumers and to keep up with the new heights they have reached. The current brand might not be compatible with the sought identity. A very important point to consider is the new demographic target you need to hit. When talking about the apparel industry, millennials have proven to love the athleisure segment which many glamorous brands haven’t established yet. This in addition to emergence of new competition, technological shifts or taste trends justifies and urges top brands to fuel newness…Otherwise, obsolescence is the fate. 

Accused of confusing messaging over whether it’s a fashion brand or an athletic wear brand, driven by enthusiasm to stay relevant, Lacoste started a strategy of fueling newness to its brand. Thierry Guibert who was appointed as a new CEO in the year 2015 says that “Lacoste was, some years ago, considered an old-fashioned brand, like your father wore Lacoste”. This justifies the need to be more urban, cooler and more casual to better appeal to the young guys and to the native digital citizens.

Lacoste faces a challenge of being chic enough to be desired and available enough to be accessible. Very lucrative combination to be achieved. From a critical perspective, Lacoste accessibility strategy had some flaws which raised a red flag. Lacoste was over present and more is less for a differentiated brand. This overexposure is considered a misguided attempt to be a fashion brand.

Driven by image elevation and bringing sales back to their own stores by eliminating less-expensive alternatives, Lacoste pulled out of many of its department-store doors, including Macy’s and Nordstrom locations.

To maintain its edge and to make better appeal to the new generation, Lacoste has done the following rebranding attempts:

Lacoste Joins Influencer Marketing Strategies via the legendary tennis player Novak Djokovic who is known for the values of sporting elegance, fair play and determination which he shares with the founder of Lacoste Rene’ Lacoste.

Lacoste has transacted its distinctive crocodile logo for one of 10 threatened animal species on a series of limited-edition polo shirts, designed to bring attention to the global state of biodiversity. The French brand made 1,775 polo shirts in total which corresponds to the number of individuals known to remain in the wild. This change happens for the first time in the brand’s history. The socially responsible purpose is saving our species.

Lacoste has given its buyers the chance to express their style and customize their polos with the croc, colors and initials of their choice. The customer is the playmaker.

Lacoste and Disney celebrated their milestones together. The prominent crocodile-logo-adorned tennis brand observes its 85th anniversary, while Disney celebrates the 90th anniversary of its charming Mickey and Minnie Mouse. So both brands eventually joined forces to create an anniversary collection of their own putting their iconic figures together… The result according to many fashion lovers was Pure magic!

Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag, who are a design duo and award-winning French art created a two-tone geometric alphabet to reinterpret the legendary crocodile and create pieces targeting the youth.

Lacoste announced recently that British fashion designer Louise Trotter will join the brand as its new Creative Director. This appointment marks a historic milestone for Lacoste as Louise will be the first female creative head in the brand’s history. Louise is eager about writing a new chapter in its history of the brand

Rebranding, uplifting or even reinventing your brand can be your panacea to maintain your glamour and edge. It is a very challenging task since your identity might be jeopardized. Lacoste has done it right so far with a driving force of fueling newness. Brand Manager Fred Abou Adal tells our blog that fueling newness can be through a strategy of changing the perception of an old item. He adds:

“Fueling newness is essential for any brand in order to constantly attract customers and especially Millenials. Lacoste’s winning strategy to renew the image of its iconic Polo has been through storytelling, giving this timeless item a strong heritage to the younger generations.”

When asked about Lacoste’s strategy, Haifa Najjar who is communication manager of Holdal Group, the distributor of Lacoste in Lebanon, says that targeting young consumers who look for chic uniqueness and promoting feminine styles to match “On the Go” needs was a smart positioning direction. Haifa adds:

“This also comes in line with Holdal’s vision to keep up with the market fast-moving needs and trends.”