Lacoste is a French brand. The brand is famous for offering ready-made clothing including the best selection of clothing and perfumes for men, women, and kids, and considers different seasons and cultures for designing its products. The brand was established in 1933. It can be identified by its green crocodile logo. Today, the brand has a global reach in more than 40 countries and has more than 400 stores worldwide. It has a brand value of $2 Billion. The company offers both men and women clothing. It is one of the top brands in Europe and Asia.
This article will discuss the historical evolution of the brand, its marketing strategy, and points on which the brand has an edge over its competitors. The article will also discuss stats and facts about the company and, much more.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF LACOSTE
In 1933, René Lacoste founded La Chemise Lacoste and André Gillier, founded Lacoste. René Lacoste was a famous tennis legend. He was a top-ranked tennis player from 1925-1929. They started to produce shirts for tennis players at that time. In 1923, a famous journalist Artist Robert George published “The Alligator” as a result of a bet between a tennis player and his coach. This further came into limelight in 1927. In 1933, polo shirts were famous among tennis players, and formally in 1933, René Lacoste launched the brand.
In 1951 the brand came up with monochromatic polos followed by striped polos. The company launched Lacoste children’s collection in 1958. The company impressed its American customers by launching René Lacoste’s elegant shirt having shortened sleeves and a buttoned neckline in 1952. It kept on supporting tennis game and collaborated with the French ski team in 1968 with clay, grass, and even snow. The company also introduced perfumes and different leather goods in the 1960s.
The brand launched its international advertising campaigns in the 1970s to highlight the success story and branding strategy of the company. The company further diversified its range of products by introducing sunglasses in 1981, and tennis shoes in 1985.
LACOSTE SINCE 2000
Lacoste came up with different social responsibility initiatives in 2006. It founded “The LACOSTE Foundation” to help young people in vulnerable situations by supporting their social integration through tennis and golf practice. The company launched its first e-commerce site for the US market in 2007. In 2011, the brand launched its new line of products called “Lacoste Live” aiming to interpret modern fashion trends and tastes of the youth of the 21st century. The different range of products offered were modern shirts, hoods, socks with different varieties.
In 2017, famous tennis player Novak Djokovic became the brand ambassador of the company. The brand also collaborated with “Supreme” to release a collection of co-branded clothing in 2017, 2018, and 2019. It also opened many flagship stores in many parts of Europe and also expanded to many parts of the world.
BRANDING STRATEGY OF LACOSTE
By doing a thorough analysis, it is advised that the brand has to overcome several challenges to give a tough competition to its competitors. The brand has positioned itself by offering its products using departmental stores and using them on a large scale. This has created two problems
BRAND AMNESIA OF LACOSTE
It happens usually when the brand becomes old forgettung its core brand values. This results in decreased profitability.
This happpens when the evolution in market trends and choices takes place. This results into loss of major chunk of market share if the brand does not respond accordingly to the needs of the customers.
Over the years, the brand has lost its value due to tough competition from brands like H&M and many others.
The problem can be addressed by reducing dependence on department stores across the world to acceptable levels by studying similar trends of the competitors. Using boutiques is also a good choice. It must improve fundamentals like:
BROADEN TARGET MARKET
This means that thae brand has to refocus its product offering to only markets that has customers looking for similar products with carious income levels.
It has to reconsider its design of the products. It must ask itself what is lacking in the design of the products? What its customers are demanding?
PROBLEMS OF OVEREXPOSURE
Lacoste has some markets that it has oversold its products like Singapore. Instead, it must look for emerging economies with different income levels.
LACOSTE AND GLOBALIZATION
Many analysts argue that globalization has severely impacted its sales. Some also believe that it has not achieved the success it deserved. But, since 2015, the brand has addressed this issue. It is using aggressive but effective marketing campaigns to offer its products. The company has used its several products wisely by segmenting them into different markets. It has enabled different income level groups to take advantage of competitive prices and a new range of products of the brand. The company knows that it is facing one of the toughest competition in the market and, is now keen to use its products with a new identity.
One important aspect of the anding of Lacoste is the use of e-commerce. As discussed above, the overexposure of its products through different departmental stores and boutiques has not brought the results it hoped for. It has now moved to e-commerce besides department stores to offer its customers its different products in a quick and efficient manner.
MARKETING MIX OF LACOSTE
It offers its products by segmenting them into different income level groups. It uses the marketing mix of product, price, place, and promotion to ensure product/service innovation, marketing investment, customer experience, etc. These are further discussed below:
Most of its products are premium products. These are further expanded into perfumes, leather products like wallets and bags, sunglasses, and shoes. Lacoste shirts available for men are polos, sweatshirts, jackets, trousers, and tracksuits. For women, they have t-shirts, denim, skirts, and polos. In accessories, Lacoste sells fragrance, socks, watches, caps, sunglasses, and scarves. Leather products like bags and belts are also available.
It targets both upper and lower class of the society for pricing its products.
It uses departmental stores and boutiques to offer its products. The company has its own retail outlets in many big malls in countries where it operates. Also, it offers its products through its products with money back option and reaching its customers within 15 days.
Digital promotion channels are the highlight of the promotion and advertising campaign of the company. It uses social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and, Twitter to promote its products. This is mainly because to overcome its problems of Brand Amnesia over the years.
The company has also run impressive ad campaigns using celebrities like Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie. Novak Djokovic became the brand ambassador of the company for this purpose. Andy Roddick has also endorsed Lacoste.
Founded: 1933 by René Lacoste and André Gillier
CEO: Thierry Guibert
Headquartes: Paris, France
By addressing its issues of brand amnesia, brand overexposure in certain markets and, refocussing on its distribution strategy, Lacoste can see a healthy portfolio as compared to the current financial portfolio of the company. It can also rethink of different human traits for fashion and develop its products that are both an icon for French heritage and can become the luxury identity of the brand in the future.