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Fashion Marketing Group 5 Tutor: Christofer Laurell
Andreas Moberg Feridun Kaya Niklas Enérus Oskar Wirfelt Sebastian Seger

the majority from its operations in France (Lacoste. innovative and global concept of their stores helping consumers indulge the Lacoste Experience alongside ensuring that the Lacoste products create a link between the brand heritage and its future (Lacoste. 2011). who argue that slow fashion is not time-based. In recent years the Lacoste brand has personified and aligned its brand strategy along innovation and reinvention. and is used regardless of the season. The company has a large product variety but is famous for its luxury clothing. performance and elegance (Lacoste. An example of this is the classic Lacoste Polo shirt. What also identifies slow fashion is the shift of focus from quantity to quality. where companies don’t generally respond to rapid fickle fashion trends. perfumes. According to Lacoste themselves. where it combines elegance and casualness. 2011).6 billion euros. and have a non-trendy self-image and thus do not possess the latest fashions. they have become a “lifestyle” brand. In doing so they have adopted new strategies such as new web-campaigns. It was developed in 1920 and is a proof of a quality-based garment that lasts through quick fickle fashion trends. 2013). footwear and most notoriously its polo shirts. Lacoste has established itself as a worldwide brand with a presence in 115 countries and the brand is commonly recognized by the company logo. Noh & Mosier. Slow fashion is a better definition. Slow or fast? The definition of fast fashion is when a company’s strategy is to create an efficient supply chain to produce fashionable goods quickly and thus respond to consumer demand (Levy & Weitz. 2008). but quality-based. However. are in line with their wardrobe. 2011). The Lacoste brand focuses its brand identity on three fundamentals: “the essential values of authenticity. 2011). The Lacoste brand actively works against these false practices to help stop the illegal trade in the retail market by using selective supply networks to ensure the Lacoste brand and products’ authenticity (Lacoste. Slow fashion consumers have been found to have continued satisfaction even after the time of purchase is made. Pine. this definition doesn’t fit with Lacoste. At the end of 2011 the brand reached revenue of 1. allowing the brand to remain in the marketplace. Despite many indications that Lacoste 1 . The Lacoste brand is not only visible in society through its customers.Lacoste Lacoste is a French retail clothing company founded in 1933 by Rene Lacoste (Lacoste. The brand-ambassadors help validate the brand image of a unique sport legacy and values of authenticity. high quality. It is precisely this that can counteract buyers´ remorse. although Lacoste's goods are in the higher price range. It is important to remember that fashion is not two-faced (Runyan. This agrees well with slow fashion consumers who receive the most benefit from buying clothes that fit well. This is well described by Howlett. 2013). the brand attains significant visibility through sponsoring major and prestigious sport events as well as possessing a generous amount of brand-ambassadors participating in a variety of sports such as tennis and golf. and based its success on the previously mentioned three essential values (Lacoste. 2013). indicating that Lacoste has loyal consumers who will come back and repurchase. a crocodile. Orakçioglu & Fletcher (2013). where clothes can be used independently of the season. performance and elegance” with two Lacoste products sold every second (Lacoste. However as the brand and its products have succeeded in the marketplace the company has become a victim of counterfeit products. 2013).

feeling etc. Orakcioglu & Fletcher. Pine. desirable and unique (Runyan et al. original. 2013). according to Lee et al. Today however. The Lacoste brand has become a symbol for relaxed elegance which in fact suggests that the brand should not be considered to be cool in the first place (Lacoste. 2013). Brand avoidance A brand can be seen as a tool where different values are communicated (de Chernatony & Dall´Olmo Riley. performance and elegance are in line with their self-image might choose not to purchase. there may also be elements of fast fashion. 2014). 1998). They also describe themselves as being innovative.. Oliver & a slow fashion brand. 2013). Experiential avoidance consumers are the ones. 1992). competence and intelligence (Howlett.. Most people are probably familiar with this shirt and its green crocodile logo on the chest meaning that it’s not especially unique. Perceptions of Lacoste Nowadays the concept of cool is most often related to youth and youth culture (Runyan et al. The company is best known for their classic polo shirts with a look that has not changed significantly since 1951 (Fashion Model Directory. but Lee. There must of course be hundreds of reasons why some choose not to purchase Lacoste garments. but haven’t been satisfied with the experience of consuming it. Identity avoidance and Moral avoidance. fit. This kind of garment is also a good example of the “preppy look” (Fashion Model Directory. This phenomenon is nothing new. Lacoste provides for other kinds of apparel as well that possibly could be considered as cool. (2009). Therefore those consumers who don’t feel that values like authenticity. A person wearing a polo shirt with the Lacoste logo will probably give a different first impression compared to if the same person should be wearing the same shirt without the logo. McCracken (1989) explain that consumers base their purchase decisions on whether the brand can reflect their self-image or not. In 1952 the Lacoste polo shirts were exported to the United States and advertised as “the status symbol of the competent sportsman” (Fashion Model Directory. Motion & Conroy (2009) categorize consumers in three different categories based on why they avoid to purchase specific kind of brands: Experiential avoidance. It is because the crocodile logo communicates luxury and elegance. The experience in this case can. sociability. take different forms like quality. 2014). that have purchased Lacoste before. 2013). authentic. whereas the term brand avoidance can be explained as the opposite of brand loyalty (Olivia. Clothing can communicate an extensive and complex array of information about a person and his or her way of dressing has been shown to convey qualities such as character. and therefore refuse to rebuy. The idea was to influence the clothing choices of the upper-class. 2 . 2013). People consuming Lacoste products are perhaps engaged in status consumption. 2014). The products are not just consumed for their utility but for the symbolic meanings the brand represents (Grotts & Widner Johnson.. than a fashion brand (Lacoste. but at the same time they are careful to point out that Lacoste is more of timeless style. which in turn portrays something about the person’s character. The cool construct is often characterized as being stylish. Whether Lacoste is considered to be a cool brand or not is not obvious. 2013). as they strive to gain status or social prestige by consuming the products. 2013). innovative. Consumers in the Identity avoidance group might avoid to purchase in accordance with the term undesired self . in our concern. Manipulation of small details in clothing gives rise to different first impressions (Howlett et al.

These accusation. image. 2008). 2001). firms lack favourable brand equity (Keller. Lacoste is actively fighting illegal trade of their goods. who argued that nothing can compensate a true. Substitutional threats In slight contradiction to the definition of Runyan. Capella & Alford. 2012). who defined fashion as a sort of class distinction (Kawamura. as they continue to struggle with the demand for cheaper products. While they are battling for customers with other similar brands such as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. Kim. This fact entails of course the reasoning of Simmel. & Yoon (2013) argues that this is a commonly occurring problem when it comes to slow fashion companies. Lacoste appeals both to hedonic and utilitarian values in the sense of promoting excellent quality combined with their above mentioned essential keys. may be a reason for Lacoste avoidance in this group. 3 . However. Lacoste has been accused for lack of environmental production (Greenpeace. this creates a huge demand as people so often want things they can’t afford. This applies pre-eminently to Lacoste as they have been struggling with counterfeit for a long time. which could have a negative impact on some consumers. He saw that fashion was a threat to the upper class as the lower classes through clothing could cross class borders in ways that before were impossible. they maintain their aim of targeting a more wealthy audience. However. while still seeking to stand for up-to-date and fashionable clothing. 2005). they are benefitting from the advantage of selling renowned and desired products. To understand how Lacoste can be understood from a consumer-based brand equity approach. the market for counterfeited Lacoste product is enormous. they will have consumers paying premium prices for it. genuine product (Kawamura. Thus. Noh and Mosier (2013) of the behaviour of cool brands. 2011). (2009) explain that those who refuse to consume due to symbolic incompatibility define the Moral avoidance group. 2001) and enhances firms marketing abilities (Faircloth. we have used the customer-based brand equity hierarchy. Instead they market themselves carefully toward the segments they are strong within. At least when equalling “cool” to a sort of counter movement against certain perceptions. 2005). Lacoste brand equity Brand equity delivers great value to products (Yoo & Donthu. cooperating with both police and custom authorities.Lee et al. The problem that arises is the premium pricing of the Lacoste products. 2011). among others. making it hard for many people to afford them. In regular human manner. As long as their products are highly fashionable and of top quality. performance and elegance (Lacoste. This aligns with the reasoning of Veblen. 2011). Another consumer group that in our concern fit in the Identity avoidance group and the Experiential avoidance group might be those who feel that Lacoste has lost its uniqueness because of a high degree of fake copies. authenticity. if brand awareness. and it is no secret that their primary audience is middle to upper class as they sell high quality goods at premium pricing (Brand Lacoste. something proven by the fact that over 8 million counterfeit units were seized in 2011 (Lacoste. Lacoste stands for something more timeless than many other brands. Choo. consumer judgment and feelings don’t coexist with the needs and wants of consumers. they do not try to alter how they are perceived. In that sense. performance.

Luxury products in other words. that are potential target markets of luxury goods. Their image is also build upon attributes like: sporty. Wiedmann et al. 1996). 2001). 2012). 2009). 2001). where companies have to decide whether they want to target 4 .. and after evaluation it seems that Lacoste’s loyal customers are looking for quality products with high performance. 2011) but in our concern also with social approval. Lacoste with its rich heritage. Lacoste may have some difficulties in the future. and with a premium price. wants and desires (Keller. 2011. 2011) and with their well-recognized and iconic crocodile logo. 2011). 2014). 2011) and over 12 500 000 likes on Facebook (Facebook. 2006). which goes well in line with Lacoste. exclusives and a premium price (Hameide. According to Lacoste (2013). both good and bad comments occurred. casual and its rich heritage (Lacoste. How brands perform is based on the intrinsic properties of the brand (Keller. The emotions that arise from experiencing a brand are based on customer feelings (Keller. Looking at different fashion blogs. This is especially important in the fashion industry. The perceptions of the brand seem however a bit ambiguous. preppy. working as an important intangible asset. good quality and sporty/stylish garments has been one of the most favourable brands on the market (Lacoste. According to Stegemann (2006) vertical brand extension strategies are particularly interesting for brand managers in order to follow the new market trends. which has been more accessible to a larger audience. The well-known logotype is probably the first thing that comes to peoples mind when they hear the company name. Recognition is important in terms of brand awareness (Aaker. Shimp & Madden (1988) states that it´s important to establish what the brand should stand for in the eyes of customers. Brand equity occurs when the previous themes are in line with needs. The willingness of consumers to rely on the brands abilities to perform is an important factor in the customer judgment process (Keller. while simultaneously reducing the bad ones. do not just aim for the most exclusive customer clientele. but remain a good part of their loyal customers who identify the brand values with their selfimages. This means that brands face the challenge of repositioning itself to attract the new luxury market. performance and elegance (Lacoste. classic design and excellent quality are two of the most important characteristics of their garments. Based on their online awareness. The loyal customers are the ones that identify their self-images with the brand values: authenticity. Since the judgment is based on personal opinions in comparison with image and performance (Kim. and mentions on Lacoste’s Facebook page. 2008). with well-known endorsers (Lacoste. but with problematic counterfeits: Lacoste have lost some of its meaning. 2013) but seems to have lost their uniqueness and desirability in our concern. Brands like Lacoste. 2001). but also the customers who sometimes can afford to buy goods from luxury producers (Yeoman. 2013). belonging and prestige. Brand extensions Today it is not only the rich in affluent societies. They gain visibility true a significant deal of sponsoring-ship to major sport events.Lacoste has global brand awareness due to its presence in 115 countries (Lacoste. with an upscale image. rich heritage and well-known logo. often delivers good quality. Dubois and Laurent (1995) argue that there has been a democratization of the luxury market. High competition from substitute brands and the high degree of counterfeits might be one of the reasons why the image of Lacoste has been degraded. The task for Lacoste is to elicit positive ones. The image of Lacoste is built upon the evoked feelings that comes when a consumer encounter the brand (Wheeler.

1990. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Volvo. as long as they stay away from altering their identity. If they want to extend to new segments and offer more feasible pricing for their goods. On one hand. premium fashion. ranging from footwear to watches and fashion jewellery (Lacoste. 1998). on the other hand.the new or casual luxury buyers. So what does this mean for Lacoste? Well. the premium brands managers are interested in upgrading strategies (Truong et al. Stegmann. Behrens. This is of course very difficult. Hennigs. As luxury goods are becoming more frequent in these segments. 2014). and herein lies the tricky part for Lacoste (Lacoste. but they can however experiment with extensions that goes beyond their main business. the brand produces a great variety of fashion products. further or new brand extensions can have little significance on altering the brand. they will struggle to maintain the premium status of their brand. as the literature suggests. Wiedmann. this is something they have already thought of. giving the brand a significant range of products. al. as brand extension and stretching can create paradoxical situations that eventually effects the main values of the company. surrounded by different type of manifestations. However. 2006). Their main target and main customer is the wealthier one. 2011). the brands need to decide how to reach them without conflicting with their current. Their reasoning brings up the need for extending brands vertically to meet new segments of the market. carrying the main brand values. meaning that premium items that used to belong to a certain audience is now more available for the rest of the consumers. Pitta and Katsanis. Klarmann & Carduck (2013) address the situation of what is often called the democratization of the luxury market . Designers play an important role. 1996). This allows them to develop the brand by altering their image and profile. 2009). Lacoste offer a wide array of products. Brand extension is a common strategy to bring new products to a market (Kim and Lavack. 1995. what is worth noting is that the products they sell are all luxury commodities that appeal to a certain audience. 2011). Instead the solution to enhance the brand may lie in trying to connect or associate the brands prominent products with individuals in either the sport or celebrity society that are front figures and relevant in their respective fields. The brand has through its years also acquired a large number of brand ambassadors promoting through different marketing communication tools. Is brand extension the way to go for Lacoste? When looking upon how Lacoste might further improve their brand. be a vital step to help the brand reach the next level in its business. it might mean utilizing its prominent name in the fashion industry to find new products to develop in order to reach new markets. However. top-of-the-line identity. Of course. What this means in practice is that they don’t want to change the way they are perceived as a brand. Altering the brand through more brand extensions could or is. Just like Simmel’s reasoning about class distinction. An example of such marketing cooperation can be seen in Volvos recent marketing strategy where the brand associates its Swedish heritage with a leading representative for Sweden. as companies can take advantage of name recognition and reputation to enter markets better and faster (Aaker and Keller. this can be associated with significant costs and risks. In the case of Lacoste. Schroeder & Salzer-Mörling (2006) explains the business model of Lacoste to consist of a steady core. In some cases having a too large product variety can be seen as a desperate measure of visibility and revenue seeking strategies consequently leading to the dilution of the brand (Roedder et.. one need to take a closer look at the current business model of the company today. Lacoste try to target people with lifestyles equal to their own 5 .. However as the brand covers major product categories in the fashion industry. luxury brand managers are interested in downgrading strategies.

Many times. As consumers increasingly link up with social media and the Internet. An example of this can be seen when the brand made major investments on the fashion industry markets in India (Dhall. fashion is a competitive and fast-growing scene that requires a lot adaptation as well as a strong self-awareness of one’s own identity in order to reach success (Hennigs et. An international perspective Nonetheless. In the case of Lacoste. 2011). 2011). Lacoste is today strongly associated with tennis. Instead we think they would benefit from finding new audiences in coherent line with their own values. From an internationalization perspective the brand is working and applying their ‘premium mind-set’ on a global scale. 2013). making the brand an internationally recognized brand. in recent years. 2011). 2007). Whether the democratization of 6 . From a firm perspective. simply relying on these achievements can be costly for a company and therefore the brand needs to stay relevant and at the same time reinforce what its brand stands for (MillwardBrown. such as Ralph Lauren and horse polo. but there are many other sports that they might extend to in order to gain new market shares. and to change the business model to target customers wanting low prices is a risky move (Kawamura. aligned its business model to seek innovative strategies to develop and reinvent the brand in the eyes of their consumers (Lacoste. In cooperation with the Lacoste Lab the Lacoste brand has the possibility to create specific products that are suitable for the specific international markets. producing relevant products and being visible in the right mediums is vital for a brand's image and strength. Similar to the Lacoste experience the development of new products and product categories the brand has the aim to create a greater public desirability for the Lacoste brand. As a result the brand can enter new markets and reach new heights of internationalization. 2005). 2009). To take further steps in the internationalization process it is vital to understand how the global market in the fashion industry works. However adopting new strategies and producing new products to each specific market can question the sustainability of the approach in a long term perspective (Runfola & Guercini. but at the cost of losing a unified brand image that the company has gained previously. sports already have a brand strongly associated with it. the Lacoste brand has. Another change the Lacoste brand has undergone in its business model is to launch a new department concept called the Lacoste Lab (Lacoste. The Lacoste brand has adopted strategies that target markets that are in the development stages. Consequently the launch of the new strategies helps the brand to stay continuously relevant in the relevant platforms for the brands strength and visibility. Here the brand strives to develop new products and accessories to help the brand with further segmentation implementations (Lacoste. 2011). 2012). the company has adopted new strategies such as new web-campaigns and innovative and global concept of their stores helping the brand image and strength thrive (Lacoste. However. launching these strategies has helped the brand communicate “the Lacoste Experience” to the consumers giving the brand possibilities to create new forms of connection amongst its consumers. Runfola & Guercini (2012) argues that a successful international expansion depends on effective and major changes to the business model to sustain rapid and profitable growth. In the case of the Lacoste brand. Lacoste established 32 new outlets targeting emerging consumer groups. A study from MillwardBrown (2009) suggests that well-known brands with loyal buyers are the brands that hold the best positions on the market. as described earlier Lacoste has a presence in 115 countries across the world. However. al.identity.

thus creating new segments of welfare one thing is certain. 7 . as the global economy rises. Lacoste will have great possibilities to stay in will work in the favour for Lacoste remain to be seen. However.

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