Lacoste: Repositioning the brand image.

Essay by teleccopit February 2006

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Lacoste: History and Brand Identity

Created in 1930 by Rene Lacoste, a tennis player, the first knit wear short sleeved shirt has appeared in 1933. During the 18 first years of existence, the brand won't extend his product line so much. For instance, the polo shirt will be distributed in a unique colour, the white.

In 1951, Lacoste decided to launch three new colours: sky-blue, navy and red. This revolution underlines the first steps of the brand out of tennis courts, and premises of its diversification's strategy. And although the polo shirt and its little crocodile remained the ambassador product, Lacoste was surfing on several universes, including club, sportswear and sport.

Today, the brand comprises eight product families: clothes (65% of turnover), perfumes, shoes, glasses, watches, belts, house clothes and bags.

If we had to retrace simply the whole diversification of the brand, we could give some key dates as following.

Actually, they represent the brand emancipation:

1936-1939: Progressive and selective development of high quality shirts (priority to quality aspect)

1946: Apparition of a colours' line for the knitwear shirt in cotton.

1959: First collection for children.

1960: Launching of shorts and striped polo shirts.

1966: Creation of a tracksuits' line.

1968: Launching of the first Lacoste perfume.

1981: Launching of the first sport bags.

1988: Launching of glasses.

1989: Creation of tennis shoes.

1993: Licence agreement for the conception and production of a watches' line.

1995: Launching of the women collection.

2003: Launching of the brand in leather goods.

As an explanation of this expansion strategy from the 50's, we can carry out two main values for the brand. The traditional value (the first white shirt as a brand emblem) followed by the innovation value (many products under a corporate brand) show us how the company wants to...