chanel brand image

The Importance of Brand Imagery; Chanel’s Success in Staying in the Subconscious for Much More Than One Instant


In the world we live in with an over abundance of digital marketing, copy cat templates, and quick schemes, it’s easy to forget the definition of image and branding. As dry as it is to rehash, the dictionary definition is “The act of giving a company a particular design or symbol in order to advertise its products or services”. Many successful companies really took off by going to colleges, airports and other travel hubs to hand out freebies. Things like mugs and stress balls were not part of the original branding strategy, but a vital part in spreading the brands image out to people’s bare hands. Another famous quote about a logo that sticks with people and is effective is “It will cost you in money but not in respectability”. There are many businesses like small rental car companies and apartments that’ve chosen to have multiple different logos; a potential mistake.

Another mistake that happens quite frequently in the current climate is making sure that all of the employees are not completely engaged, treated with dignity, and believe in the brand. There are many companies with good branding and image potential but ruin themselves by not giving employees paid vacations, not caring if they have high turnover, and just generally creating a hostile environment. What happens here is the CEO’s and the higher ups are looking for ways to improve the bottom line. But then, through internet resources like Glass Door, they slowly start to turn buyers away through bad reviews on behalf of the inside. Don’t let this happen! Simple things like recognition, casual environment, and not having every other person on the chopping block goes a long, long ways, as do environments where you may pull out the occasional video game or have a Nerf gun war.

Steve Jobs once said, “This is a very noisy world, and we’re not going to get a chance to have people remember much about us.” Elisabeth DeMaso, managing partner of Brenes Co, said about Chanel that “The effect of their Ad placement was immediate with social media buzzing about it on day one.” Most recently, they picked Brad Pitt to be their ambassador on several ads and work to cultivate a younger audience. This was a huge campaign and was prominently featured on the New York Times website. The short is very dramatic and Pitt reveals, “My luck, my fate, my fortune. Wherever I go, there you are; Chanel no. 5… inevitable”. They also used banner ads on Pandora’s IPhone application to steer customers and browsers to their smart phone website. Another move Chanel made was linking viewers to their Youtube page instead of the page where you buy right away; giving them more video content before a straight up purchase pitch.

Ernest Beax was the chemist who conjured up the fragrances for Chanel, and the owner at the time selected the fifth. Part of their branding even way back then was using a simpler, square bottle. At the time, bottles with flowers and much more curves were prevalent; it was a tactic that really worked. In a 2009 poll, Chanel No. 5 was described as “The scent for turning a date into a boyfriend”. Back in 1914, Chanel believed that Women did not want to smell like a bed of roses, and yearned for something different. Other brands that compete with Chanel in the industry have found it impossible to imitate and reproduce. Having Marilyn Monroe’s name tied in to the brand helped amazingly in the 1950’s, in a major interview she claimed it was what she wore to bed.

Ridley Scott, who did the iconic movie “Alien” directed commercials for Chanel in the 1970’s, and they were very surreal and helped the product line is many ways. But towards the end of the 1970’s, the brand really needed a makeover and they became nervous as it was even pulled from drugstores because of being perceived as too mainstream. Currently, about 25 million dollars a year is spent to advertise Chanel No.5, and Nicole Kidman helped immensely in recent years as well as Brad Pitt for movie star enticement. There are many things that Chanel did right; and with a little wisdom, strategy and proper logo design, so can others. There’s a wide world out there ready to pony up for your product!

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