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The luxury fashion market in today's day and age is highly competitive, dynamic, and unpredictable. The emergence of social media has diversified marketing and consumer behavior. Due to a lot of noise and demand for fast fashion, luxury brands rely on their heritage and authenticity to establish their appeal. Brands leverage their unique differentiation in their offerings, image, and customer relations to maintain a particular market share.
According to a 2021 survey, there are 4.9 million registered businesses in the UK alone. The stats highlight the immensely competitive business landscape and the importance of having a unique business identifier. This is where cultivating a unique brand identity comes in! This essay will cover how Coco Chanel created an authentic brand identity that stood the test of time, becoming a European fashion icon.
Coco Chanel is a heritage brand that makes it more authentic and adds to its luxurious appeal. Statista indicates the worth of Chanel at 13.2 billion US dollars. Alain and Gerard Wertheimer currently own the brand. Coco Chanel’s good brand identity helped it build a strong connection with its customers and admirer.
The Brand Identity of Coco Chanel is explained as follows.
History and Heritage
Chanel Brand Identity
Colours & Typeface
The brand's history is its founder Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's biography. She grew up in a modest household that shaped her life and minimalistic design philosophy, evident in her designs and values.
The Chanel brand originated in 1909 when Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel opened a millinery shop at 160 Boulevard Malesherbes. The brand authenticity increased as it rose above tragedies and triumphs, becoming the modern icon it is today. After First World War, Chanel opens a large dress shop at 31 Rue Cambon in a posh Parisian neighborhood. Coco Chanel was an aspiring, brilliant, and visionary businesswoman and is widely credited with reshaping fashion post world war 1.
Coco entered Paris as a teenage hat maker for the elite and soon became an icon of luxury fashion with her design philosophy, color selection, exquisite timeless style, and feminine outlook. She was self-taught in most aspects of her personal and professional prowess.
She rose in social and professional ranks quickly after the war and formulated a distinctive style that resonated in her products, from perfumes and accessories to haute couture.
Today Chanel is the vanguard of timeless fashion with signature scents and bag designs. The brand's values have been unshaken since its inception and mimic the beliefs of Coco Chanel. Chanel is an epitome of luxury and prefers to operate in the luxury market, although the brand vibes a non-elitist aura.
The brand oozes elegance in all its products, including iconic fragrances. The brand personality is bold and creative.
Quality and durability have always been the focus on canvas, allowing the brand to create a good relationship with its customers. The brand values enable it to strive for the betterment of women. The Corporate Foundation Chanel now aligns with the brand vision and mission to improve female wellbeing and education and promote independence.
The Brand Prism summarizes the values of the Chanel House
As evident by the brand prism, the brand identity of Chanel revolves around a modern woman who wants to create a name for herself by working hard and becoming a brand in herself.
The uniqueness of Chanel stems from its consistent branding fundamentals. Colour pellet to the logo, each element represents the vision and ambitions of Chanel.
The Chanel product line is diverse; however, it can be divided into three distinct parts.
Jewelry and Watches
Perfumes and Skin Care
Fashion products feature ready to wear Pret-a-porter clothing line. This line is all about everyday luxury wear. The second and most prestigious range of haute couture features elegantly custom-fit clothing for luxury-seeking, class-conscious woman. The 3rd block of the fashion range is accessories, including handbags, shoes, and glasses.
Haute Couture: Custom-fit luxury clothing
Pret-a-porter: Everyday ready-to-wear fashion
Accessories: Exclusively designed and Chanel branded shoes, handbags, and eyewear
Chanel's break-the-barrier and practical approach are eminent throughout its jewelry collection. Chanel incorporates modernism and antiquity, embracing the crux of both worlds and carving it into beautiful pieces of jewelry. The Chanel jewelry designs were considered radical in the 1920s and personified the Chanel ideology.
Chanel perfumes are iconic and encompass the 360 brand identity. The brand launched the iconic Chanel no. 5 perfume embodying the passion of a free woman.
The visual identity of the brand aligns perfectly with the brand's minimalistic yet creative design values. Chanel's logo is the face of the brand's success and one of the most diligently guarded assets by the management.
The iconic interlocking was designed by herself. Two Cs not only represent the founder's name but also highlight her challenging childhood. She took inspiration from the interlaced curves in the glass window of her orphanage. Hence, the logo represents her initials and the fantastic journey of the brand.
Simplicity is startling in the world's most iconic logos, from Apple to Coca-Cola. A simple logo is neat, rememberable, and emblematic. This is what Chanel’s logo radiate, a sense of simple yet modern, neat yet iconic, and glamorous yet graceful visual identity.
Everyone is instantly drawn to the intertwined Cs of the Chanel logo, which is profoundly imprinted in the memory. The Chanel logo consistently captures its audience's attention, a rare quality in symbols.
Designers and marketers combine the appropriate hues, typefaces, and symbols to establish relevancy. The Chanel logo captures the brand's spirit and essence and speaks to the consumer. Chanel's black and white minimalistic logo can serve as a perfect case study in logo making.
The Chanel logo is inspired and unique. The logo is timeless and embodies the company values of minimalistic modernism and creativity.
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Chanel's brand identity is key to its typeface and color pallet. The primary brand colors are black (#000000) and white (#FFFFFF). Chanel revolutionized the utility of black in fashion, making it fancy to wear to parties.
The primary and secondary color pallet carries significant meaning as described officially by the brand.
Black: The color of elegance epitomized by the little black dress. For Chanel, Black trumps all.
White: White capture the light, illuminates the face, and enhances beauty. Because it is the color of absolute transparency. Also, White reminded the founder of her precious childhood memories of her father.
Beige: The color is warm, simple, and natural. The color encompasses the spirit of the outdoors and natural complexions.
Gold: The color of luxury and eye-stopper of the brand's jewelry collection. She chose gold due to religious relics and baroque art that inspired Coco Chanel.
Red: Chanel uses Red because it's the color of life and blood.
The brand typeface is Helvetica. Helvetica may be described as impartial, pragmatic, and reasonable in design. Texts using Helvetica look more "simple," "reachable," and "obvious." Helvetica is equally popular today, although developed a century ago. A perfect timeless font for a timeless brand.
Chanel uses the psychological principle that when a thing costs more, it provides more quality. This company's readily available product line typically sells for hundreds of dollars. The brand also tends to raise its costs annually.
Women between the ages of 15 and 40 who prefer stylish accessories make up Chanel's target market. The upper middle class and the upper-class audience are Chanel's primary clientele.
Jeff Bezos once said, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
Investopedia says, "Brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual." The brand identity is how the brand presents itself, including colors, typography, trademarks, logos, graphics animations, tag lines, and audio cues. Big brands like Chanel have a fixed and distinctive brand identity from visual elements to values, missions, and goals. Every action of the brand, from product design to communication, oozes the essence of its dominant brand personality.