Chanel is a brand with strong heritage due to its iconic founder, Coco Chanel. However, it is also a forward-looking brand aiming to attract a younger audience. Chanel targets classy, independent, free-spirited members of the elite. Gabrielle Chanel herself, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deneuve were some of the iconic figures associated with Chanel… Today Twilight star, Kristen Stewart, is one of the faces of Chanel.
I guess the real question is: will this actually appeal to Chanel’s target group of young customers, and what do the older loyal customers of the brand have to say about this? Is Chanel playing with fire?
One of the distinctive features of Chanel is that it is a leader in content marketing. It aims to educate customers about the brand history, the artistic life of Coco Chanel, and the brand’s values. If you are interested just click on “INSIDE CHANEL” on Chanel’s official website, it’s a must read, trust me.
Having said this, it is important to think about what the best way to grab the attention of the younger audience is.
Nowadays, Chanel is targeting the classy, independent, free-spirited, YOUNG members of the elite. Being the influential force that it is, it is possible that the brand wants to transfer Coco Chanel’s qualities to its models and its target audience. Chanel’s recent Spring/Summer 2015 campaign emulates rebellious femininity in the form of a street riot. The models are confident, bright, stylish and feminine…does this remind you of someone? Maybe Coco Chanel, herself? The brand still revolves around her and her legacy, with the campaign featuring slogans such as “Tweed is still better than a Tweet”.
So, what is modern celebrities’ role as brand ambassadors? Would we really associate Chanel with Kristen Steward, or would we bring back to life the founding brand ambassadors like Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Deneuve? I believe that having present-day celebrities as brand ambassadors is not necessarily key to targeting the youth. We, young people, often find the past fascinating and appreciate the brand for its legacy. That is exactly the reason why Karl Lagerfeld’s short movie about Chanel, “Once Upon A Time”, became so popular. It tells the story of Gabrielle Chanel and the foundations of Chanel’s iconic style. Keira Knightley, the epitome of class today, plays Coco.
So, Chanel, we love you because you are “so Chanel”.