Lacoste: Finding innovation in tradition

May 27, 2018 | Benoit Beaufils

Business Challenge
At almost 85 years of age, the brand needed a refresh – a sense of clarity to power its expansion into many new categories, and to fuel an adaptation of its design to a somewhat younger audience.

Reframed as a Human Challenge
The challenge was – who do we serve? The brand comes with a beautiful history, centered around the personality of its founder – a tennis champion but also a polymath who designed everything with elegance, from the first polo shirt to airplane propellers. But it was unclear who were the buyers, and hence, what the meaning of that elegance could be to them. No clear users, no meaning, and the brand was left only with empty, repetitive, aging tennis codes.

Our AHA moment
We went to talk to the real heavy users of Lacoste, the true fans. With an astonished team, we realized they were not the slightly aging, settled notaries or doctors who needed to dress down decently in the weekend. But rather the strivers, driven everyday people who wanted to make it bigger, but in their terms. Elegance, for them, was a way to show ambition and claim their place. But the Lacoste way to it – sporty, not stuck-up, in movement, not stiff – was a way to never compromise on their own identity: a way to state they could be always at ease, always true to themselves.

For Lacoste, this changed everything. Working for them meant elegance needed to always be there, but always in motion. Making a style statement, but claiming a right to movement, to ease. Working with the team, we defined how this could guide brand communication, but also the brand’s color palette, style, quality approach, or its strategy into different categories. Ruthlessly establishing this clarity firmly established the brand into a powerful revival, and fast business growth.

What makes us proud
The work powers the growth of Lacoste today – we reconnected an iconic brand to its public. The Lacoste team realized that their target audience was different from what they expected, that many janitors and gardeners were also their brand VIPs. The common factor was ambitious people with a desire to push forward in their own way. It was beautiful to see the team embracing the human diversity within the people that make their brand.”