We live in a day & age where producing a strong product is just one element of being a successful brand. As consumers are bombarded from every angle by merchandise and new companies and fads, there is a shift from just having the best value product (i.e. the fast fashion boom) to having a story to tell.
I have had the pleasure of working for brands with incredible stories on top of products to be proud to represent. Bulova Watches has a heritage that goes deep into the DNA of United States history. Third Piece is a female-led knitwear brand that works to empower makers in the Boston community. Forevermark not only produces the most beautiful diamonds you will ever see, they also work tirelessly to support responsible sourcing and the communities in which they mine. Which means I have an especially close bond with the notion of giving back to the world around us.
Increasingly, brands are getting on board with knowing that it's not just enough to stand for a good product, but that they must stand for something greater at the same time. But this is a tricky initiative at best. It's a fine line between doing something good for the sake of doing it & doing something good that the brand can truly embody. It is hard to be successful in looking beyond yourself as a brand. So when someone gets it right, it deserves attention.
Enter Lacoste and their recent Save Our Species initiative! Supporting wildlife conservation, Lacoste effortlessly created a product that not only supported their aesthetic, but also made a strong statement in a simple, effective way. Known for their polos which sport the iconic crocodile, the brand chose 10 endangered species to put in place of their regular spokes-animal. It's a soft touch approach, simply changing the green animal on a white polo, but creates maximum impact.
These limited-edition polos have found themselves in such high demand that Lacoste has had to announce that they released reserved stock that had been kept for internal use. This campaign is all about the simple details.
- Each of the species chosen has their own detailed paragraph on the Save Our Species landing page, growing an greater awareness and empowering the consumer to tell a specific story.
- Of the 10 species chosen, there is a number to represent those animals still in the wild today. And the number of polos created for each species reflects that specific number.
- The marketing efforts are clean, simple & impactful. Green on white, allowing the product to tell the story (which is a feat in itself).
- Even the packaging continues to tell the message, with the polos arriving in a custom box that outlines all the represented endangered species inside.
Will I be running out to buy one of these polos? No, I won't. Partly because I don't wear polos and partly because I'm not comfortable spending $185 on a shirt (again, that I know I won't wear). But will I have a changed perception of Lacoste? Oh hell yes. This is a functional activity for the brand but it is a stunning show of brand awareness. Well done, team.
(Image & video c/o Lacoste)