The Chanel Brand

What makes Chanel irreplaceable? Why do people fall in love with the Chanel brand? Why do people trust the brand? How does the Chanel brand appeal to the senses? How does the Chanel brand want Chanel buyers to interpret its meaning and ideas? Why do people choose Chanel over any other luxury brand? How does Chanel outpace competition through its brand value? What is the source of Chanel’s brand power?


Gabriel Coco Chanel: was a woman of contrasts: Discretion & Extravegence, Hyperbole & Simplicity 

According to Paul Klee ‘One eye sees, the other feels’[1]. Feeling for  the monolithic Chanel brand is created through sensation and the ability of audiences to relate and connect to the brand values. Gabriel Coco Chanels [Coco} was pioneering within the fashion industry and essentially, She IS the brand values. Her outlook and personality form the foundation of the Chanel brand. This desire and effort to keep her at the heart of everything that Chanel does is why the brand exists. Brand parity in fashion is low and audiences understand this. On a sentimental level, this leading fashionista  stood for strength. She stood for loving whilst retaining dignity. She stood for ambition. On a clothing level,  it was the literal elegance, fine cut and precision of Chanel’s product lines { which are, of course, a reflection of Coco’s beliefs} that make people want to buy the trendsetter Chanel brand. They’re not just buying make-up….They’re buying Chanel make-up. To every Chanel buyer, Chanel has a meaning. It is a Top-Of-Mind brand.

Gabriel Coco Chanel didn’t build a brand. The brand built around her. 

‘A land of secrets, dreams and fantasies lies at the heart of a fabulous house that has never stopped beating, still pulsing to the rhythm of the future’

 Gabriel Chanel enchanted Paris and her spirit continues to enchant the globe. Through retaining specific brand mantras and standards which Coco set, The House of Chanel has dressed a century.


“ a symbol of carnal desire, an exotic forbidden flower, a motif, an ornament, an accesory, and above all, a style trademark. An emblem of women seeking to seduce…often frivolous, artificial, even shocking.“

The Camelia is an exotic forbidden flower known in asia as the japanese rose with 120 variations, which Gabriel Coco made a part of the socialite scene. It is a mode of brand connection: a tangible symbol with represents the brand identity.


                           “A woman wearing black draws attention to herself, not the dress.

Coco Chanel

              “It moves away from excessive lyricalism and unnecessary clutter. The black dress is                            discreet yet essential,                                                     minimalist yet elegant, obvious yet sophisticated.”

When a girl sets out to find love, she’ll visit different places, be convinced she’s found it for a while…until The One appears. She’ll realise her mistakes and that she had been hanging with the wrong size and fit . . . Finding the perfect little black dress follows the same set of rules. Coco set this convention and embedded it into the House of Chanel. The black dress is a constitution, a concept….not a piece of clothing.

Coco had a searching spirit, a set way of viewing the world, a dignity that was untouchable. She had ‘nothing in common with romantic heroines doomed to be martyrs to love’ and ‘more than anything valued her hard won freedom, a freedom she was to defend at every turn’.

It is the injection of Coco’s personality and emotional direction and strength which drives the brand essence.



WORD OF MOUTH: Everybody has an opinion on Chanel. From speaking to people, the most would say it is classy and stands out whilst being minimalist; the basic colours it consistently sticks to plays on the true style of elegance

PUBLICATIONS AND PROMOTIONS: The culture (such as Vogue) in which Chanel is promoted reflects its prestige and positioning in society. Chanel is a brand for socialites, for the wealthy, the aristocrats, the people who have strength embedded in their family name. It is also a fashion turn-point. Its character is romantic and feminine yet its clothes were inspired by the strength of men. It reaches its target audience through advertising Chanel society and culture in places where people who exist within the culture will reach out to be a part of the Coco Chanel legacy.


he Chanel logo design was designed in 1925 by Coco Chanel herself and remained unchanged ever since. It turned out to be one of the most recognizable symbols in the fashion world with its overlapping double ‘C’ – one facing forward and the other facing backward: standing for Coco Chanel

Designed in 1925 by Coco Chanel herself, the Chanel logo has remained unchanged ever since. It is one of the most recognizable symbols in the fashion world with its overlapping double & one facing forward and the other facing backward: standing for Coco Chanel

This symbol is an icon of elegance and is synonymous to elegance, wealth, and elitism and sets the standard for international fashion. It is very much at the centre of the brand…and the ‘Chanel Universe’.

WEBSITE A very interactive touchpoint, the website focuses on displaying a Chanel culture. 

EVANESCENT METAMORPHOSES... {an extension to the website}

plays on the ambiguity between masculine and feminine

…and represents grand scale.


Each collection has ‘outstanding pieces’, representing Coco’s legacy

The style of the website is classy with a modern edge: the perfect fusion  to keep Coco alive through her brand. The website is more of a cultural touchpoint, it creates a culture like that which Coco would have moved socially within. 

Coco Chanel : “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance”



{as a tangible asset and focused touchpoint}

When asked in 1954 what she wore on bed at night, Marilyn Monroe answered, “Five drops of Chanel N.º 5.”

…a sacrosanct, untouchable like an abstract painting, a living treasure protected from change…

…No 5 is an example of CHANEL INNOVATION that reinterpreted and shocked the perfume industry in the 1920’s, using complex formula, and has remained predominately unchanged since.

…‘aroused a sensuality that women, perhaps without realising it- had been longing for’ {Earnest Beaux – creator of No5}

Jacques Helleu, {Artistic Director} found inspiration in an image of Coco Chanel dressed in ‘white trousers and a jacket’ on her way to visit friends and based the advertising strategy on portraying this contemporary spirit to consumers in order to protect the image and style of the brand whilst updating and modernising its form. Note: the simplicity of the bottle, and its relatively unchanged form since its creation in 1921.


 ‘Lipstick is the ultimate weapon for seduction’ Coco Chanel

Coco took ‘refuge in beige becasue it is  natural and in red because it is the color of blood’, explaining why the collection is focused around nude shades of natural elegance and true red. Coco’s favorite lipstick: Infra Rouge.

‘Beuty should begin in the heart and soul, otherwise cosmetics are useless’ Coco Chanel


The reinvented Suit by Karl Lagerfield {right}Tataou in Classic Chanel SuitChanel Vogue Cover

Classic Chanel Suit on the Runway


‘Luxery lies in invisible perfection’ Coco Chanel          

The Chanel suit is timeless; a classic symbol of french elegance, its wearer must embrace it with ritualistic  reverence…


   to its charm.


Timelessness: “We introduce a new fragrance every 10 years, not every three minutes like many competitors. We don’t confuse the consumer. With Chanel, people know what to expect. And they keep coming back to us, at all ages, as they enter and leave the market’’

Sophisticated Elegance expressed consistently through every piece of brand communication

Romanticism through storytelling

Storytelling is used through brand expression marketing methods to recreate the Chanel No5 story….

{NICOLE KIDMAN moves through Luhrmanns promo movie looking gorgeous, sensual and ephemeral. just like the fragrance itself,  sensual and ephemeral. just like the fragrance itself, whose intensity and mystery are only heightened with the passage of time}





 Through holding private shows, special catalogues and special invite-only VIP events in order to retain a close following of those who remain true advocates to the House of Chanel: Coco’s style, vision and life.


“i took the chanel codes , or languages and i mixed

them up”

The legacy of the Chanel brand rests on Karl Lagerfields shoulders  and his success is governed by his ability to keep Coco’s spirit alive at the heart of the brand whilst innovating the fashion industry and keeping the brand current.

“Fashion is not respect. at times my reinventions shocked purists who thought i was destroying mademoiselles elegant simplicity…but i was not afraid” Karl Lagerfield


Coco Chanel said…. “I have very firm dictates”

Karl Lagerfield says…”Every decision is a refusal”….

Karl Lagerfield retains a spirit and view needed to really keep Chanel alive in the way Coco had envisioned….


Although Chanel was extended greatly throughout the 1990’s, with the launch of a men’s version of perfume, its first skin care line, PRÉCISION (1999) as well as a new travel collection and fabulous line of sunglasses (under a license contract with Luxottica), there still remains scope for Chanel as a master brand to extend itself into other luxury products and services. An extension into Furniture would be successful because it is clear to envision sophisticated sofas which hold within them Chanel brand values of being classy, fabulous and authentic. The brand could also be leveraged to provide a range of products (perhaps a range of hats to start with; because of course they war Coco’s first product line) in the mid-price market, in order to provide a Chanel experience to those who are not extraneously wealthy, as this would spread the Chanel Universe and promote inter-wealth connections between people. However, this would have to be a one-off product offering so as to not ruin the overall image of Chanel. Chanel Candy, sold at all Chanel counters, concessions, stores and booths would be a great success would be another idea of how to extend the brand.

Coco ChanCoco Chanel said that ‘A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous’…

A girl should be two thingsclassy and fabulous. Coco Chanel 


              ….In essence, every touchpoint displays this. Brand expression is clear consistently and the brand identity is maintained to a high standard to ensure the fashion business maintains its personality and lives in the way in which its founder would have wanted it to….

[1] alina wheeler



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