Dolce & Gabbana on brand

26 Oct 2004|Christoper Ireland

What have you learned from Dolce and Gabbana lately? If your first response to that question was “who?”, then you might want to stop now. On the other hand, if you’re intrigued to learn why Cheskin pays attention to haute couture designers, read on to hear what these boys have to say about modern consumers.

This top-tier design duo, profiled in In Style magazine this month, points out that “People are more aware of having control over their lives. [For example,] People want to eat well, but in a smarter way; go to the gym, but not get sidetracked into becoming too muscled.…”

They add details that are “spot on” in taking the pulse of the population, explaining this phenomena has happened because “once you have access to magazines, TV and the internet, you can know everything in minutes—the best designer in America, the hottest restaurant in LA….The result is that all the world craves the same thing at the moment.” Whoa—now that’s a thought. Let’s start by saying that “the world” probably only refers to most of Europe, North America and parts of Asia, but nevertheless, that’s a large chunk of the planet.

As if this wasn’t enough insight to get your respect, they continue with this smash hit: “All of this information has made it easier to live life with an open heart and an open eye.” By this they mean that people are more confident choosing widely desired objects, but integrating them into their lives in novel ways. They are not sheep following the latest trend, but rather artists creating their own mosaic from popular pieces. Brand may be important, but only in a supporting role, never a dominating one.

From our point of view, these are extraordinarily important issues to consider if your success depends on people trading their money for your goods or services. What’s the implication of us all wanting the same thing at the same time? And how is that integrated with the desire to create personal relevance from these things? While you’re probably not a fashion designer and you probably don’t obsess over this season’s hottest look, you should care about people’s evolving relationship to information and how it affects your brand. If we’re all living in a Google world where the “best” is a few clicks away and the goals is to create something new with it, what’s the role of traditional advertising? What’s the role of price promotion? What’s the role of celebrity endorsements? And of course, what’s the role of brand?

I think I need to ask Dolce & Gabbana in person.

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