Practical marketing tips from Ralph Lauren’s success.
It doesn’t hurt to dream big. That’s exactly what Ralph Lauren did in his mid-20s when he broke the traditional fashion mold by creating a men’s tie wider than what anyone was selling. He eventually started his own tie line – Polo. And that’s how it all began — with personal style and a good idea.
If you haven’t seen Very Ralph – HBO’s documentary about Ralph Lauren, tune in. It’s inspirational, upbeat and includes dozens of marketing gems. No matter how successful your brand, these simple insights are perennial:
Stop selling products and services. Start building a brand. Ralph Lauren created an irresistible brand, captivated millions of consumers with stories and photos built around the clothing. Considered one of the first true lifestyle brands, Ralph Lauren is not known for a single signature look, but rather for a stylish interpretation of the American dream. With the catchphrase “I don’t design clothes, I design dreams,” its founder was a brand storyteller before the term even existed. Today, the corporation is a global leader in apparel, accessories, home furnishings, fragrances and hospitality.
Are you selling products and services or creating a brand?
Creative inspiration, driven by research: Every project starts with consumer research, followed by a massive creative effort. Ralph Lauren knows its consumers’ habits, interests and purchase history. Research, whether formal, ongoing, managed by a third party, is about listening to the people who matter most: the consumer.
Do you listen to consumers, and take their view of the world into account when developing your marketing plans?
Details matter, so does excellence: The corporate ethos at Ralph Lauren is to pay attention to every detail – no matter how small – and constantly push to do things better. No shortcuts. “No” is not an answer, ever.
What’s your corporate ethos?
Stay relevant: As Ralph Lauren continues to grow, it also recognizes a need to speak to a new generation of customers – the youth market obsessed with street wear – a trend consultancy Bain & Company cited as crucial to the 5% global bump in luxury personal goods last year. Rather than simply overhauling marketing to capitalize on consumers’ desire for sneakers and baseball caps, the company is working to curate their wealth of brand stories around the theme of street wear.
Does your company have its pulse on future industry trends, or is it focused solely on doing what’s expected now?
Giving Back: With a commitment to philanthropy, Ralph Lauren corporate has donated more than 14,000 hours of time and talent to non-profit organizations through “Ralph Lauren Gives Back.” In FY2019, employees took part in 64 fundraising walks for life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and AIDS and volunteered with 80 organizations. There’s even a clothing line called “Pink Pony” which raises money for cancer research and awareness.
Is your company involved in a cause everyone cares about and stands behind?
We hope you find these marketing tips useful. If you’d like to hear more – or comment on this blog post – don’t hesitate to reach out.