Coach Inc has started its rebrand and will now be known as “Tapestry”, an action that has stunned the worlds of both fashion and branding. The move was prompted by Coach’s acquisition of two disparate brands over the past 36 months. Since acquiring Stuart Weitzman in 2015 for approximately $574 million, and Kate Spade in 2016 for $2.4 Billion, Tapestry will focus its branding initiatives on inclusiveness, aiming to appeal to anyone interested in upscale fashion, be their tastes, diverse, traditional, or edgy. This would essentially combine the audiences of Coach, Weitzman, and Kate Spade to form one luxury fashion powerhouse.
After delivering harsh criticism on Social Media, however, the brand’s loyal customers have not seemed impressed. Coach Inc. has been an icon over the past 74 years, so it might take time to persuade loyal customers as to the benefits of this major change. As for the choice of the new name, CEO Victor Luis said Coach needed a name that “wasn’t too corporate-y or made up, that was easy for everyone to understand.”
So what does this mean?
It’s likely that Coach Inc.’s decision to change direction is a result of them wanting to consolidate their recently acquired brands. This way the new brand will evolve into a super fashion line that can appeal to a larger audience, and vanquish former competitors. Shifting from a brand known for its snob appeal could be a proactive approach (it could also explain some of the resistance from brand loyalists), similar to Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign. With their new inclusive nature, Tapestry might be branding themselves as the Hand-Crafted brand for everyone, meaning the branding would focus on quality, rather than the luxury previously associated with the name. They want their brand to have a broader reach, to connect with more people, and to be seen as more of a necessity, than a lifestyle brand.
Many see this rebrand as risky and unnecessary after considering the power and influence of their three existing brands. Though with a larger market, the opportunity and benefits could be well worth taking this risk and lead to market domination.
The idea of being inclusive can lead to a very receptive response from their new, larger audience. Two things need to be executes properly for this to work.
1. The quality of Tapestry’s products must meet the branding and reflect the ‘hand-made’ feel.
2. Tapestry’s in-store culture must reflect their idea of inclusion, which will encourage customer loyalty.
So what do you think about Coach Inc’s decision to rebrand? Do you agree or disagree? Please leave your comments below!
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