The history of luxury fashion branding ‘What is in a name?

That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.’ William Shakespeare, English playwright (1564–1616) In the quote above, legendary English playwright William Shakespeare raised an age-old question, ‘What is in a name?’ In the luxury fashion branding scene, the ‘name’, in other words the ‘brand name’, is everything. This is because it is the ‘brand name’ and the ‘brand logo’ that attracts consumers to a brand and launches the often enduring relationship between them and their chosen luxury brand.

Shakespeare indicated that if a rose were to be known by another name, it would still smell as sweet. Does the same principle apply to the luxury fashion sector? Would brands like Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani have the same associative elements and success if the names of their founders were different? The answers to these questions will become clear as we take a trip down the history lane to the origins of branding and the evolution of the global luxury fashion sector.

Branding evolution The notion of branding as part of ancient trading can be traced to the Greek and Roman empires, before the modern industrial revolution. During this period, market awareness was created through carving out shop route signs and product descriptions, in stone along footpaths. This method progressed on to the early sixteenth century when whisky distillers began to ship their products in wooden barrels with the name of the producer burned into them.

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The sole purpose of this method was to differentiate the maker of each type of whisky from his competitors and to aid consumers in identifying the original products from cheaper substitutes. 13 Branding can also be traced back to pre-historic times when cattle-rearing men imprinted their names or a distinctive mark on their livestock to differentiate one farmer’s livestock from the others.

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This system was also used to separate the good quality cattle from the low quality ones, and helped consumers to make better purchasing decisions by associating certain attributes to certain cattle farmers. These elementary methods indicate that early traders understood the underlying principles of branding even without exposure to sophisticated business techniques.Read more about Tamilmv

Branding, as we know it today, has advanced from crude methods of differentiation to a refined and indispensable business concept for any enterprise that desires long-term benefits. It plays a key role as the most important intangible asset generator for an organization. The luxury fashion sector in particular recognizes the crucial role of branding and therefore applies branding as a core competence and central factor of all business strategies.

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