Cacharel Parfums Brand Case Study

3 March 2017

Brand is the name of firm, products, services, and above all, it is coherent with the firm’s image from customers’ perception. Those physical appearances and intangible values of a brand constitute brand identity, which is the first thing that customers recognise the firm. In result, brand management aims to build a bright reputation in customers’ mind that brings brand identity to a critical role in marketing projects. In commercial history, we have seen many famous brands fall in the market which has been affected significantly due to apply inappropriately perception of brand identity.

Therefore, this paper is going to decode issues of the brand identity in the case study Cacharel – Parfums Cacharel de L’Oreal (2007, Insead). Cacharel had the two biggest selling products in the Europian market in 1980s- Anais Anais and Loulou. Unfortunately, since 1988 Cacharel faced a down turn, even with the launch of a new brand Eden in 1994. So what is the real cause of that crisis? The critical question challenged the new board director of Cacharel – Katsachnias and his team. His intuition told the basic problem was mistakes in branding.

Consequently, he questioned some crucial facets related to the Cacharel’s brand during her history. In the next paragraphs, we will find out answers about Cacharel‘s brand identity, and how far they contributed to the succeed as well as failure of Cacharel. 1. What is Cacharel’s brand identity? What are its conceptual and tangible components? Can it be summarized in less than five words? According to Temporal (2002), brand identity is the total promises that a company makes to consumers. It may include of traits and attributes and values that the brand has.

Customers can recognise a brand identity by outward expression: name, trademarks, communications and visual appearance. In another word, brand identity reflects what and how the company wants customers perceive the brand. Description of the brand Use of images : Source of identity Figure 1: Identity and three layers of a brand (Source: Kapferer, chapter 11, p291) Figure 1 illustrates how components constitute a brand. It consists of brand style (visible components) and intangible elements in which identity is essentially made from the brand kernel.

Based on that theory, the first perfume of Cacharel- Anais Anais, was launched in 1987, perceived as a luxury brand but affordable for young women consumers. In addition, it was tender but sexy and prestigious but innovation (2007, Insead). That conceptual component of Cacharel’s brand identity was maintained mainly in Loulou, launched in1987. Moreover, Loulou was a symbol of a real woman, “more aware of her seductive power” (2007, Insead). Launching Loulou was a continuous evolution of the brand to adapt the growing market over time, while still keeping the brand identity (Kapferer, chapter 11).

Thus, Loulou’s launching did not blur the image of Anais Anais in the customers’ minds. The visual appearance of Cacharel’s logo (shape, colour, graphic), the familiar young woman’s image on their products package, TV advertisement are the tangible components of brand identity. In summary, the Cacharel’s brand identity can be described as an image of a “young, tender, luxurious, romantic woman”. From this basic concept of brand identity, we will discuss the identity of umbrella brand and sub-brand in the next question. 2.

Does the Cacharel umbrella brand itself have an identity beyond that of its sub-brands? Which sub-brands are mostly responsible for creating Cacharel’s identity? Cacharel fragrance brand was acquired by the L’Oreal group in 1975 (Insead, 2007). L’Oreal is known as a house of diverse corporate and umbrella brands, namely just a few: L’Oreal Paris, Lancome, Cacharel, Giogio Armani, Ralph Lauren and many others. Each of these umbrella brands has below it numerous products brands and line brands. They constitute so-called a multi-brand matrix (Marketing Mastermind, 2008).

Cacharel umbrella brand belongs to the Luxury Products Division, one of three divisions of the L’Oreal group, which offers up-market premium products to consumers. Every umbrella brand has established distinct identity, image to focus on different target market, in turn; the Cacharel umbrella itself is perceived as an encompassing combination of prestige, femininity, charm and romanticism. (Kepferer, chapter 11, p292). As a result, Anais Anais was the most responsible for creating Cacharel’s identity by its extraordinary succeed.

In the shoes of Katsachnias, we have been encoding the Cacharel brand identity in some extends, whether it helps to revitalize the brand at its crisis? We continuously perceive this insight in the next question. Figure 2: Designing your brand identity (Source: www. daniellemacinnis. com/marketing/brand-identity) 3. What is the root source of Cacharel’s maturity crisis, and how can understanding the brand’s identity help? Firstly, the arrival of one American competitor- Calvin Klein in 1994 was a dazed punch to the declining market share of Cacharel.

The CK’s advertisement had touched to the heart of young consumers in a chaotic changing of social and political certainties (Insead, 2007). They did focus on consumer trends meanwhile Cacharel had missed and shaped customers preferences by themself. Doug Holt (2003), in his work “How Brands become icons” he said that the most successful brands use myths to address deep national conflicts that reside within the individual‘s psychology, then those consumers use brands to heal their conflicts. Those brands empathically understand of people’s most acute desires and anxieties.

Secondly, Cacharel made mistakes by inconsistent brand identity for new product launches, particularly with Eden. With the connotations of eroticism targeting on both gender, Eden had stepped out the boundary of Cacharel’s brand identity, while young consumers had still continued to buy Anais Anais, as its coherence was set a girl quite innocent, tender with floral fragrance. Kapferer (chapter 11, p271) he states that the identity of the brand is its kernel, the attributes that are necessary for the brand to remain itself, once they change will be hampered.

Figure 3: Logo evolution of Cocacola (source: www. boredpanda. com) As we can see on the figure 1, Cocacola’s logo has changed over time, but they (firm’s owners) were extremely carefully to maintain their visual identity (shape, colour, and name). The aim is to avoid damaging the brand identity. Katsachnias had found that setting out Cacharel brand identity help clarify the root source for the two issues; firstly, Anais Anais still consumed by young customers even in the crisis period of Cacharel, and secondly, the declining of the new product Eden.

He felt that the brand revitalization should begin by comparing how much overlap between brand identity and brand image. Figure 4: . Source: http://www. brainmates. com. au/ In other words, he looked for what customers see and think about what Cacharel wanted them to. So what did he chose to do among many solutions of Cacharel‘s brand revitalization? The last question is going to discuss on which chosen approach. 4. Should Kataschnias bring the Cacharel brand closer to where the market is now?

Should he focus on meeting the desires of today’s consumers or on remaining faithful to the brand’s original identity? Kataschnias believed that introspection the brand is the crucial step after founding the main cause of Cacharel‘s decline. Consequently, his approach was focusing on the past rather than on the future or about the customers’ desires. Moreover, he moved promotion costs to media advertisement to help raise awareness of target consumers on the brand identity. This adjustment was also to recorrect the marketing mix, bring the Cacharel brand closer its one-time position.

By realised the critical mission of brand identity and its tangible elements, he went ahead with the re-launch of Anais Anais, then the new fragrance Nemo for men and the immensely successful Noa for women (Insead, 2001). The Cacharel‘s ill was a typical case of brand management. Intuitively, Kataschnias had pointed out the turmoil by internal brand identity audits instead of external surveys in consumer trends. Noa Gold Cacharel Perfume Nemo by Cacharel for Men CONCLUSION In summary, case study Cacharel imprints an explicit notion of brand identity in the aspect of brand management.

Brand identity is the meaning and expression of the brand which it wants to present to their customers. Although brands have to make evolution through time to adapt with customers’ perception and markets, but the brand identity should be insistent with the original values and conceptual kernels. For customers, their perception of the brand is accumulated through the coherence of their repeated experiences over time (Kapferer, p280). Therefore, even brand changes sometimes to surprise customers, but brand identity has to set a boundary.

Anais Anais and Loulou are the two one-time best-selling of Cacharel as they followed the basic coherence and insistence of brand identity. Advertisements of Anais Anais or Loulou featured a slip of a young, innocent girl in a classic 20’s bob haircut, or in a dark stretch dress- so Parisian at the time (Shrine P, 2011). That is the myth which Cacharel had built in the consumers’mind. However, Eden had flopped because of losing the most basic brand identity of Cacharel which created and deeply imprinted in consumers’ minds since launching of Anais Anais.

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