This was devastating for Gucci. Everything Victoria wore dropped dramatically in sales.
The head designer of Gucci went into their PR office and screamed: Who the hell sends free clothes to a Spice Girl?!
The staff sat frightened. Suddenly one of them raised her voice. ”Victoria Beckham buys her clothes herself, sir”, she said. ”And she seems to love Gucci”.
A damaged brand is not the end of the world
I love this story because it doesn’t end here. It goes on and teaches a lesson on how brands can be saved from going under, despite of damages and bumps in the road.
What Gucci did was to take Victoria Beckham in.
They offered her a complete makeover, gave her style advice, and they encouraged her to start her own fashion brand (so she would wear something other than their clothing). But the best part is that they didn’t leave her there.
Making sure she would succeed, they even mentored her through her start up, connected her with the right people, and probably chipped some money in.
How to recover
Today Victoria Beckham is considered to be a fashion icon and appears at the top of the best dressed lists. No one seems to remember her early fashion failure.
Gucci is also back on track with their target group.
The takeaway from this story is that it’s possible to recover even the most damaged brand.
- Carve out what you want your brand to stand for, but also what you don’t want it to be known for. Write it down in a list and keep it in a safe place.
- Seek out people who can advise you and support you to do what’s right for your brand. Don’t be afraid to ask. People love to help when they can.
- Take action. Stop doing things that are damaging for your brand. Engage more in activities that strengthens it. Check with your list now and then to be sure to keep yourself on track.
- Be persistent. It often takes a minimum of six months to establish or change the way others perceive you. Be prepared to give it time!