A masterclass in branding at #diorcruise

Creating a strong brand narrative and identity is a real business imperative, and this week I was fortunate enough to experience what was a master class in branding at the Dior Cruise Collection in London.

There was a beautiful blend of old and new content delivery styles, from the beautiful hand drawn illustrations on the invitation,

to the digital event app filled with information about the event,

which also included the cutest custom stamps for our digital images!

The content of the app made sure we were all aware of the significance and history of the relationship that the venue Blenheim Palace had with Dior. It was the third time Dior had shown there, the first being when Christian Dior himself showing his AW collection there in 1954, and the second on the occasion of Yves Saint Laurent’s first show for Dior in 1958. Original dresses from that 1954 collection formed an exhibit on entry to the Palace as we arrived at the show, reinforcing the influence that the iconic New Look still has on today’s designs.

The Bar jacket, one of Dior’s most readily identifiable looks formed a consistent theme throughout the event.

It featured in the snow domes delivered to our hotel rooms,

and the Custom Cookies which accompanied it,

In the topiary which lined the entrance to the pre-show dinner at Scotts,

The table decorations and menu illustration,

And even as tattoos on the arms of the waiters at the one night only ‘The Lady Dior’ pub created for the press event!

The English location coincided with the opening of the new Dior boutique in New Bond St, the largest in the UK and in itself a beautiful blend of Britain and Paris.

Iconic London Black Cabs carried signature dove grey Dior livery

which was also reflected in the garden wall inside the store.

And in the uniforms of the  attendants on the Dior Express train which transported us to Blenheim Palace.

The show itself was a seamless blend of French and British style inspirations, and at its conclusion we made our way back to London for the after party which continued on the brand story –custom Dior candy from a dove grey wearing waitress anyone?

Now at first pass there may not seem to be that many correlations between high fashion and healthcare, but the top five lessons for me out of this amazing experience were as follows:

  1. Know and understand your brand identity intimately, and always stay true to its key components
  2. Don’t be afraid to introduce fresh new elements so long as they can tangibly link to the core brand identity
  3. Recognise and celebrate the history of your brand, and use elements of the past to engage with a new generation of consumers
  4. Digital and traditional tools both have their place, and if well executed create a seamless consumer experience
  5. Creating an experience that surprises and delights engages consumers in a way that product alone never can

All of these can be applied in our and any other business.  The brand and marketing budget may be a little different to that which LVMH has at its disposal, but the principles are undeniably the same.


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