Lacoste Stays Close to its Roots

Lacoste at footasylum
Lacoste at footasylum

Talking to the Emirates magazine Business 24-7, Michel Lacoste says the key to the brand's success is staying true to its roots.

Crocodiles come from an ancient lineage. So much so, it's thought they have barely changed since the days of the dinosaurs. They are so robust, they've survived events that have made most other species extinct. In fact, it's been estimated that crocodiles are 200 million years old (dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago). It seems fitting then that the crocodile is the logo for Lacoste. Representing unbeatable endurance, Lacoste like the crocodile has preserved its heritage and grown bigger and stronger over the years.

Michel Lacoste Says the Croc is Boss

In a magazine interview to Business 24-7, Michel Lacoste said preserving the brand's heritage was crucial to Lacoste's success. But as well as being true to its 75 year plus history, innovation and growth are at the heart of the brand. The innovation was always done with an eye on the Lacoste heritage. As Michel Lacoste said – at Lacoste there is only one boss – the crocodile! He told the magazine: "For my father, the most important mission was to safeguard the reputation of his name and emblem, and to retain full control of what is done with it...For us, Lacoste has been all about the crocodile."

Lacoste Snaps Back

René Lacoste was Michel's father, the man behind the brand who famously adopted the crocodile as his logo when he launched his own tennis shirts. The French tennis champion was nicknamed The Crocodile by the media back in the 1930s for his tenacity on court. Now the Lacoste crocodile logo is a much-lusted after designer brand as much as a manufacturer of sportswear. Lacoste is sold in 113 countries and has a billion-dollar turnover that seems recession-proof. The crocodile brand has learned a thing or two about survival, even in harsh economic conditions, and has diversified to include sportswear, watches, designer clothes, leather goods, fragrances, glasses and even mobile phones. Underpinning each Lacoste product are the same design values of 'elegance and simplicity' that have become synonymous with the Lacoste brand. Staying faithful to the Lacoste founder, the brand has still embraced the changing world and consumer demand by diversifying its products while retaining the high quality of the crocodile brand. The Lacoste family, unlike other major designer labels, still own 65% of the Lacoste brand and carefully controls its business partners and licenses to maintain the unique quality of the brand.

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