October 8, 2012
French fashion house Chanel is introducing consumers to its brand heritage via a new microsite Inside Chanel that retraces the people and events that led up to the creation of the label.
The interactive site features two- to four-minute short films that tell events and encounters marking the life of founder Coco Chanel. Just as consumers can look to Chanel.com as a hub for products and launches, Inside-Chanel can be used for the history of the brand.
“The strategy behind this microsite is to create some accessibility of Chanel's history, but more importantly, their success throughout the years,” said Dalia Strum, president of Dalia Inc., New York.
“They are visually storytelling how the brand has withstood the test of time with their iconic timeline, video and iconic advertisements.
“This micro-site provides Chanel the ability to give insider information of all the milestones that have not only made them successful, but have kept them iconic,” she said. “This digital strategy is an door-opener to capture the essence of this luxury brand.”
Ms. Strum is not affiliated with Chanel, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Chanel declined comment.
The site was launched with the legend of iconic perfume Chanel No. 5. The videos capture the essence of the fragrance from its genesis to its muses who have embodied the perfume since it was first created.
Chanel No. 5 section
According to the site, Ms. Chanel chose the name “No. 5” because it was the fifth sample that was given to her when it was first created.
The site also details the muses of Chanel No. 5, dating back to its first advertisements. Legendary women including Suzy Parker, Jean Shrimpton, Catherine Deneuve and Carole Bouquet are featured.
There will be at least 10 themes, but Chanel is not disclosing which will be featured.
Inside Chanel microsite
The new site will not be done as a retrospective. Rather, visitors will be able to browse within the site and select the stories at their leisure.
In fact, the brand said that it did not want to tell its story according to a timeline. Rather, it wanted to be as interactive as possible, highly-creative and innovative to reflect the Chanel spirit.
Inside-Chanel is not the brand’s first microsite. In fact, Chanel seems to be introducing multiple independent sites to portray different sides of the label.
For example, Chanel released editorial-based Chanel News last year.
Chanel News is a lifestyle brand that consumers can access to see new collections, information about Karl Lagerfeld, making-of advertising features, savoir-fair and exclusive audio and video.
Also, the brand also made a microsite to complement its Little Black Jacket exhibition that came to New York this summer (see story).
Other marketers have been using microsites to allow deeper engagement or to push a specific campaign.
For example, French fashion label Christian Dior released DiorMag, an online magazine that positions the brand as an innovative storyteller, entertainer and purveyor of the height of luxury products.
DiorMag includes articles, images, current news and product galleries (see story).
Since Inside Chanel microsite has a different URL address, consumers may have difficulty finding the Chanel pages if they do not already know how to find them.
However, it certainly helps that Chanel is linking to the microsite through its main site.
Inside Chanel could have the potential to secure brand loyalists and drive transactions.
“Chanel is able to convey their successes through their visual timeline, making it more aspirational and desirable for consumers,” Ms. Strum said.
“The site is limited in regards to social aspects, most of the content is broadcasted to viewers and doesn't encourage engagement or social sharing,” she said.
“However, this site will create additional value for the brand as they increase the content provided to viewers excited to advocate and support the brand.”
Rachel Lamb, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York