Calvin Klein. When I say the words what image comes to mind? Well-defined, well-proportioned bodies, whose clothes — if they are wearing any – adorn almost as skin? Perhaps a bronze patina to the photo? The focus is always on the form of the body and the beauty of the subject and setting.
Calvin Klein broke a few rules — selling jeans, then underwear, then fragrances. How can one brand do so well and stand for so many different items? The answer: Calvin Klein was more about the brand, less about the product. That’s why it transferred so easily. The marketing and advertising focus was always, always consumer-centric. The brand management was true, focused and arrow straight.
But there are plans today to add to the Klein portfolio: mattresses, gold apparel, watches, cosmetics, cologne. Did I say mattresses? It will be hard to manage the visual communications in such a way that all these products can take up clear brand space in the mind of the consumer. It will get muddled. This expanding of the portfolio will dilute Calvin Klein’s branding idea, brand, and consumer franchise. Is it a harvest play?