Not exaggerating, but this has been the most exciting topic for me to write about. You see, I have binged watched a lot of chick flick dramas – the likes of Gossip Girls, SATC, Emily in Paris, Devil Wears Prada, you get the gist! So much so that walking into a wardrobe filled with Dior shoes and dresses is one of my goals to achieve (again, not exaggerating!)
Given that I have watched the above-listed shows way too many times, the idea of a comforting afternoon would be spent flipping through the pages of Vogue or Vanity Fair! And that’s precisely how I first learned about the iconic Dior!
So if you are a fellow chick-flick admirer and have watched too many people strutting around with Dior bags, this article on Dior Marketing Strategy is just for you!
Dior Marketing Strategy Explained
The city is Paris, and the year is 1947, just after the end of World War II. Christian Dior launched his Spring-Summer collection of 90 models on six mannequins. The two lines were named “Corolle” and “Huit .” However, the legend says that Carmel Snow, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, exclaimed to Christian backstage – “It’s quite a revolution, dear Christian! Your dresses have such a new look!” And that’s how the debut collection came to be known as “New Look.”
The debut collection is acclaimed for reviving the fashion industry of France and for the revolutionary styles that it featured – structured silhouettes, cinched waists, and shorter, billowy skirts that were polar to the boxy, utilitarian styles of clothing that had been popular during World War II.
For more than 75 years, Dior has been redefining luxury into what we know today. After launching its first store in upstate New York, Christian realized the need to bring a whole new experience to continue the New Look. That’s when he licensed the name Dior for accessories and forayed into different fashion categories.
Dior’s World of Luxury Fashion
Fashion Apparel: Since the triumph of its debut collection – New Look, Dior has been setting the benchmark in high-end fashion with its ready-to-wear style and haute couture in both men’s and women’s fashion apparel categories.
Well, what is haute couture, you ask? The term refers to high-end custom-made clothing created using the highest quality materials and artistic techniques. Haute Couture is typically associated with French design and the Chamber of Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which enforces industry standards for what constitutes Haute Couture.
Fragrance – Starting with one of the most intoxicating fragrances ever, Dior forayed into the fragrance industry with “Miss Dior.” The name of the fragrance is dedicated to his sister. “Miss Dior” is still one of the most sophisticated and elegant fragrances ever.
After the success of “Miss Dior,” the House of Dior launched several other fragrances for both men and women that combine exquisite ingredients and timeless appeal. “J’adore,” “Sauvage,” “Poison,” and “Joy” are a few notable ones.
Baby Dior – Launched in the 1960s by Marc Bohan, the Creative Director of Dior at the time, Dior started its kids’ wear collection – Baby Dior. Before that, the brand had made a few outfits for some of its special clients, such as Elizabeth Taylor, who had ordered matching tweed suits for herself and her daughter.
Once considered a functional segment, the Luxury Kid Line has emerged as an independent category, thanks to the internet and the behavioral shift of millennial parents and their children. Baby Dior is often inspired by the brand’s adult clothing design collections but is designed appropriately for children.
Dior Beauty – Dior ventured into the beauty industry by launching its first lipstick line in 1953. The lipstick line was an instant hit, leading to continued success for Dior in the beauty segment.
In the last 7 decades and counting, Dior has expanded its cosmetics offerings in both skincare and makeup categories that, include various shades of concealers, foundation, powder, mascaras, liners, lipsticks, toners, serums, and scrubs; to complete the beauty regime.
Accessories – Dior now offers all kinds of accessories to make a bold fashion statement, from shoes, hats, sunglasses, and bags to watches and jewelry. Dior has everything it takes to complete the look!
Fun fact: One of the timeless bags designed by Dior is – The Lady Dior Bag. The bag was originally named “Chouchou,” which means favorite in French. It was gifted to Princess Diana on one of her visits to Paris. Shortly after, Princess Diana was spotted carrying the bag regularly on her trips. The bag gained huge visibility, and the House renamed it Lady Dior in her honor.
Home Decor – Christian Dior once said – “Living in a house that doesn’t reflect who you are is akin to wearing someone else’s clothes.” In 2019, Dior launched its home decor line – Dior Maison. It offers elegant and chic home decor items from home textiles, wallpaper to tableware and furniture.
The inspiration is drawn from the brand’s iconic designs, not to forget the much celebrated Dior Oblique pattern, which Christian Dior designed himself during the launch of his debut collection.
Of course, we know that Dior’s products are expensive. However, for Dior’s socially exclusive customers, it is more about the superiority that Capital D offers rather than the premium price. Nevertheless, you should not be surprised to learn that Dior puts a lot of effort, time, and creativity into creating high-quality, timeless products.
Let us examine the major factors behind Dior’s premium pricing strategy:
Made in Europe: Unlike other brands that outsource their production to China or third-world countries, Dior ensures its products are crafted with the finest European artistry.
- The leather goods are made in Europe, while the shoes and ready-to-wear collections are made in France and Italy.
- Dior watches are manufactured in its workshops in Switzerland, and haute couture and jewellery are made in Paris (you must have seen the Vogue videos).
- Sunglasses and scarves are made in Italy, and the famous Dior jeans are made in Japan.
The cost of production in the listed countries is higher than in other countries, leading to high prices.
Behind-the-scenes efforts: You must have read (or not) that it takes hundreds of hours to create a couture collection or a dress for an exclusive customer.
Combine the hours with the best craftsmanship, best designers in the market, and finest materials such as leather, silk, and precious metals, along with keen attention to the raw materials, manufacturing process, and post-buying services.
Often these products are hand-made by artisans with years of expertise in the art, so it makes perfect sense to account for the hardship, attention to detail, and quality in the price tag.
The dawn of Dior dates back to 1947 in Paris at 30 Avenue Montaigne. The time marks the launch of Christian’s first collection – New Look. Shortly after the launch, Dior opened its first store in New York and now has more than 200 stores worldwide in 70 countries and counting. Let us understand how Dior expanded its exclusivity and grandeur across the globe.
Decoding the location landscape – Dior performs extensive market research of the area before choosing a country or location for a new store. For instance, they consider factors such as the kind of crowd the location attracts, the competition landscape, the type of products customers are likely to buy, and cultural trends, to list a few.
Choosing the unique retail infrastructure – Dior ensures to tap into prime locations of the city or country. For instance, Dior’s first store in Mumbai was launched in the iconic Taj hotel, as you can understand why. Dior ensures it hires the best architects and interior designers to give the air of luxury to each store.
Fun fact: Dior, in 2022, has overhauled its flagship store at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, which is widely regarded as the most iconic destination for all things Dior. The revamped store is a luxurious shopping experience with elegant interiors, high-end fixtures, and stunning visual displays. (I might add this to – The places to visit in Paris list)
Distribution Channels – Dior works on both direct and indirect distribution channels. Its flagship stores are, of course, the one shop stop to experience Dior’s lavishness.
On the other hand, Dior also partners with trusted multi-brand retailers and duty-free stores to sell its products. Premium online retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom, and Dior’s website are another gateway to have your hands on the products.
One interesting point is that Dior only displays some of its products online. To explore the entire Dior collection, one has to visit the store in person. As rightly said – Exclusivity is not a given but created.
Traditional Advertising: Dior leaves no stone unturned when marketing its products (that’s why we have a dedicated article on the marketing strategy of Dior).
Even in 2023, Dior holds a strong position in print media. Dior has been advertising its products in a few high-end fashion magazines, such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Elle, amongst many others, to cater to its affluent and fashion-savvy customers.
Dior organizes top celebrities as its ambassadors, uses high-quality photography, and uses effective copywriting to advertise its products. Additionally, Dior puts large-scale billboards across significant city centers to attract more eyeballs.
Strong Social Media Presence: As I am penning this article, Dior’s official Instagram handle has 44 million followers with 10k+ posts. It has created different social media handles for each category line, each with millions of subscribers in the count.
Its effort to consistently put visually appealing, aesthetic, high-quality content with a blend of storytelling and influencer/celebrity collaboration has boosted its digital presence across social media channels.
Global Events and Shows: I need to remember how many times I have watched Carrie or the Famous Four from SATC strutting around NYC carrying their huge Dior bags. Dior has been promoting itself in famous shows and series from very early on.
Not to forget the brand’s extravagant presence in grand events such as MET Gala or Academy Awards, where global celebrities wear Dior. This strategic approach allows the brand to gain significant media coverage and increase its visibility.
By presenting its products in front of an audience of fashion industry insiders and enthusiasts, Dior generates excitement and interest in its brand, which further leads to greater recognition and loyalty among its target audience.
Extravagant Exhibitions: A little extravagance never hurt anyone, especially not in the case of Dior. Dior is known for hosting elegant exhibitions that showcase its history, heritage, artistry, and cultural relevance.
One of the most talked about exhibitions is the Espirit Dior, which had ten unique themes. Another notable one was the New Look Revolution. This one explored the evolution of the much-celebrated Bar Suit, which was one of the earliest designs of the debut collection.
Landmark Fashion Shows: We must talk about the iconic runway shows of Dior as they are an important part of its marketing strategy. Known for its creative and theatrical displays, Dior’s runway shows never fail to evoke a sense of awe and wonder among the audience. The runway shows are deeply embedded in the concept of storytelling. Every show is centered around a prime theme or story, the basis on which the entire collection is produced.
For instance, Dior Fall 2023 Menswear Collection was showcased at The Pyramids of Giza. To mark its 75th anniversary, the brand took inspiration from centuries of history and combined it with Dior’s fascination with the ancient world.
Talking about runways, for the first time, Dior had a monumental show in Mumbai, India. Against the backdrop of the iconic Gateway of India, Dior showcased its pre-fall 2023 women’s collection, celebrating India’s artisanal history.
Now you can guess who spent the entire afternoon scrolling through the images and reels of the show and decided to pen this article. 🙂