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Emma O’Connor - b6015144

















Executive Summary The Calvin Klein collection is the highend luxury aspect of the company whereas the purpose of the following report is to analyse ck Calvin Klein, the lifestyle apparel brand. The results from this report demonstrate the minimalistic and intimate brand identity ck Calvin Klein are trying to convey and their diverse range of

marketing techniques which successfully capture the attention of their desirable consumer (men and women between the ages of 1530 (thecurrentedit, 2016). These two factors have allowed the company to develop tremendously since 1968 and gives the brand potential for further growth in the future.



Brand Profile Calvin Klein is a New York City based brand founded in 1968, with the whole company created with just $10,000. The stores were originally opened to sell women’s coats however by 1971 Klein had added a sportswear section to his coats designs, classic blazers and lingerie. During the 1970s’ Klein started a revolution within advertisement when launching the original designer jeans with them being conveyed as wholesome, sexy and practical. The introduction of ck Calvin Klein underwear was also revolutionary as it was the first time men’s boxers were advertised as desirable not functional. During the 1990s’ the popularity of ck Calvin Klein was a reaction to Kate Moss being the face of the brand and her rise to fame. Kate moss in Calvin Klein jeans and a simple vest top replaced the look of highend models in luxurious Chanel dresses. “Calvin Klein and Gloria Vanderbilt expanded denim apparel to designer status.” (Regan, 2015). In 2003 Calvin Klein was sold to Phillips-Van Heusen corporation and the company now source their products from Sri Lanka. (Mahmood & Khiji, 2013). Kevin Carrigan now currently

serves as the global creative director of ck Calvin Klein. The brand consists of both women’s and men’s jeans, sweat shirts, t-shirts, shirts, jumpers and cardigans, jackets and coats, dresses and skirts, sportswear, underwear, bags, shoes, belts, watches and jewellery, fragrances and sunglasses. They currently have 115 retail and outlet stores. The methodology used for this report includes primary and secondary research. The primary research was completed by going into the ck Calvin Klein store and taking pictures and asking staff questions. The secondary research was collated from websites, articles, blogs and books.


Brand Identity According to Investopedia, A company’s brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers. (, 2010). ck Calvin Klein take a minimalist and seductive approach to fashion. The brand’s prestige and image are kept consistent through ck Calvin Klein’s distinctive marketing identity. They engage consumers with a modern, intimate, classic and iconic lifestyle imagery. According to corp, 2016 ck Calvin Klein aims to convey a consistent and unified brand message to the consumer with their experienced creative and media teams.The brand itself can be described


as honest, authentic and genuine. Due to the brand’s consistent success since 1968 the consumers also view ck Calvin Klein as a reliable fashion brand. Although the main concept of the brand that they would like consumers to identify ck Calvin Klein as is minimalistic and classic. This is definitely demonstrated through the simple logo and the brand’s labels attached to the products. The logo consists of ‘cwk Calvin Klein’ in a regular black font on a white background with the

clothing labels also including this same design. Therefore, straight away when the consumer views these it clearly reinforces the simple nature of the brand with the limited amount of colour and imagery. It continues to evolve its reputation as the brand of choice for consumers who want sexy, fashionable and comfortable underwear (Www-nexis-com., no date).

ck Calvin Klein “is a global lifestyle brand that exemplifies bold, progressive ideals and a seductive, and often minimal, aesthetic� (corp, 2016)



According to the business dictionary, a consumer is a purchaser of a good or service in retail. (Murcko, 2016). ck Calvin Klein’s consumers consist mostly of the younger generation, in particular, men and women between the ages of 15-30 (thecurrentedit, 2016). This group of people are easily reached through the brand’s use of young celebrities and heavy influence within social media. The most prominent consumer looks




for iconic styling but the sexy aesthetic continues to draw an edgy consumer looking for the most current fashion trends (Warnaco Group, Inc.) (Klein et al., 2011). Teenagers make up a lot of ck Calvin Klein’s consumers as teen consumers of Calvin Klein responded quickly to the scandalous advertisements of the brand. (Klein et al., 2011). Teens spending patterns vary but predominantly focus on what is in style. The brand target individuals with relatively high disposal income and that are fashion and trend conscious. Their consumer’s main interests include apparel and fashion, entertainment (music, films, TV and books) and photography. They are characterised to be very open-minded and into social media. (thecurrentedit, 2016).






Brand Positioning

The Management study guide desribes brand positioning as an activity of creating a brand offer in such a manner that it occupies a distinctive place and value in the target customer’s mind. (use, no date) ck Calvin Klein provides moderate to high priced good quality products in the lifestyle apparel retail market. The brand is in pure competition meaning there is a high level of apparel retailers within one single market. Some of ck Calvin Klein’s strongest competitors include Hugo Boss, DKNY, Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. However, the brand has several strong points of difference including their minimalistic and classic designs which attract a loyal customer base. Since the take over of the Phillips-Van Heusen corporation in 2003 they have strived to expand the brand’s global reach, particularly in Asia. A point of difference that Phillips-Van Heusen brought in which differs ck Calvin Klein from their competitors is their maintenance of creative control over the company’s product design, development, operations and advertising. The brands unique selling point is their sexy yet comfortable products using innovative fabrics of remarkable quality. Earlier this year it was reported, Calvin Klein, Inc. today announced a new global creative strategy for the company, which will unify all Calvin Klein brands under one creative vision. (Size, 2016). Two of the company’s creative directors (Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli) would be leaving the brand. This decision will confirm the brand’s positioning worldwide and contribute towards their future global growth. 12


Communications Mix #mycalvins

According to the communication mix refers to specific methods used to promote the company or its products to targeted customers. (Kokemuller, 2016). ck Calvin Klein as a brand are known for displaying sexually evocative therefore controversial advertisements. In 2015, over $320 million was spent globally in connection with the advertisement, marketing and promotion of the Calvin Klein brands. (corp, 2016). There are currently 446,029 photos on Instagram with the tag #mycalvins attached. This is Calvin Klein’s Fall 2016 global campaign which started in 2014 to promote the brands underwear. Four months into the hashtag, #MyCalvins saw more than 4.5 million interactions between influencer, celebrity, and brand-posted content. (Fumo, 2015.). The campaign involves a collection of icons, musicians, athletes, actors, fashion idols and professional models. A selection of those involved includes Frank Ocean, Kate Moss, Bella Hadid and Cameron Dallas. The campaign encourages celebrities and consumers to post pictures of themselves in


their ck Clavin Klein product and personalise the caption with the statement “I ______ in #mycalvins”. This campaign is displayed on billboards, within TV adverts, on print, on Calvin Klein shop windows and mirrors and relies heavily on social media. Therefore, covering three out of the six communication mixes; advertising, public relations and social media. On the Calvin Klein website, there is a #mycalvins gallery which asks consumers to upload a photo of themselves in their Calvin’s onto social media and tag “I ______ in #mycalvins” with a chance of being featured within the gallery. The majority of the images have a sense of intimacy and a sexy sense to them which represents what the brand wants to communicate to their consumers. As a result, thousands of young people are posting ck Calvin Klein products all over social media which has the potential to be viewed by millions of other people. The fact that this campaign has captured their desired target audience using their consumers without any cost, causes it to be so successful.



According to The Economic Times Advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service. Advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them (Bennett, 2016). ck Calvin Klein continues to use traditional methods of advertisement such as billboards and TV adverts.

Both of these include scandalous and provocative shots of celebrities and models which support ck Calvin Klein’s intimate brand identity. The simplicity of these advertisements created by the lack of colour and people featured within them represents the classic and minimalistic aspect of the brand. Billboards are a successful marketing technique for ck Calvin Klein

as they strategically place them in busy areas such as the centre of New York so that they are viewed by a high amount of people. Locations like this are also advantageous as they are places people will pass on a regular basis, for example, commuting to and from work every day, therefore making it more likely for the advert to stick in their minds.

Public Relations (PR) are any purposeful communications between an organisation and its publics that aim to generate goodwill (posts, 2014) according to As demonstrated within the #mycalvins campaign ck Calvin Klein relies heavily on celebrity endorsement and celebrity gifting. One particular individual in which they regularly use is Justin Bieber. Bieber has over 150 million followers across his social media accounts which he exposes his Calvin Klein products to. Bieber told WWD Last spring, I posted a picture on Instagram in

my underwear, using the #MyCalvins tag. Thankfully the brand saw it and liked the reaction it was getting, and a relationship started from there. (#MyCalvins campaign takes over the internet - truly deeply brand agency Melbourne, 2016) As a direct result of the Bieber campaign, Calvin Klein has benefited from 3.6 million additional followers across its social channel, WWD reported shortly after its launch. (Fumo, 2015). Another major successful famous individual ck Calvin Klein feature in their advertisements is Kendall Jenner who happens to be

currently one of the most talked about and trending celebrities in the world. Kendall has been the face of numerous ck Calvin Klein billboards, TV adverts and promotional campaigns, which she has then shared on her social media accounts to over 103 million followers. Anything involving global superstars like Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner is automatically going to spark attention and result in their fans buying the ck Calvin Klein products to be like their icon. The use of celebrity endorsement also allows the brand to stand out from the rest of their competitors.

Personal selling according to the BusinessDictionary is Face-to-face selling in which a seller attempts to persuade a buyer to make a purchase. (What is personal selling? Definition and meaning, 2016). ck Calvin Klein sells their products in numerous other stores

not just their own. These include business such as Urban Outfitters, House of Fraser, John Lewis and ASOS. By selling their products in other stores it increases the number of people within their target audience that will see and potentially buy them. Although shops like

Urban Outfitters and ASOS will directly reach ck Calvin Kleins ideal consumer, other stores such as House of Fraser and John Lewis allow them to expose their products to a more diverse range of people.

Public Relations

Personal Selling


According to Investopedia direct marketing is a form of advertising in which companies provide physical marketing materials to consumers to communicate information about a product or service. (Investopedia. com, 2010b). Through the

Direct Marketing

Calvin Klein website, it allows consumers to sign up to the brand’s newsletter which sends them emails informing them of news about the brand and their promotional offers. The constant interaction this promotional activity provides between

the brand and the consumer will contribute towards retaining customer loyalty as they’re consistently being reminded of the brand and being tempted to make a purchase by the offers available. 17

Bibliography Corp, P. (2016) Calvin Klein. Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016). Klein, C., Brannon, A., Chirichella, B., Schaffer, C. and Wittmer, J. (2011) \376\377\000C\000a\000l\000v\000i\000n\000 \000K\000l\000e\000i\000n\000 \000B\000r\000a\000n\000d\000 \000A\000u\000d\000i\000t. Available at: http:// (Accessed: 7 November 2016) Fumo, N. (2015) Unpacking Calvin Klein’s wildly successful #MyCalvins campaign. Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016). thecurrentedit, ~ (2016) Calvin Klein: Who is the target audience? Available at: https:// (Accessed: 7 November 2016). #MyCalvins campaign takes over the internet - truly deeply - brand agency Melbourne (2016) Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016). Size, F. (2016) Calvin Klein, Inc. Announces new global creative strategy. Available at: (Accessed: 7 November 2016). (no date) Available at: https://www-nexis-com.lcproxy. T25010453811&csi=365266&docNo=16 (Accessed: 8 November 2016). (2010) ‘Brand identity’, in Available at: terms/b/brand-identity.asp (Accessed: 11 November 2016). Murcko, T. (2016) ‘What is a consumer? Definition and meaning’, in Available at: http:// (Accessed: 11 November 2016). use, T. (no date) Brand positioning - definition and concept. Available at: (Accessed: 11 November 2016). Kokemuller, N. (2016) ‘What is a marketing communication mix?’, Small Business Chron, . Bennett (2016) Definition of ‘advertising’ - the economic times. Available at: (Accessed: 14 November 2016). posts, V. all (2014) Public relations (PR). Available at: public-relations-pr/ (Accessed: 14 November 2016). (2010b) ‘Direct marketing’, in Available at: 18

terms/d/direct-marketing.asp (Accessed: 14 November 2016). Regan.C. (2015) The Role of Denim and Jeans in the Fashion Industry, Denim, Chapter 7, pp.191-217 Mahmood.M. ; Khilji.S. (2013) Globalization and Corporate Social Responsibility: Perspectives, Chapter 6, pp. 101-122


ck Calvin Klein Brand Report  
ck Calvin Klein Brand Report