A Lesson from the story behind the Lacoste logo

lacoste logo brand identity crocodileLacoste, well-known for their polo shirts has a very brief, but quite interesting, story behind their widely known brand identity, that is made of a crocodile.

The company name derived from the surname of its founder, Rene Lacoste, a world renowned tennis player then.

Rene Lacoste was nicknamed the “crocodile” by the press after he made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup team. Apparently, Rene was promised a crocodile skin suitcase, something that was very important to the team, should he win the match.

Though he lost the match, the public stuck with the nickname “crocodile” and Rene then decided to have a crocodile embroidered on his blazer, which he wore to the court.

Fast forward to the time Rene had to get an identity for his business.

The crocodile was made part of Lacoste’s brand identity.

Though, it’s possible not to think of Lacoste when you see or hear of a crocodile. The crocodile inevitably comes to mind whenever you think of Lacoste.

So “technically” there is no meaning (but a story) behind the Lacoste logo, but it stands for something in the minds of the consumers. Some of you might argue that the story and meaning are one — nonetheless, both are not really about the brand itself but its founder.

At first the most prevalent thing that Lacoste brought to mind was “good quality polo shirts” but that was until they decided to add more products to their brand’s offering.

For that reason, to some people Lacoste stands for “fashionable footwear”, “uniquely scented fragrances”, “stylish handbags”, “elegant watches” and so forth but that’s another story.

The most important thing to take from this is that the brand gives meaning to the logo, and not the other way around.

I just found out about this and I thought this would be interesting to those that, like me, didn’t know the history behind Lacoste’s identity. Plus, this sort of support the points I made in the writing prior to this one.

And of course “crocodile” is likely to open an argument of its own as others would say that “It is not a crocodile but an alligator.”