Brands that we have known and loved for decades are still relevant in our collective memory for a reason: because they were consistently able to tap into the moment, and respond to the time and context they were – and are, operating within. Ray-Ban is one such timeless brand that has successfully built a solid brand identity through decades of moment marketing and delivering what they promise – fashion combined with function.
What Are Heritage Brands?
Heritage brands are those that have been around for decades, easily recognizable through their ad campaigns and logos; think Coca Cola and you will visualize red and white cursive type. These brands have procured lifelong customers and are icons of goodwill in their industries and consumer communities.
Ray-Ban is included within the category of heritage brands because they have a long and enduring legacy of consumer confidence, one which cannot be organically manufactured by modern companies.
What Is The Secret of Timeless Brands?
While most modern brands will fall short in the history department, there are a few marketing strategies that will benefit any brand in building their identity and solidifying a loyal customer base. We take a brief look at how Ray-Ban has been able to stay relevant for the past 80 years, and other brands that have been able to achieve the same loyalty.
3 Ray-Ban Brand Strategies for Staying Relevant:
1. Moment Marketing
Ray-Ban was established in 1937 by Bausch and Laumb. This preceded the Second World War and the increasing demand from the US military for optical instruments; especially those that limited glare experienced by Army Air Corps.
via Vision Plus
The first ‘aviator-style metal sunglasses’ were manufactured one year after Bausch and Laumb built special sunglasses for pilots fighting in WWII.
via Inc. Magazine
In 1982, America’s sweetheart and star of the silver screen, Tom Cruise, starred in the military entertainment action movie, Top Gun, in ‘Aviator Glasses’ – achieving meteoric success for the brand as an icon of fashion and freedom.
Ray-Ban’s successful origin lies in its response to immediate national need that was later made available to the public as fashion and entertainment.
This is called moment marketing: brands leverage the context of their times to be included within the real time conversations happening in the public space i.e. they know how to deliver what we need in a particular moment of time.
via Ads of the World
In today’s global medical crisis, brands like Dettol are tapping the vein of practicing good hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by plugging their sanitation products through public service announcements and ad campaigns.
2. Flagship Products
Ray-Ban is a household name in the eyewear industry, and their most popular products are their signature Wayfarers, Clubmaster, and Aviators, all of which achieve meteoric success in sales even today because of their promise of style and value for money.
Similarly, other timeless brands like Chanel have tweed jackets and pearl buttons as their iconic markers. Outside of fashion, the Belgian company, Godiva, established in 1926, is visually connected with chocolate-covered strawberries.
via CR Fashion Book
3. Evolution of Brand Identity
Ray-Ban did not stop manufacturing aviator sunglasses after the WWII – in fact, they built on their new found fame and entered into a wholly different arena of production – Hollywood movies like Top Gun. From the 1960s to the 1980s, the brand had amassed a catalogue of over a hundred models heavily influenced by the celebrities who cross-marketed their signature products in movies and on the red carpet – the most iconic of them being Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s.
In today’s age of new media and fashion inspired by Hollywood celebrities and social media influencers, Ray-Ban has managed to stay relevant by tweaking their brand identity to the modernization of the world. This includes movie stars and singers as well as the British Royal Family.
Ray-Ban’s history is an iconic legacy of WWII fighter pilots in 1939 to Kate Middleton in 2020. The brand has rightfully earned its timeless status because of its consistent reponse to the demands of its times, as well as adapting to changing trends in fashion and media.