Meghan has shown us that it is possible to carve out a credible public image by having a clear sense of direction for your brand strategy.
As a result of her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has undergone a brand transition from Hollywood actress to Royal but what can businesses learn from this transition? Here Keren Beaumont, Personal Stylist, Image Consultant and regular contributor to Style Publications utilises her skills in personal branding to illustrate how the Duchess of Sussex’s brand has evolved.
Every little girl in the world has one thing in common. From Manchester to Mumbai, they all dream of being a princess. But what happens when the dream unexpectedly becomes a reality and you find yourself catapulted into life as a Royal?
In 1981, a baby girl was born in a hospital in Los Angeles, California to a Caucasian Father and an African American Mother. Not only was this baby girl going to grow up to become a leading TV Actress and launch her own lifestyle website but she was also to become the first mixed race member of the British Monarchy.
To be a member of the time-honoured British Royal family is both a privilege and an enormous responsibility. Alongside the accolade and affluent lifestyle that accompanies the role of a bonafide Princess, a Royal is also a role model to British Society. Her behaviour, appearance and demeanour will be under constant scrutiny by the public. A Royal is expected to appear refined, credible, considerate and kind in order to receive the respect and admiration of the public. It is fair to say that the Royals are a ‘Brand’ with their own trademark standards for behaviour and style.
Let’s take a look at exactly what is required to create the perfect public image as a princess and the transition that Meghan has gone through to achieve this. Whereas Kate Middleton and Diana Spencer married into the Royal Family and transitioned from High Society to Royalty, Meghan’s change in status was more of a leap than a simple step. We could go as far as to say that she went through a ‘rebranding’ since she had already established a specific public image as an actress, the initial incarnation of the ‘Markle Brand’.
Meghan’s transition was not that dissimilar to a fashion brand establishing itself in overseas markets. An example is Coach, the American House of Leather, which over the last 5 years has established itself as a key player within the european accessories market whilst simultaneously going through a transformation of its entire brand and store design.
Taking a deeper look at Meghan’s style evolution, The Duchess of Sussex is often, perhaps unfairly, criticised on social media for not wearing as many bright colours as either Kate Middleton or her Majesty the Queen. It’s fair to say that Meghan sticks to a concise palette ranging from soft neutrals such as creams, beiges, camels and light greys to deeper shades such as burgundy, navy, dark greens and teals. She is very tactical in her colour choice, being careful to select colours that create the correct image to support her style transition. The key thing to note about Meghan’s colour palette is that the colours are demure, understated and elegant and they suit her warm complexion perfectly. Whilst some brighter colours will also look great on Meghan, she has a finely tuned sense of situational appropriateness and knows when to wear these. On her recent tour for example, in hot climates, she wears bright shades of orangey-red which feel appropriate in this setting. This is clear evidence of Meghan and her team’s skill in accurately steering the direction ‘Markle Brand’.
Every brand has its colour scheme from Hermes’ signature orange to Tiffany’s bespoke shade of turquoise blue. Coach for example, during its transformation, changed its shop and packaging from white and red minimalism to rich wooden interiors and neutral soft furnishings in line with it’s new ‘Modern Luxury’ theme. The brand developed new brown shopper bags and began to reference through their marketing their ‘vintage glove tanned leather’ in a rich tan brown colour which evokes an image appropriate to ‘The original American House of Leather’.
Style, fabric and fit
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