Hitching your brand to another brand to gain media attention is not exactly a new media tactic.  Brands do it all the time when they select a celebrity or athlete to endorse or mention their product across a broader media network.  But when it came to luxury brand Kering, it came in the form of sueing the internet brand Alibaba.

Alibaba Provides a Nice Brand-Hitching Opportunity

The owner of luxury brands that include Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent has for the second time in a year sued Alibaba over what it says are sales of counterfeit goods on the Chinese e-commerce giant’s websites.  The luxury company, Kering, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan in late May. The filing names several vendors from Alibaba’s sites and says they copied Kering brand names in products that were shipped to New York.

Kering is up +7 points or +11 percent at a strong 71 media rating position, a new high for the luxury brand.  The target of Kering’s lawsuit, Alibaba, is up +3 points at a 94 rating on broad media coverage beyond the luxury brand storyline.

Kering reversed a downward media trend in late 2012, and the Alibaba lawsuit – although outside its typical positive storyline spin – created additional momentum behind the luxury brand.  The latest media trigger is could be similar to the events surrounding the athletic apparel brand Lululemon Athletica.  A disruptive, media storyline outside the strategic marketing message takes the brand into new media territory.  With the exposure – whether positive or negative – comes the opportunity to leverage the new-found media position.  Part of it is responding to events that created the media exposure in the first place.  But the real opportunity is taking the new attention and exposing the expanded media audience to the brand’s core message and value statement.  Lululemon did it and effectively elevated its media value by nearly 20 points.

Kering faces a similar opportunity.

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