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Christian Louboutin’s Branding Lessons

The fashion world is abuzz with 2 key legal battles:

  1. A federal appeals court ruling that shoe designer Christian Louboutin has a clear trademark on red-sole shoes. The only time other designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, can use a scarlet sole is when the shoe is red.

  2. Lululemon Athletica has sued Calvin Klein for trademark infringement on 3 design patents for its yoga pants.

So, if you are not a fashionista, but an entrepreneur, what are the lessons here and how do they pertain to you?

  1. Color is a phenomenal branding tool – When consumers and prospects closely identify a unique color with you, you earn mindshare! Just as Johnny Cash became the man in black and author Tom Wolfe is rumored to wear all white even at the gym, you too can adopt a signature color.

  2. Unique design can be protected by the courts – as evidenced by Apple’s $1 billion patent lawsuit victory over Samsung. And, consumers pay handsomely for innovation design. For example, those yoga pants by Lululemon are $98 vs. $19 for generic. And, we all know that Apple’s products never go on sale.

How can you paint the town red? How can you spark innovation?

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