Case Study

Sexy

sophistication

is empowering

Background

Although bebe had an established base of female consumers who relied on the label for stylish sexy basics, the retailer wasn’t experiencing substantial growth. In 1996, bebe retained Lambesis to breathe new life into the brand and generate increased awareness among its female target.

Key Strategic Issues

In the mid-90s, fashion was trending toward more youthful styles, rooted in pop culture and music influences. This presented a challenge for bebe, as their brand image was closely tied to dressy attire and structured suiting. To boost their sales, bebe needed a powerful and distinct brand image that would appeal to younger women. Enter Lambesis.

Solutions

As a fashion brand, bebe had to connect with consumers on a deep emotional level. To accomplish this, Lambesis implemented a style-based strategy that unabashedly celebrated the glamour and sexiness of the brand. Renowned fashion photographers created elegant and mesmerizing portraits of aspirational bebe women, and a new streamlined logo made the campaign even more recognizable. Lambesis extended the marketing program through all media, from store windows and digital advertising, to direct mail, outdoor and print. Media placement in premium publications and outdoor locations further reinforced bebe’s status as an icon of sexy glamour and sophisticated style.

Results

Lambesis’ rebranding of bebe transformed the women’s retailer into a designer label and global retail icon almost overnight. Following the launch of the work in the spring of 1997, bebe experienced a substantial increase in sales, a trend that continued long past the launch, and in 1998, bebe enjoyed a successful IPO. The spectacular brand growth was recognized by Forbes Magazine in 1999, when bebe was the cover story for the “Best Small Companies” issue. Over their 13 years as a Lambesis client, bebe grew from $90MM to $730MM in annual sales and tripled their number of retail stores. The brand achieved double-digit sales growth in almost every year with Lambesis, reaching a $2.8 billion market capitalization. The rebranding that Lambesis originally developed is still used globally and has set a new benchmark in retail branding.

TV & Film

Original online short films directed by Luis Mandoki were created to capture the bebe lifestyle and directly connect it to product purchases.

Interactive

The bebe brand extended into innovative digital display ads and a series of provocative online films. Lambesis partnered with Apple to create an interactive media player that allowed users to track products featured in the short films.

Print

Lambesis partnered with master fashion photographers to create stunning visuals that brought a new level of prestige, quality and character to the brand. Lambesis redesigned the bebe logo in large type at the center of images, making the campaign more recognizable and iconic.

Out of Home

Consistent media placement in premium, image-building outdoor locations reinforced bebe’s status as an icon of provocative glamour and sexy style.

Point of Sale/Retail

Retail windows and in-store environments reflected the essence of the bebe brand, immersing target consumers in a holistic brand experience.

Package Design

Lambesis concepted and designed the distinctive bebe fragrance bottle to echo the brand’s alluring and provocative feel.