Chris Reed
Apr 21, 2014

Diesel stretch the brand through partnerships

You may think you know the brand Diesel but you may be surprised how far they have stretched their brand through innovative partnerships with much larger more traditional companies desperately trying to be cool.

Diesel stretch the brand through partnerships

Diesel of course are famous for edgy marketing that attracts 18-35 year olds to their expensive but funky looking array of jeans, lingerie and shoes. They are currently promoting “jogg jeans” for the ability to dance and look cool in denim at the same time, staying relevant to their target audience while presenting an innovative product image to retain that aspirational nature of the brand.

Jeans have almost become secondary to the way the business has been driven forwards through brand partnerships. Diesel know that more mainstream and more traditional brands want to be associated with them. They milk the association for all they can get in order to create jointly branded products that other organisations pay to develop and market while they license their brand and watch the money poor in.

The art is in the way that they have created those partnerships and used them to grow their reach and be true to their brand values at the same time, a tricky task. Some examples:

Successful living by Diesel is the interior furnishing brand that has led to some very funky lighting and seating products being developed by designers such as Morroso and Foscarini. These are a collection of lifestyle products that easily fit in any stylish home that combine simplicity and with an informal lifestyle concept and a price to match. They are also quite quirky and often have the noticeable Diesel jeans edging as part of the design. Not sure the 18-35’s could afford much of this but its look super sexy.

The Ducati Monster is the very cool matt black/Diesel Green motorbike dreamed up by the two Italian brands to form one high speed sleek machine that looks very similar to the Bat Bike in the Dark Knight. Not sure that this is still aimed at the 18-35 audience, more like the Harley Davidson one. Men in their 50’s who still think they are 18, I suppose that’s probably still the Diesel aspiration too, the age thing works both ways. It too retains the distinctive Diesel signature stripe in the leather upholstered seat. It

The Sims is an interesting partnership with Diesel apparel and accessories appearing in The Sims 3 Diesel Stuff Pack game.  Diesel have also gained their furniture partnership exposure within The Sims so that users can really buy into the whole brand and both wear and sit in Diesel.

L’Oreal have partnered with Diesel to create a range of toiletries to tap into the very aggressive 18-35 market. The Diesel brand allows L’Oreal to be something it could only dream of being, sexy and cool and stand out with a darker more controversial range of products and advertising. Diesel benefit from a range of edgy marketing campaigns that enhance its brand even more and this must have a fantastic benefit for its jeans sales too.

One of the coolest brand extensions is actually the Diesel watch range. However this is not a partnership that is all done by the funky Diesel designers in Italy. I guess they couldn’t find anyone who they could trust with the design of the watch in the same way that they have done in other industries.

It’s an impressive range of partnerships that also goes into cycling and headphones to name but two. Can a brand be stretched too far through partnerships? Not if the brand partners are in keeping with the parent brand and the target audience remains the same. Most of these partnerships really are win-win and enhance rather than dilute the Diesel brand.


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