Why does a Chanel jacket cost upwards of $4000 USD? Is it the tweed that freed women from constricting corsets, made timeless by Gabrielle Chanel? Perhaps the expert artisan craftsmanship producing intricate woven designs? Or, it must be the long and well-known history behind the iconic brand.

Actually, it’s all of these things. But they wouldn’t amount to anything unless customers understood the value of each. Online education can take lessons from the fashion industry’s ability to engage customers with their brands.

Chanel has some amazing videos that describe its history, including how the double-breasted cotton and wool tweed jacket came to be a closet staple.

Who wouldn’t feel like they need a Chanel jacket after being convinced that it is a timeless fashion essential? This propaganda is similar to that of De Beers “a diamond is forever” marketing campaign, which equated a diamond with eternal love.1

But Chanel also has videos showcasing the expertise that goes into crafting each jacket.

The tweed is made by weaving the warp and weft, using a variety of different kinds of threads which creates a unique and somewhat irregular appearance. The warp – vertically strung – is the background of the fabric, the base that will support the assembly of materials. There can be up to 12 different threads used for a single warp. The weft – woven horizontally – gives the fabric its unique character and can have an unlimited number of threads. Tight, perforated, textured, thick, with a relief, plaited, random, twill… the potential number of effects is endless.2

People are more amenable to that which they understand. Through online videos, Chanel is connecting to customers, empowering them to know what they’re paying for, and building brand loyalty.

Imagine if we did this with education. Take mathematics, for example: we describe its history, convince students of its timelessness, show them the intricacies of the hundred-year-old techniques. Math becomes something elegant; something everyone wants a piece of. Let’s learn from Chanel.

1. The Incredible Story Of How De Beers Created And Lost The Most Powerful Monopoly Ever, Business Insider, December 2011
2. How Coco Chanel Discovered Her Iconic Tweed, Elle, March 2014


One thought on “Educating to Connect with Customers: Lessons from the Fashion Industry

  1. You can describes math’s history, convince students of it’s timelessness, and show them the intricacies of old techniques, but it would be pretty difficult to make it look sexy. If an online education company ever created a video like this, they would need to partner with a ‘fashion centric’ designer that could make math look appealing. Building this video into a reality would need a partnership that has never been seen in advertising and media design.

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