Company History
CHANEL, the international luxury goods company, was founded in France by Gabrielle Chanel at the beginning of the last century. The privately held company offers a broad range of luxury products, including Ready-to-Wear, fragrance, cosmetics, leather goods, accessories, fine jewelry and watches. CHANEL is also renowned for its Haute Couture collections presented in Paris. CHANEL maintains 189 fashion boutiques worldwide, including the legendary House of CHANEL on rue Cambon in Paris. Under the creative guidance of designer Karl Lagerfeld, the House of CHANEL remains dedicated to luxury, fashion, style and image.


The Challenge
Evaluate how client expectations will evolve in the future and determine what she will desire from her experiences with Chanel. To comprehensively evaluate future client expectations, understand the customer journey and identify strategic opportunities for Chanel to serve customers across target segments. Identify key tactics to create a personalized, yet consistent brand experience along the continuum of the lifetime customer journey.


Evolution of the CHANEL Experience: Strategies to Meet the Needs of Current and Potential Clients Across Product Categories
The team of students from Columbia Business School and Parsons School of Design conducted extensive research, followed by strategy development and refinement to address the question of client expectations among existing and potential CHANEL customers. We began our project by researching and mystery shopping a wide variety of brands and service platforms that we identified as leaders in client services. We then conducted a deep dive into CHANEL’s existing presence in e-commerce, social media, digital content and in-store service to better understand areas of opportunity for the brand.

To showcase who the CHANEL client is, we visualized her relationship with the brand over the years through customer segmentation by category: Fragrance & Beauty, Handbags and Leather Goods, RTW and Fine Jewelry. We created customer journeys per segment with corresponding sales associate journeys. Within these journeys, we identified key moments with the potential to enhance customer value.

We focused on new opportunities related to technology to expand brand awareness, along with customer acquisition tactics within the RTW space to address the question of future client expectations. We proposed strategic partnerships and tactics that engage with new and existing CHANEL clients where they are already spending their time: on technological devices, and within the luxury travel and hospitality space.

One such customer journey centered on Chloe, a fun-loving 24-year-old who is heavily influenced by social media, through which we visualized how a millennial would experience with the brand through an exclusive invite-only event. Another journey centered on focused on Juliette, a 48-year-old jet-setting career woman who experiences Chanel through the brand’s collaboration with a luxury hotel, which includes an in-suite private appointment with a Fashion Associate, who showcases the latest Ready-to-Wear collection in the comfort of her own suite.


The Team
Advika Aggarwal, Parson School of Design
Divya Bharwani, Columbia Business School
Megan Jana, Parson School of Design
Simone Jensen, Columbia Business School
Mariela M. Martinez-Correa, Parson School of Design
Rasha Salem, Columbia Business School
Marisa Siegel, Columbia Business School
Sanitpab Somboon, Parsons School of Design