Polo vs. Lacoste: Battle of the Preppies
Ok, if you don’t know what that means, this is what it means: They’re French. They drink wine, write poetry, and think deep thoughts. So if you like that kind of thing, maybe you’re a Lacoste guy or gal. Lacoste has had some identity problems over the years. Many people remember them not as Lacoste but IZOD, which was a partner of Lacoste during the Preppy heyday of the 1980s.
Polo on the other hand, was started by Ralph Lifschitz–I’m sorry, Ralph Lauren–in New York City in 1967, some 34 years after Lacoste. Their hallmark polo shirt has a tiny picture of a polo player riding a horse, about to make a hit. Polo too was very popular among the preppy cliques of the 1980s. Lauren has worked hard to build a worldwide corporation around Polo, and it has worked. I think we even call Lacoste shirts “polo shirts” now.
But which is the BEST? Let’s see.
Going by looks, which is never the wrong way to go about things, the Polo insignia is classy, while the Lacoste crocodile looks angry. And a little chubby. Remember Lacoste’s Le Tigre? Where did that tiger go? Did the croc eat it?
Both of these companies make more than those shirts today. They make bedroom sheets, perfumes, colognes, luggage, and sportswear. Ralph Lauren has roughly one million other brands (ok, that’s a low estimate). That means you could very likely have an entire apartment made out of Ralph Lauren products, and I’ve seen people try. Lacoste, on the other hand, seems to have no desire to break into the baby diaper bag industry.
Of course the risk Ralph Lauren makes is that he devalues Polo when it’s available everywhere. Polo brand is sold just about everywhere these days, so you’re just as likely to see a McDonald’s employee in a Polo shirt as a business owner. Lacoste is only available at high end stores.
For branding and world domination? Ralph Lauren. For longevity and exclusivity? Lacoste.
I’ll sleep better knowing this has been put to rest. How about you?