The story behind Diesel

Hello everyone and Welcome to the world of Diesel where you can express your bravery, your audacity and your humor.

dieseljeansWe choose Diesel company because it’s interesting to see how the creator Renzo Rosso succeeded to transform a simple piece of clothes into a veritable guidance of lifestyle. The company’s mission is: ‘To create an apparel line perfect for individual people who follow their own unique path in life and for those style-makers who express their individuality by the way they dress.’

Diesel has always sought to stand out from traditional identity models of jeans (seduction, manliness and fashion cult) and to create a feeling of belonging thanks to a unique relationship with their customers. Diesel customers are independent, fun loving, trendier and are less touched by jeans myth embodied by Levi’s. How did Diesel succeed in building a brand image in its own right?

We’ll see the evolution of lifestyle according to Diesel through its communication.

The rebellious esprit with “Only the Brave”

indiendieselThe idea of Renzo Rosso was to make creative and washed-out jeans and to break conventions. He wanted its brand to embody a rebellious esprit. He had to face a first problem: nobody could see the link between Diesel name and fashion. In 1982, he asked his team a logo inspired by Apache, Red Skins, Cherokee and other Indian names which were a hit among jeans shops at the time. The logo of Diesel will be a punk-rock Mohican with the slogan “Only the Brave”. This logo enables the brand to have a strong personality, to have rebellious image and it can be more easily recognizable for customers.

“For successful living”

In 1991, the turnover of Diesel is about 125 millions of dollar and starts to invest money in advertising campaigns. Through Diesel brand, Renzo Ross wants to entertain and to introduce customers to new experiences.

diesel_successfulRenzo Rosso says : ‘we do not advertise but communicate, we consider this our “face”. The product is communication and communication is the product. It is a whole system, a way of life, it’s the “Successful Living” which we create together with the client’.
With the ironical signature “For Successful Living”, Diesel parodies 1950s advertising that promised a better life via consumption. The promise of “success” we could find in many Diesel campaign was exaggerated and mocked.

Customers like this off-the-wall humor and this strategy enabled Diesel to reach a turnover of $320 million in 2001.

“Be stupid” or how to establish a strong brand personality


The « For Successful Living » campaign achieved a great success which enabled Diesel to stand out and to embody the today’s world, its state of mind and its evolution. Diesel renews its rebellious image by being inspired by today’s values. The brand became aware that young people are more and more  experimental and independent, they refuse conformity and norms. We can think that « Be stupid » campaign is the defining moment of the brand strategy of Diesel. Indeed, this campaign encourages consumers to take risks and move beyond the smart and sensible track for life. Most of Diesel communicaton will be built on hedonism, that is to say encourage people finding fun where its possible.

Through this “carpe diem” philosophy, Diesel became the symbol of a strong community where people share the same values: they want to end up with stereotypes and to escape from daily reality. The brand embodies modernity, creativity, bravery, anticonformity and singularity.

What do you think about Diesel image? Do you buy any Diesel jeans because of their values ?

Laurianne Rappold


“The Science and Art of Branding” by Giep Franzen,Sandra Moriarty
“How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y” by Joeri Van den Bergh,Mattias Behrer

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