Of all the tricks in a marketer's bag, celebrity appeal is the most obvious. Want to look like Natalie Imbruglia? Buy L'Oreal. Like the way Elle Macpherson looks in her underwear? Well, now you can buy some.
In the American market, retailers are attempting to bridge the gap by enlisting big-name designers to develop products aimed squarely at average consumers.
Retailer Target has been at the forefront. The department store features clothing and homewares by designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Mossimo Gianulli, Cynthia Rowley and architect Michael Graves. What Target gets is the notion that good design should be accessible to all, not just those with deep pockets. The company just renewed its agreement with Mossimo - it now runs until 2008 - and shows no signs of changing tack. Retail analysts believe it is luring buyers away from rivals such as Wal-Mart by offering better design at only marginally higher prices. Read more (The Age)