Michelin plans for lifestyle branding

Michelin is embarking on a design-led development programme for its brand extension division and is seeking partnerships with consultancies and individual designers, as part of a move to position itself as a global lifestyle and consumer brand.

It is already known for tyres, tourism (through its maps and guides) and gastronomy (through the Michelin restaurant star system), but now wants to ‘excel at design’, says Michelin Lifestyle marketing manager Daniela Gould. The division is looking to designers ‘of the stature of Terence Conran’ to spearhead the work and ‘bring in some flair’, she says.

‘A key focus of this year is to link up with as many consultancies and designers as possible,’ Gould adds.

Last week, Michelin Lifestyle unveiled its first range of automotive accessories, designed by Synapse, which includes footpumps, air compressors, car mats, wheel trims, a pressure gauge (pictured) and a first aid kit among others. The collection launches nationwide in Halfords in April.

The division is planning to extend the range into homeware, giftware and personal accessories as well as sport, leisure, travel and discovery products.

Michelin Lifestyle managing director Chris Dawes says he wants to establish Michelin as ‘one of the most innovative, stylish and desirable brands in each market it enters’. First up after the automotive products is a range of cycle accessories, scheduled to launch this year. Consumer products are set to follow next year.

The company appointed Pentagram in 2001 to help turn it into a global lifestyle and consumer products brand. The group designed a style guide and branding system under partner John Rushworth.

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