Developing a luxury brand strategy, and a brand agency overview

In a previous article, we reviewed the multi-channel fashion retail pioneer, Chanel. In this article, we turn our attention to strategies for the luxury segment brand Louis Vuitton.

The Louis Vuitton brand and the LV monogram are among the world's most valuable brands with an estimated total brand value of $29.25 billion. As a fashion house and luxury retail company founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton, the premium French fashion label is recognised in the international market as a brand that specialises in three segments, fashion accessories, luxury goods and expensive clothes. The brand strategy aims to cater to the rich, famous and those that that can afford luxury prices.

A design consultant’s view of the value of a luxury brand Louis Vuitton

How to reach your target client with a strategic brand marketing in the luxury product segment

The first step is to understand that in the luxury market, there are several possible strategies, 1 - Luxury, 2 - Fashion and 3 - Premium.

The difference between these strategies varies considerably. It does not change much in the eyes of most basic consumers, at least in the near-term. But when you have to manage the Louis Vuitton brand, the difference is pivotal. In fact, if you decide to implement a fashion or a premium strategy, a classic marketing strategy can work well. However, if you decide to implement a luxury strategy, you need to reconsider all the aspects of your marketing management outlook.

A design consultant’s view of the value of a luxury brand Louis Vuitton

1. The luxury strategy aims to create the highest brand value and pricing power by leveraging all intangible elements of uniqueness, distinctiveness, difference, individuality and particularity contained in the brand, i.e. time, heritage, country of origin, craftsmanship, hand-made, limited edition, prestigious clients, etc.

2. The fashion strategy is a totally different business model: Here, heritage, time, are not important; fashion sells by being fashionable, which is to say, for the moment and with a very limited shelf life value.

3. The premium strategy can be summarised as “pay more, get more”: Here the goal is to establish, through comparisons and benchmarking, that this is the best value within its category. Quality/price ratio is the motto. This strategy is, in essence, comparative.

The luxury strategy was originally developed for the broadly defined market, and it is there that you can find it the most efficient strategy in this market. It is seldom met on other markets, even though it can be very successful, as brands like Bvlgari and Roll Royce have demonstrated in the segment compared to the ubiquitous Apple and Mercedes in the premium segment.

A design consultant’s view of the value of a luxury brand Louis Vuitton

The luxury segment has two value facets, which need to be understood, a luxury for me, and luxury for others. To sustain the latter, it's essential that there should be many more prospective consumers that are familiar with the brand than those who could possibly afford to buy it for themselves.

In traditional marketing, the keywords are traction and return on investment. In advertising, the media plan concentrates on the target consumer audience. Every person reached beyond the target is a waste of investment money. In the luxury marketing segment, if somebody is looking at somebody else and fails to recognise the brand, part of the investment value is lost. It is essential to spread brand awareness beyond the target group, in a very positive way, brand awareness is not enough in luxury; it has to be prestigious.

Our process of renewal requires us to benchmark and write about the best in class brand design strategies in many market sectors across the globe. Please take a moment to review the ‘news section' of this website to read about our views in many market sectors.

The images in this article have been sourced from Louis Vuitton Spring-Summer, Series 4 2017 brand campaign and are representative of our thoughts and views relating to dynamic multi-channel brand leaders.

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