Skip to main content

The specificity of luxury management: Turning marketing upside down

Abstract

Today luxury is everywhere. Everybody wants his products to be luxury. The concept of luxury is attractive and fashionable. There are luxury columns in all magazines and journals. There are TV shows on the business of luxury, and on luxury products and services. Even mass-consumption brands name many of their models ‘Deluxe’ or qualify their experience as luxurious. New words have been recently invented and promoted that add to the complexity: masstige, opuluxe, premium, ultra-premium, trading up, hyperluxury, real or true luxury, and so on. There is a confusion today about what really makes a luxury product, a luxury brand or a luxury company. Managing implies clear concepts and, beyond these concepts, clear business approaches and pragmatic rules. The aim of this paper is to unveil the specificity of management of luxury brands. Going back to fundamentals, one needs to distinguish it strongly from both fashion and premium or ‘trading up’. From this starting point, it sets out some of the counter-intuitive rules for successfully marketing luxury goods and services.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Thomas, D. (2007) Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Luster. London: Penguin Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Danziger, P. M. (2005) Let them Eat the Cake. Chicago, IL: Dearborn.

    Google Scholar 

  • Okongwo, U. (2007) Luxury Fashion Branding. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Silverstein, M. and Fiske, N. (2003) Trading Up. New York: Portfolio.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tungate, M. (2004) Fashion Brands: Branding Style from Armani to Zara. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doyle, P. (2002) Marketing Management and Strategy, 3rd edn., London: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sicard, M. -C. (2003) Luxe, Mensonge et Marketing. Paris: Village Mondial.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J. N. and Bastien, V. (2009) The Luxury Strategy. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berry, C. J. (1994) The Idea of Luxury: A Conceptual and Historical Investigation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Castarède, J. (2008) Luxe et Civilisation. Paris: Eyrolles.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frank, R. H. (1999) Luxury Fever. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frank, R. H. (2007) Richistan. London: Piatkus Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Veblen, T. (1899) The theory of the leisure class. Penguin Classics, 1994.

  • Bourdieu, P. (1985) Distinction. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mauss, M. (1990) The Gift: Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chevalier, M. and Mazzalovo, G. (2008) Luxury Brand Management. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cailleux, H., Mignot, C. and Kapferer, J. N. (2009) Is CRM for luxury? Journal of Brand Management, Special issue on luxury. 16 (5–6): 406–412.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J. N. (2008) The New Strategic Brand Management. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, P. and Gaston-Breton, T. (2000) Lacoste: the Legend. Paris: Cherche Midi.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J. N. (1990) Rumours: Nature, Functions and Uses. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kiley, D. (2004) Driven: Inside BMW. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chaddah, R. and Husband, P. (2006) The Cult of the Luxury Brand. Boston, MA: Nicholas Brealey.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dubois, B., Laurent, G. and Czellar, S. (2001) Consumer Relationship to Luxury: Analyzing Complex and Ambivalent Attitudes. HEC Paris Research paper, 1 October.

  • International Herald Tribune. (2009) 28 January: 17.

  • Elliott, H. (2009) Luxury Cars Aren’t Selling Either, Forbes.com, 14 January.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jean-Noël Kapferer.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kapferer, JN., Bastien, V. The specificity of luxury management: Turning marketing upside down. J Brand Manag 16, 311–322 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2008.51

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/bm.2008.51

Keywords

  • luxury
  • marketing
  • brand
  • premiumisation
  • fashion
  • trading-up