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The specificity of luxury management: Turning marketing upside down


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.

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Correspondence to Jean-Noël Kapferer.

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Kapferer, JN., Bastien, V. The specificity of luxury management: Turning marketing upside down. J Brand Manag 16, 311–322 (2009).

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