How does an exclusive brand such as Luis Vuitton grow and stay fresh while retaining its cachet?
Luis Vuitton (LVMH) is the owner of Fendi, Moet et Chandon and Christian Dior, and this is just naming a few. Luis Vuitton is such an innovator in the fashion world, and this keeps the LV name in the forefront of luxury goods. There is a modern, edgy sort of twist to this bag line. This produces a constant flow of return customers, and it keeps the Luis Vuitton name at the forefront of the customer’s mind. Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, “created crucial buzz via a combination of ads with famous spokespeople such as singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, actress Uma Thurman and supermodel Gisele Bundchen; attention-grabbing artists collaborations (most recently with producer Pharrell Williams), corporate sponsorships (LVMH Young Artists Award, LVMH Discovery and Education), high-class events (Louis Vuitton Classic, Louis Vuitton Cup) and PR stunts like the $1.5 million scaffolding in the shape of two giant Vuitton suitcases around the renovation of Louis Vuitton’s Paris store (Marinovich, 2007).
Additionally, each season LVMH promotes limited bag editions; these limited editions are not promoted to make money but to drive buyers. The bags are so stunning, that many people who cannot afford the limited edition will ultimately buy a standard bag just to have a Louis Vuitton. More notably, just the name Louis Vuitton itself shouts prestige and envy; an excellent selling tool. LVMH “has pursued a consistent approach to developing the market, never compromising in the face of difficult operational obstacles, and, as always, controlling every aspect of the business” (Business Week, 2007).With selective, quality-and-detail-oriented buyers, LVMH products overwhelmingly meet these standards in all of its products. In places like Japan whose “luxury customers are demanding and have an eye for detail” architecture has become an integral part of brand identity – LVMH transcends barriers across artistic, technical, and intellectual disciplines (Business Week, 2007). LVMH delivers, and that truly is the bottom line. It recognizes state and country while expanding in the global economy and consults local authorities through its Foundation to ensure the equitable promotion of its creative expressions.
Is the counterfeiting of LV always a negative? Are there any circumstances were it can be seen as having some positive aspects? LV brands are intellectual property and as such, counterfeiting of them is illegal. However, studies have shown that counterfeiting does have a positive effective for LV. Counterfeit designs make boost sales of the authentic item “because as women become attached to their phony Vuittons, they become more and more willing to pay for the real thing to replace their fraying counterfeits” (The Week, 2011). In addition, counterfeits can act as free advertisement, becoming a sampling tool for the real thing. When women get enough money to pay for the authentic, then the counterfeit’s advertising proves to be effective for the original brand. Renee Gosline, an assistant professor of marketing at MITs Sloan School of Management agreed that, while those that can afford Vuittons buy the real thing the first time, “many purchasers of knock-off bags move on to buy real ones within a few years” (Tirrell, 2009). This placebo for the real thing often pays off to the brand in big ways once the person is able to purchase it.
Are counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags good for Louis Vuitton? (2011). Retrieved from http://theweek.com/article/index/216045/are-counterfeit-luis-vuitton-bags-good-for-louis-vuitton Louis Vuitton’s life of luxury. (2007). Retrieved from
http://www.businessweek.com/…/online- extra-louis-vuittons-life-of-luxury Marinovich, S. (2007). Louis Vuitton king. Retrieved from
Tirrell, M. (2009). Fake Louis Vuitton bags don’t fool anyone. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/dec2009/id2009127_845611.htm