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Critical analysis of affected of economic crisis on the luxury brand market Essay

I- Introduction

Luxury Market has been important parts of the global retail market as well an important part of the global economy. Bain & Company (2011) estimate the value of traditional luxury market including fashion, jewellery and Dinnerware line represents approximately € 150 billion to € 200 billion in 2010 which is an dramatic increase from estimate that the global luxury market was worth about $ 86 billion in 1990 (McKinsey & Co, 1990). Since the 1980s, the luxury market has been growing at ten per cent per year.

Thegrowth rate of luxury is much higher than the growth rate of the global economy, which makes the luxury industry, relevant and important economic factor in the economy McKinsey (2011). Larousse (2005 p. 762) states:

“Sophistication, which makes the splendour and comfort in the ways to live” The consummation of luxury by customers is due to the motivation to buy specific brands with quality products. The use of its products and consumer motivation are the result of consumption (Ahuvia & Wong, 1998). Uncertainties are present in the current economic climate but Bain & Company (2011) estimates that the luxury market is going to grow in the coming years at about five to six per cent per year around the world and in Asia with more than a ten percent growth rate. As mass market manufacturing increases, companies want to increase the quality of their luxury products in order to retain their customers (Heine, 2011).

A better understanding of the effect of the economic crisis on the luxury fashion brands will be identified and understood for the purposes of understanding the effect of the economic crisis on the luxury product industry. Kapferer, (2009) argues that without clear-cut specification of luxury it is impossible to distinguish the luxury consumer or luxury brand, from others who are not. In this thesis the author will start by explaining the aims and how the author intends to achieve his aims. Then a literature review will be undertaken to try and determine and define what luxury is and define various factors, which make a product luxury.

The author will also try and generate a better understanding of why are luxury products important and the different target markets who they is important for. The author will discuss the methods used to complete the study. The Author will then present various factors, which affect the Luxury fashion brands in the economic downturn. Finally the author will provide his findings and conclude discussing the effects of the economic downturn on the luxury fashion market

1.1 Rational

The author has chosen to approach and better understand the world of luxury because of a personal interest at an academic level. In addition, the author being a student of luxury for more than 5 years want to deeper understand
how big luxury brand adapted to the economic crisis. 1.2 Aims & Objectives

The objective of this thesis is to study and analyse the luxury market and the threats that surround it. The aim of this study is to examine to what extent the economic crisis affects the luxury market. The objective is to understand the concepts implemented by the luxury market during this period of financial crisis. This thesis will be useful for understanding and analysing the luxury market and understand the various tools marketing used.

1.3 Research question

-Understand the luxury market and its operation.
-Understanding the economic crisis on the financial market of luxury and magnitude. -Assess the extent to which marketing tools are used during the economic crisis. -Include the importance of consumer and luxury image in marketing. -Evaluate the various threats of the luxury market.

1.4 Theoretical framework

II- Methodology

The methodology chapter will allow the researcher to understand and describe the different methods that can be used to successfully complete the objectives of this research project and move towards the aim of the research. Gillham (2000) explained that some methods are more appropriate depending on the subject and objectives. It is necessary to adapt the methodology on the project. Gillham (2000) also argues that research is about creating new knowledge, in a multitude of disciplines such as medicine, history or social works, by using evidence in the form of quantitative and qualitative data.

The definition of methodology, according to Hart (2007, p. 28) is: “A system of methods and rules to facilitate the collection and analysis of data. It provides the starting point of choosing an approach made up of theories, ideas, concepts and definitions of the topic; therefore the basics of a critical activity consisting of making choices about the nature and characters of the social world (assumptions).

This should not be confused with techniques of research, the application of methodology.” In this section the researcher highlights, discusses and assesses the methods used for the collection and evaluation of data. The researcher will focus on secondary research for the purpose of this research; the methodology will include the reasoning and justification for the choice of research design, construction method and also the sample of literature to be used to demonstrate a thorough understanding of the aims and objectives of the research.

2.1 Choice of the research design

Research is defined by Saunders et al. (2003, p. 488) as “the systematic collection and interpretation of information with a clear purpose.” The goal is to collect and analyse information to get a clear and established goal. The most appropriate method for this study is secondary research. It was selected by the author with the aim of examining the luxury market and the various threats that surround it as the crisis. The goal is to achieve a critical analysis of the current market situation for luxury brands.

In addition Cottrell (2005) argues that many reliable sources are now available online. Secondary research via the Internet can provide data of better quality than the result of primary research. In performing secondary research, the author has made a very wide collection of information from the literature. Reading books, newspapers and articles online, acquired a clear and comprehensive knowledge of the subject. Considered safe by Saunders et al. (2003, p. 52) and it is recommended that. “They are evaluated by peers before publication to assess their quality and convenience.”

To ensure that the collection of information, theory and model’s necessary and relevant; the author also conducted secondary research in the sources of the luxury market. The press releases and video from website such as Vogue, Fashion TV, Word of Fashion has allowed to deepen the knowledge. Stewart and Kami (1993) explain that the use of secondary data sources is an advantage. In addition, the authors point out that it allows the researcher to make a comparative analysis between the new collected data and previous data.

2.2 Construction of design

“You need to maintain a critical perspective, the evaluation of the study on its own merits and in comparison with other studies on the same or similar problem.” According to Saunders and al. (2003 p. 483) Saunders et al. (2003 p. 488) explains also the research:

“The systematic collection and interpretation of information with a clear purpose” The objective of the systematic collection and interpretation of information is to analyse and criticize the effects of economic crisis on the market of luxury brands. The research plan established for this research project is the collection of qualitative information in a secondary search. During the construction and implementation of secondary research, it did not just say to read the previous literature, as explained Rudestam and Newtown (2001, p. 60) Critical evaluation is an integral party of process research and allows the completion of the secondary research. According to Cottrell (2005) Critical thinking is a complex function of deliberation that provides the skills and attitudes.

Human nature is not the same for everyone. Some people are suspicious and the other is in trust. But in critical thinking that is different. This is not a character trait but a system of methodology used to analyse. According to Stewart (1993) and Saunders (2003) that secondary research is better suited for this research. In this thesis, the researcher collected data only secondary, secondary research allows access to reliable information and theories that are related to branding.

Stewart and Karmins (1993, p. 3) argues that secondary research differs from primary research so that secondary research is based on reliable as primary research based on the analysis of the author information. The data required for completion of the aim and objectives is readily available from various secondary research resources. Primary research could have helped to provide the researcher with a first hand insight into the industry but the lack of accessibility to the key stakeholders and also time constraints to the research made primary research not feasible.

2.3 Scope of research

The luxury market is a vast market. It includes many products such as clothing, jewellery and cars; And also many services such as travel and hotels. As the luxury market is the researcher will focus on a particular sector of the luxury product industry for the purposes of a targeted and viable research.

This will help the researcher to look at factors affecting the specific area of luxury in detail. As Bain&Co (2010) suggest Fashion is now the luxury sector expanding. The current craze for the fashion industry propels the luxury clothing first. The researcher is studying the field of luxury clothing. For the purposes of this research brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dior and Chanel will be quoted at example to understand the current luxury market status.

III- Literature Review

A review of the literature is very important for any research and is an essential part of it (Webster and Watson, 2002). With the support of a literature review, the knowledge that is already prevalent on the topic in question may be determined (Hart, 1999). An incomplete comprehension the current literature might lead to misunderstandings on the subject.

Hart (1999) defines a literature review that the widespread use of literature to support an approach to a topic the establishment of a methodology which can be used and the importance of new functionality that could potentially be supported by further research. It is also said “… to quality means the width and the appropriate depth, rigor and consistency, clarity and conciseness, analysis and efficient synthesis “(Hart, 1999, p. 1). Webster and Watson (2002) define an effective review of the literature to be based on in-depth knowledge, and give us an understanding of where more research is needed.

Cottrell (2005, p. 127) explains that when looking for evidence to support an argument that has been spoken on the subject in the literature should be considered, where relevant information can be found and understanding of the leading authorities on the subject. From the definitions, it is clear that it can be derived from a review of the literature effective (Levy and Ellis, 2006)

3.1 What is luxury?
3.1.1 Definition

Luxury brands looking to be desired and known by all, but consumed only by the happy few to keep their prestige explains Kapeferer (2002) This summarizes the overall strategy of luxury brands, however, some inconsistencies persist in the clear explanation of the definition of luxury. Gutzats (1996) expresses luxury with exhaustive definition “Luxury two levels of representation. The first level is important. It includes product and brand (its history, its unique expertise and talent) second level is psychological, it is performance that our social environment and our brands influence us. “

Luxury is a product with multiple objective characteristics that make it unique and rare, but also subjective characteristics with experience because of the importance that has consumers during the purchase process. The rarity factor of a product is essential to the concept of luxury. Explained by Dubois (2001), the prestige of a luxury brand can lose value if too many people own it. The distribution of a luxury product is very important; it must be selective to maintain the scarcity of the product.

However, according to Kapferer (2002), the luxury market is in perpetual change. Several factors explain why the brand luxuries change their relationship with the principle of scarcity and become more accessible to a wider audience. Diversification of luxury brands with the creation of range of accessories and cosmetic product for the consumer access to the general public. Partnerships with general public brands, the Masstige contraction of Mass and prestige, or prestige for the masses. Is concept allows enlargement of the luxury market. (Kapferer, 2009)

3.1.2 Relativity

The vision of what is necessary and desirable is relative. It depends on the perspective and perception of the consumer. Depending on the consumer perception of luxury is not universal. Büttner and al (2006) argues that relativity of luxury is divided into several categories. The economic relativity, cultural, regional, temporal and situational.

1. Economic relativity

Kisabaka (2001) suggests economic relativity is expressed by the difference in perception of luxury depending on the economic situation of the consumer. For example, a pair of jeans £ 70 will be considered by a category of consumer as usual while for another it could be a luxury item. From a perspective of another consumer group a pair of jeans worth £2000 might not be considered a luxury product. The perception of price and its relativity to luxury can be argued to be relative to the consumer.

2. Cultural relativity

Kemp (1998) suggests cultural relativity can be expressed as a function of the consumer culture. Whatever the consumer culture, luxury is a product, which is not trivial and necessary in everyday life. Kemp (1998) But cultural relativity has no reference to the availability of the product but the product vision based on the culture. A product can be considered luxury or not, based on the culture.

Kisabaka, (2001) argues in some cultures a product can be ordinary and undesirable while for another it will be indispensable to belong to the culture of his country. For example, alcohol can be seen as a luxury product in European countries, while in Islamic countries there will be a product that very few people consume. (Berthon and al., 2009) However, Mortelmans (2005, p. 497) argues:

“Every social group can be said to have its own luxury”
Reith & Meyer (2003) suggests every culture has its symbols and social distinctions. The consumer of the same culture can be part of different socio-professional category. For example, the hip-hop culture embraces gold teeth and considers it a luxury while it might not be desirable for a different cultural group. Kemp (1998) also argues cultural values ​​express different preferences of luxury; they differ depending on age, sex, and education. It is important to differentiate the perception of luxury based on knowledge of the symbols of luxury. But also different perceptions in different cultural groups.

3. Regional relativity

Reith & Meyer (2003) express regional relativity in terms of availability of the product. A product mass distribution in a country will not have the luxury status. However, a product, which is rare in a country, takes of value because of its rarity and exclusive distribution. For example, a sunny day at the beach can be considered as a luxury for the countries of Europe. But in the Caribbean this represents the daily weather.

4. The Temporal relativity

Matsuyama (2002) defines temporal relativity by changes in perceptions of luxury over the years. The reasons for these changes in perceptions are societal trends and the development of technology. (Schiereck & Koenigs, 2006) Technological advances for consumer products can change their perspective of luxury For example, Reith & Meyer (2003) the television was created in the 1930s when it was considered a luxury, since the progression of technology televisions are present widely in his homes which has led to a change in the perception of luxury. This product has become common in homes is no longer a luxury product.

However Koschel (2005) argues that the process can be expressed in the opposite direction. Natural resources such as clean air, water became scarce in some countries. Kapferer (2008) suggests temporal relativity is a specific factor of luxury because it is not stable and steady and could change readily. (Jäckel & Kochhan, 2000) Luxury is not universal and adapts as a function of some factor. It is important for companies to understand these factors and adapt ait’s marketing to influence different groups to sell its products. 3.2 Luxury customer

Gilles Lipovetsky (2009), philosopher suggests:
“Do not have faith in a future that is mechanically better and fairer, there are still people in the hope of a better life, the feast of the senses, the beauty to expect that we leave the monotony of everyday life. Luxury is no longer the accursed share, but “dreams, excellence and superlative, this human need.” It can be inferred from the above statement that luxury for a consumer is an achievement of itself. A luxury consumer wants to show his wealth and property, luxury goods are a reflection of the wealth.

The motivation of pleasure today became the first luxury purchase motivation to its traditional buyers. (Gilles Lipovetsky, 2009) According to Okonkwo (2007) a purchaser of luxury products cannot be considered as a mere client of luxury, but as an individual part of a network of the brand. It is by sharing with him the ritual and the traditions of the bard, which they have purchased, by teaching the consumer these details about the brand itself the sense of community and attachment towards a brand is built.

It can be inferred that unlike mass-market brands, the luxury brand should tell a story and to give the customer want to be a part. Gilles Lipovetsky (2009) explains luxury Consumption Consuming is both a product, a legend / myth, tradition, knowledge and ritual use.

3.2.1 Customer behaviour

Kapferer (2004) suggests that there are several categorize consumers of luxury brands into different groups. Lombard (1989) argues that customers can be differentiated on the basis of their purchasing power. A customer with the financial resources has the capacity to buy products from all the different categories of luxury products (see section 3.4.3). These elite customers not only form the key user base of the product but also are a great advertisement for the luxury status of the product. Customers of the elite are the generators of the turnover of luxury brands. They are loyal and hold the financial resources to consume luxury goods when it desires. This type of customer only buys clothes from luxury brands.

Occasional customers have the financial resources necessary to consume luxury products but are not addicted. They consume luxury when the mood or the occasion arises. They are not faithful because they can change the luxury brand in the trend. (Bain&co, 2008) The low-income customers who consume when their financial situation allows them. This type of customer consumes the occasional high-priced products for exceptional period (Christmas, birthday). However this type of client is the target of entry-level luxury products. Low-income customers consume perfumes and cosmetics in large quantities.

This allows them to detain a part of the brand without spending an extravagant amount. According to Berry (1994), three levels of luxury can be presented: the unattainable luxury reserved for extremely rich people, luxury means restricted to middle class high and affordable luxury reserved for the middle class. Each level corresponds to a totally different type of marketing because the target is not the same, the brand must adapt depending on the area they choose. Consumer’s behaviour while buying luxury products can be affected by three different effects. (Leibenstein, 1950)

5. The Veblen Effect

One can distinguish consumption to be under the Veblen effect, conspicuous consumption. Leibenstein, (1950) suggests the consumer buys the luxury product due to its high price. The work of Bourne (1957) explains the influence of peer groups on consumers in their purchases of luxury goods. Vigneron and Johnson (1999) also argue that a positive relationship is observed between conspicuous consumption and peer groups.

In addition, Bearden and Etzel (1982) also explain that to buy the product in public is a sign of Veblen because the customer wants to be seen buying a valuable product. The consumer wants to show their wealth, status and power (Veblen, 1899). The price of the products is considered important in the minds of consumers, it represents the quality. (Vigneron and Johnson, 1999)

Erickson and Johansson (1995) conducted a study showing that the price can judge the quality of a luxury item. It is also agued the customer who consumes with effect Veblen is attentive to the quality of the product.

6. The effect of Snob

According to Leibenstein (1950), the effect of snob is a complex concept. A consumer with the snob effect takes into account the emotional and personal desires which Influences the behaviour of others is also a factor that pushes the purchase of products of luxury brands. For example, the launch of a new product, create exclusivity, snob effect causes the immediate purchase. Few clients have this product at the launch, the customer will feel different and above other consumer, it is preferred.

A luxury item in limited sale has a great value while a readily available product will be less demand and will not have a high value; unusual item brings respect and prestige. (Solomon, 1994) However, after some time, the general public and the mass consumers consume the product, the snob consumers reject the product. The unique product, popular and expensive does not stay long. Demand is growing rapidly and the product loses value. (Verhallen and Robben, 1994) 7. The Bandwagon Effect

Bandwagon effect is a different concept of the two previous. In this effect, the product is consumed by the mass market, its demand in the market is important. Consumers are buying this type of product in order to have a luxury product and belong to a group. The luxury product is the similarity between the members of the group. (Leibenstein, 1950) For example, a consumer group buying the same mass-produced luxury feel they belong to the same social class. The product is generally in the current trend and at affordable price. Berry (1994) argues Bandwagon consumers buy the product to look like other consumer and access a different social class a different group.

3.2.2 Price

McKinsey (1990) suggests that the price is the first characteristic, withheld to qualify luxury goods. It is evaluated as the criterion most objectives and most quantifiable to measure the quality of luxury. . Dubois and Duquesne (1993) also suggest that luxury product must be at a high price to be credible; it is an essential criterion for the qualification of the same as a luxury. Kapferer (2001) argues although the price is a very important criterion for the luxury product it is not the whole product. It can be found on the market for very expensive products that are not necessarily luxury items due to lack of quality and luxury marketing.

The brand positioning reflects its class. In addition, Kapferer and Bastien (2009) also argue that the consumer looking for a luxury product is ready to pay the price but he also wants. Indeed, the consumer wants to own an expensive product because it provides the purchaser with recognition, which is valuable. The researched can infer that price is price is an important guideline of a luxury product. In addition, Danielle ALLERES (1997) states:

The fair price for a luxury product based on a perfect correlation between the level in the world of luxury, rarity and its brand reputation. According to Julian Levy and Jacques Lendrevie (2009) a policy of skimming or price skimming is a pricing policy, which consists of a high price (often partially disconnected from the cost) that customers can choose, the price can directly target customers. It also maintains the image of luxury brand and reputation. (Julian Levy and Jacques Lendrevie, 2009) also argue that luxury product cannot be sold at a discount price. It may lose its value and caused the damage to the brand.

3.2.3 Exclusivity

Kisabaka (2001) suggests scarcity of a product is also an important part of making it luxury. A luxury consumer wants exclusivity and differentiation. For example, a customer who purchases a product from a luxury brand would expect it to be exclusive and would not like it for it to be a mass-market product. (Catry, 2003) also points out luxury brand must ensure the rarity of its products by limiting the production and individualization of products.

3.4 Luxury brand

A brand can be expressed as the identity of the company and the consumers it targets. The brand must represent a clear image in the minds of target consumers. (Esch, 2011) The luxury brand is associated with its flagship products and basic products on the basis of which consumers assimilate the product image. (Kapferer, 2008) For example, the little black jacket from Chanel is the flagship product for years and is constantly equated with the image of Chanel. (http://thelittleblackjacket.chanel.com)

Meffert and Lasslop (2003) suggest that different definitions of luxury represent the association of product characteristics and brand. A luxury brand is associated with an image that is ubiquitous in the consumer’s mind, which is itself associated with a luxury product: high price, perfect quality esthetical, the scarcity of the product and the product exceptional characters.

3.4.1 Relationship Product/Brand

A luxury brand must not only offer luxury products but also offer ranges of products more accessible products to maintain the brand status. The goal would be to reach a wider target customer. (Kapferer and Bastien, 2009) For example, luxury brands such as Chanel and Dior, offer ranges available such as key rings or jewellery phone products. This allows consumers to enter and feel to be a part of brand, with an affordable price. In addition, brands offer masstiges products; this concept is the combination of a luxury brand with a current and accessible brand to the public. For example, H & M has many partnerships with luxury brands and top designer. (Kapferer, 2008) Collections are distributed in H & M stores at affordable prices to the general public. This marketing tactic provides high visibility for luxury brands to the mass market.

In contrast, non-luxury brands try to portray themselves to be offering a range of products, which include a touch of luxury for another customer segment. For example, as Lufthansa airlines offer flights with luxury service at an additional cost such as offering extra-large seats, bigger entertainment systems and meals cooked to order. This demonstrates the relationship between a product and brand is important. It can also be inferred that a luxury brands have to offer luxury products to maintain its brand image. Furthermore the quality and status of a product will only remain one that of a luxurious item if the brand is rated as a luxury brand.

3.4.2 Type of luxury brand

Luxury brands can be categorised using various different factors, which affect a brand. 8. Luxury brand level

Esteve and Hieu-Dess (2005) argues level of brand can be differentiated on the basis of the levels of luxuries performed. It is therefore important to distinguish luxury brands based on a category. The entry-level: products of entry-level correspond to the product seen above in relation brand / product. Its products are part of the range luxury brand but with affordable prices. In its entry-level, there are the masstiges and the products of
luxury brands at affordable prices. Example: Hugo Boss Fragrance

Luxury product middle level: These products are part of the luxury range, but they are not maximum level. Its products are accessible while maintaining their entities luxury. Example: Marc Jacobs, Moschino.

Luxury goods of high level: These products represented luxury in pure state. These ranges of products are of high quality and high price. Example: Hermes

Produces luxury level of the elite: This product is the top of the ladder. This segment is the most luxury products. Its quality and marketing must be irreproachable, they represent the brand. To reference the type of product is Chanel, Dior. According to the relativity of luxury explained above, the established classification can be modified over time. A brand can go from middle level to level for elite customer.

It may be noted its changes based on trends, seasons and different cultures. (Phan and al.,2011) Conversely, certain brand may lose their luxury positioning if it does not fit depending on relativity. For example, Christian Lacroix, who lost his rank High Fashion due to improper adaptation of its marketing and its collections. (Bain&co, 2009)

9. Luxury brand awareness

The leading products and notorieties are very important in the management of the brand and in its differentiation. A luxury brand should differentiate itself from others with its marketing strategy and advertising. The knowledgeable consumer expects certain notoriety, it must be found in the marketing strategy. The luxury brand needs to focus its marketing and marketing in a niche. If a brand decides to sell luggage, clothing, jewellery and does not fit its marketing it will no longer be identified as specialize and thus not as a luxury brand. (Meffert and Lasslop 2003) Awareness of the brand in the minds of the public is essential.

The flagship products create the brand awareness; even if its products are for purchase only certain category of customer it represents the brand. Previously the author explained the importance of quality and marketing for the range of customer connoisseur but this process is also important for the client who never will buy the product. Its customers will be interested in the brand and will position as a luxury brand (Kapferer, 2009)

The primary objective of the luxury brand is to become known around the world to demonstrate its performance and quality. (Phan and al, 2011) In addition, for a customer of the elite luxury product group buys a flagship product is a sign of wealth, it is important that the product meets this demand (Kapferer & Bastien, 2009).

3.4.3 Marketing technique

If the marketing of mass consumption appeared after World War II during the post-war boom, the first luxury marketing techniques already existed in the seventeenth century. Berry (1994) The companies in the luxury sector can manage the time by recalling the history of their homes through codes. For example, Chanel, two legendary fragrance: N ° 5 – first perfume by Gabrielle Chanel launched in 1921 and still one of the best global industry sales – is the lucky number of Coco, and No. 19 is reference to the date of birth of the Creator August 19, 1883, this history is an important part of the marketing strategy of the companies these days as they entice buyers by presenting a history and tradition of the product.

Each of the luxury goods is modernized, redesigned while respecting the history of the house, called in luxury marketing an incremental leap technique. (Kapferer 2009) Thus, the customer discovers and buys without hesitation a new version of a mythical product that meets the codes of the house, allowing sales to continue to grow. The success of these products is only possible through the transfer of know-how of artisans and small hands working in the workshops. Embroiderers, milliners, dressmakers, all these businesses demonstrate a thorough knowledge and quality that are transmitted in time while upgrading.

This concept allows the luxury home to restart their old products maintaining the brand image. A new advertising campaign is designed and the product is restarted. During a period of crisis, this concept is used by numerous brands. (Meffert & Lasslop 2003) Luxury brands must carefully control its distribution channels. (Esch 2011) the industry knows how to stage each of its products in places specific distribution channels for each target group.

Thus, it is impossible to find products of high fashion in a shop. For these exceptional customers who closely value privacy and exclusivity the brands offer uninterrupted private showroom visits. Other products are available in retail spaces that respect the history of products. Each shop sector, the opportunity to store the multifunctional space through the flagship store and the store concept recalls the history of the House.

Each vendor must implement a home barge protocol to highlight the new products with the most modern techniques of merchandising. Each client treated like a king or a princess, feels so unique and wants to return. The presentation of products in store should reflect the image of the luxury business.

3.5 Treat of the luxury market
3.5.1 Effect of the global economic crisis on the luxury fashion market.

In 2007, global financial economic crisis affected all global business. This crisis is expressed by a lack of liquidity in the banking system Shiller, (2008). Fiscal crisis leads to a lower per capita incomes and increased unemployment. Consumers are the first affected, and their buying behaviour is changed. Expenditures are reduced and thoughtful Mckinsey (2010) Several research explains the overall impact of the financial crisis on consumers and the luxury market. It is explained by the reduction in consumer spending.

Bain & Company (2009) reported that in 2008, a decrease of 2% is observed in the sales of global luxury products. In addition, analysts already expected a decline of about 8% in 2009. McKinsey (2009) also reported that Consumers are now cautious and monitor their spending. 50% of luxury consumers say think more carefully about their purchases and pay attention to the price in the current economic circumstances Mckinsey, (2008). Low-income consumers are affected by the crisis. Luxury consumers being basic high-income consumers this allows the luxury market to be less affected than other sectors.

Bain and Company (2013) report luxury goods market remains more or less untouched by the crisis with a projected increase of 4 to 5% of sales in the sector in 2013 after a growth of 10% last year. Which contradict earlier predictions of the sales dipping by Mckinsey (2008) and Mckinsey (2009)

“The world market outlook is positive despite the weakness of many economies in the world and a slight slowdown in
the pace in the first quarter 2013,” Altagamma (2013) reported in a press release about a market that has earned 212 billion euros in 2012. The President of the Foundation, Andrea Illy (2013), said the weight is luxury for the economy of a country. For example, in Italy: “12% of the industry, 24% of exports, 2% of GDP after a rise of 8% in 8 years, and a turnover doubling every ten years,” the sector.

Luxury continues to grow “because customers are seeking an excellent product,” according to Illy (2013). Bain & Co (2013), predict that in 2025, the luxury market will be five times larger than in 1995. This year, the turnover of the sector in Europe is expected to increase by 4% due to a slowdown in tourist flows, particularly from Japan. In this country, domestic consumption off again sharply and should benefit Luxury (5%), but brands have been struggling to keep the behaviour and preferences of young people constantly changing according Altagamma (2013).

3.5.2 Counterfeiting

Staake & al. (2009) defined counterfeiting:
“Counterfeit trade is the trade in goods that, be it due to their design, trademark, logo, or company name, bear without authorization a reference to a brand, a manufacturer, or any organization that warrants for the quality or standard conformity of the goods in such a way that the counterfeit merchandise could, potentially, be confused with goods that rightfully use this reference”.

Counterfeiting is currently undergoing a boom, 85% of counterfeit products in the EU come from China. This causes a huge loss to the luxury brand are all plagiarized Okonkwo (2009). According to Chevalier, and Xiao (2009) the counterfeiting is a threat to luxury brands. Luxury brands face a growing market; in fact, the counterfeit market is very organized. It is divided into four categories: the local market, export markets, especially export markets and market networks Chevalier and Xiao also agues this type of counterfeit products causes injury to the undisputed industry, especially as these products are sold at less than half the price of the original.

For businesses, this phenomenon leads to loss of revenue, market share and lower profits. In addition, as is the entire global market is hit hard by this parallel activity, counterfeiting is a barrier to export.

Thus, in this situation, we can see that retailers are reluctant to order the genuine. According Nguyen (2006), the Internet facilitates the market for counterfeit product distribution becomes easy for the public. The client can directly connect online and access the products counterfeited luxury brand. In addition, the customer often misinformed think make a purchase legal. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2008) has decided to inform the customer about counterfeits but it is not simple.

It remains that the luxury industry is facing a new generation of counterfeit products for which distinguish genuine products is very difficult to do. Loss of business activity has obvious implications on the number of jobs offered by these companies. The OECD has noted that the calculation of these losses can be, for example, job losses equate to direct loss of sales because it is assumed in this case that the number of additional assets will be affected by all reduction of direct sales.

Therefore, additional assets may not be hired because of the shortfall of the corresponding sums. However, the loss was estimated by the National Anti-Counterfeiting Committee (NACC) to 200 000 jobs worldwide, including 100,000 in Europe. Nia and Zaichkowsky (2000) argue that counterfeiting is not necessarily bad for the luxury market.

Two situations must be taken into account to assess the impact on the market. In addition, the customer buying the counterfeit would probably never have bought the product brand in itself raise the cost of the products. And client products of luxury brands know the product quality of luxury and that counterfeit products, it remains faithful to the brand. Counterfeiting has a major economic impact on the society it represents 5-9% of global economic commerce. Luxury counterfeiting is steadily increasing since 1995.

The shortfall for companies is 200 to 300 billion euros / year. For example, for a country like France, luxury companies have lost 6 billion per year. Social cost: a loss of 200,000 jobs per year, including 38,000 jobs. One in two businesses in France claims to be victim counterfeiting. The phenomenon is experiencing unprecedented amplification with alarming figures: 25 million products seized in 1999 against 85 million products seized in the EU in 2002. (http://www.justice.gouv.fr/art_pix/scpc2005-3.pdf)

What is luxury
Luxury customer
Luxury brand










Buttner & al



Berton & al


Reith & Meyer


Schiereck & Koenigs


Jackel & Kochlan

Gilles lipovetsky












Vigneron & Johnson


Bearden & Etzel






Verhallen & Robben




Dubois & Duquesne


Kapferer & Bastien










Chanel Website


Meffert & Lasslop


Esteve & Hieu Dess


Phan & al


Bain & co



Andrea Illy

Staake & al

Chevalier & Xiao



Nia & Zaichkowsky




Despite the economic downturn, luxury fashion brands present in 2010 ranking of the top 100 global brands Interbrand (2012) continued to see their value increase at + 8.32% (Interbrand, 2012). Louis Vuitton that lost two places in the global interband 2013 it is able to maintains its position as the first luxury brand in the world with a brand value at 23.172 billion USD, ranked 18th in the overall study. Gucci another luxury fashion brand which fared well in the interband global index was ranked 39th compared to 44th in 2009 and valued at 8.763 billion USD, before Hermes valued at 5.356 billion USD up three places as compared to 2009.

A similar trend can be seen with other luxury fashion brands like Cartier (4.781 billion USD, 70th an increase of 7 places), Tiffany & Co ($ 4,498 billion, 73rd), Armani ($ 3,794 billion, 93rd) and Burberry (3,732 billion dollars, 95th place). It can be observed that the value of luxury brands have gradually increased over a period of time immediately after the economic crisis. In this section of the research the author will explore various steps, which luxury brands have taken to adapt to the new market conditions and further study the effect of the economic crisis

4.1 Luxury marketing

Despite unpredictable economic landscape since 2008, Top 100 brands (Interbrand, 2011) portrays that luxury brands maintain their brand value by remaining constantly attentive, flexible, innovative and evolving towards its consumers needs. Chovet, States (Interbrand, 2011):

“By refining their digital strategies and strengthening their presence on social networks, the most valued brands are creating an even more relevant engagement with their audiences. They seized the opportunity to develop richer experiences tailored, in turn, create long-term loyalty and value to consumers and partners in the long term.” Luxury fashion brands have gone even further in this direction of creating long term relationships. As a Result, luxury brands have managed to increase their brand value by finding delicate balance between relying on their status as iconic brand while being open to new customers by creating unique and relevant experiences.

Luxury fashion brands focus has shifted form a weightage to their personal brand values to being more customer need centric (Kapferer 2009) Luxury fashions brands are now very involved in the way people live, think and behave. M. Ricca (Interbrand, 2013) argues that since the economic crisis luxury brands have moved on from an almost idol like status which was revered by potential consumers to The time has gone, where luxury brands were idols that did not move, revered by crowds.

Today they are able to achieve liquid modernity and demonstrate a dynamic outlook to all parts of all parts of customer relationships Such dynamism is driven by the economic crisis, which pushes luxury brands to review their marketing and adapt to changing customer needs -Brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry have become over active and used the full potential of social media. -A new interpretation of their values.

For example Gucci highlighted its artisan roots in its advertising campaigns “Forever Now” celebrating the craftsmen who make our products and presenting visuals as the Gucci shop in Florence that existed in 1953. The press campaign was accompanied by a U.S. tour of its artisans.

A temporary workshop “Artisan Corner” has been restored in some shops. And a museum was opened in Florence to capitalize on its heritage, celebrate the “Made in Italy” and learn the secrets fans of the brand to make it even more desirable. The open operation in October 2011 by the houses of the LVMH group is the same strategy. (Bain&Co 2011) The launch of advertising campaigns allows the brand to portray itself in a new light.

It allows the customer to understand the design. -Ethics. Most luxury brands behave according to the expectations of their audience. They are engaged in sustainable development programs, which are very subtle. Gucci, for example, combined the launch of its children’s line with a renewed program “Schools for Africa” supported by UNICEF (United Nations Fund for Children). Continued consumer aspirations.

Customization is growing increasingly. Initiatives, such as Prada, which offers more lines of measurement (clothing, handbags, glasses), respond to this trend, and help strengthen their relationships with customers. (Bain&Co 2011) It can be concluded that luxury fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Cartier all saw their value increase this year – an extraordinary performance given conditions turbulent economic conditions. Each has managed to focus on their traditional customers by providing great quality, craftsmanship and but also focused on a dynamic digital marketing strategy to attract new customers.

4.2 Luxury Customer

Customers of luxury fashion brands are affected by the economic. The Author explained in the literature review that despite the change in their budgets, customers continue to spend money on luxury goods. Luxury brands need to focus on the habits of the consumer but also on their loyalties. A loyal customer who likes to buy luxury continues to buy at the same brand of luxury (Kapferer, 2011) Luxury fashion brands should maintain a link with the most loyal customers and create a link with new clients in order to retain and create customer loyalty.

During this period of crisis, the customer expects a product but a luxury service as well, they wants to be privileged. Luxury brands are focusing their marketing to the lower end customers by using print media in consumer languages. The Author explains the different categories of customer.

Elite clients will have the financial means to purchase high-end luxury products despite of the economic downturn. However, customer’s with lower financial resources need attention to Luxury fashion houses have also altered their product line to offer more products at a lower price point like perfumes and wallets to cater to the clients with tougher financial restrictions. (J.B. Fabbricatore 2009) explains the reasons for the diversity of luxury fashion brands do not make a profit with sales of haute couture instead, they lose money.

They make a profit through ready-to-wear, accessories, perfumes and cosmetics. Luxury fashion brand’s strategy represents a consumer marketing. In the past, luxury had no specific strategy, as it was reserved for the elite of the population. It can be concluded that with this period of economic crisis, the market conditions stays resilient to luxury fashion brands and they are expanding their product ranges and their marketing to target a new audience.

4.3 Price

Luxury fashion brands sell a dream and prestige, prestige has a price. The relatively high price is justified by the exceptional quality guarantees. A high price is the best way for a luxury product to be distinguish and allow the client to be sure that accesses a premium product. (Lipovetsky 2009) The price rule plays a psychological role in the potential customer. The psychological price is the price the consumer is willing to pay for a product that meets their expectations and requirements. As an example: the sale price of a Dior nail polish is £ 24 in the items approved at a retail store. At first glance, £ 24 for a single nail polish bottle seems relatively excessive.

But if we consider that the nail polish is a product of one of the major luxury brands, the price seems respectable. A client of the middle class is relatively conquered by the quality / price ratio, and owning a luxury product. It is important to note that a luxury brand must offer higher prices if it wants to maintain its credibility and reputation. (Kapferer and Bastien 2009) A brand of the company cannot offer products at affordable prices, as it would lose the sense of luxury.

Even in times of crisis, the luxury brand cannot reduce its prices, prices remain unchanged since the beginning of the financial crisis. In can be concluded that in the past several luxury companies have decided to reduce the prices of their products in the objectives retain customers or attract new customers. A price reduction means reduced quality for the customer. The luxury brand is not respected; the client does not have the desire to buy luxury at discount prices (Dubois, 2007)

4.4 Advertising

The luxury industry is a major producer of added value products, this sector is one of the most dynamic and adapts to socio-economic activities of its key customers. The French luxury industry is highly reputable around the world, and its success has been growing for several years. (Bain&Co 2008) The success was achieved largely due to the quality production of the brand, but also because of the management of the brand. The brand image is the main production of the luxury industry and is the first marketing tool.

The power of luxury is a loyalty to its past, its roots in history and an open mind which helped it move to the present and in the future by exploring modernity. The brand image is projected through the history of the brand and what it has done with it. It is important for a company to represent luxury quality. (Dubois 2001) Branding has an important place in the communication. It must be represented irreproachable. For that luxury brands are represented in the events organized. For example, fashion houses are represented during their fashion shows. Chanel organizes a show for every collection, always with a particular theme in keeping with the collection.

Karl Lagerfeld presented the Chanel Spring-Summer 2013 collection at the Grand Palais in Paris. The original decoration was the buzz. Solar panels and wind turbines installed on a platform 140 meters long. Excess is an integral party of luxury, always larger with more quality and increasing investment. Karl Lagerfeld wanted to express the lightness and associate the brand with the idea of sustainable development.

The current consumer base is interested in the production of high fashion clothes and respect for the environment (Bain & Co, 2010). These extreme steps of excess and relating a Luxury fashion brand with a new fashionable concept is a form of advertising, which helps the brand in projecting its image through various fashion vendors, like Vogue and Cosmopolitan. In these times of financial crisis, luxury brands must continue their advertising campaigns, their presence on the market are very important.

Brands use more advertising concepts similar to the example mentioned above in order to make customers dream and be loyal to the brand. In addition, many controversies have accused luxury brands to outsource their production in Asian countries with the aim to gain margins in the tough economic climate with designing clothing at discounted prices. These polemics appeared in the newspapers generated a very bad image of luxury brands.

Chanel and Dior design houses have tried to capitalize their public relations by trying to promote their French design in the workshops and keeping production true to their root of origin. (Vogue 2011) Many events are created, offering workshops visit of the houses to explain the total production of the clothes. It can be concluded that the advertising mediums might not have changed dramatically but the focus of advertising has moved to sustainability in times of economic downturn to provide a feel good factor and also capitalize on the sentiment of the consumer.

V- Conclusion and recommendation
5.1 Conclusion

After studying the luxury world and its tools to cope with the economic crisis and other threats of market, it is possible to see that luxury fashion brands are well equipped with to handle various market conditions and manage to effectively win market share. Luxury brands can carry can arguably cope with difficult market conditions by adapting their marketing strategy as well as targeting new audience. They have managed to create hype so that the consumers are in perpetual expectation of new products and services of luxury. Luxury fashion brands should continue to provide a dream and the desire to own their products. As announced by Jean Castarède (2007). “Perfection, openness to the world and innovation are the three challenges of luxury.”

In addition, the premium luxury reserved only for the elite customers continue to remain, and with the middle income consumer base upgrading to premium luxury products with a the consumer base always looking for new design with price being no boundary, this customer segment is can be argued to be steady and ever present. We can see above the importance of marketing in the luxury fashion brands, we can conclude that this is an essential pillar in the luxury world. A luxury brand must maintain its successful brand image to continue to remain competitive with the market that is constantly expanding. In addition, marketing of luxury brands is evolving and we have understood how to implement various techniques that help the marketed good gain exposure and visibility in advertising.

We have also understood the importance of how Luxury marketing brands have amended their approach to target new audiences with brand partnerships and associations. For luxury consumers, the principle motivation for purchasing the products remains constant, while new customers an increasing demand for novelty and quality. It is important for the brand to reach a wider audience.

(Kapferer, 2009) For this to be effective it must target its products range to a wider variety of different customers. Segmentation is a very important place in the marketing which luxury brands have demonstrated a good understanding of. The luxury brand always offers premium products at very high prices to continue to attract an elite clientele but also offer quality products but offered at a affordable price by using the different style of marketing to reach a wider audience and increase the market share of the brands. Marketing techniques, most commonly used are the combination of stores of luxury brands with retailers, masstige, making it the exclusive sale while retaining the value of the brand. Advertising for luxury brands is in a state of constant evolution.

Digital advertising is currently expanding into the luxury world, which gives luxury fashion brands the ability to communicate across the world with speed and visibility. In fact, the advertising budget of the luxury business has become an important part of the investment; they help maintain the brand image and continue to sell the dream to its customers for their loyalty. Digital advertising is a source of innovation and also a launch pad for the luxury fashion brands. Website design and advertising pages are also being created with massive budgetary investment. This will allow them greater visibility.

With today’s three-quarter of the population having access to the Internet and e-commerce the investment in online advertising has been fruitful for most luxury companies However, in this world of luxury still wary. An investment and part of the dream is present in the distribution of stores of luxury brands, they want to keep moving business customer. Added to this the counterfeiting of luxury products is rife and Internet makes it easy for fraudulent products to be sold. Some companies have stepped up efforts to communicate with the press about how to identify a genuine product from a counterfeit one but more can be done. (Nguyen, 2006)

These counterfeit products not only damage the reputation of the brand, which is one of the dearest commodities for a brand, but also helps generates a loss in potential revenue. It can be concluded that the world of luxury fashion is in a good market position and is able to manage the economic crisis well to continue growing despite of the economic crisis. It is able to effectively use all the marketing tool and strategies available to it to effect the environment around it in a positive way.

5.2 Recommendations

After thorough study of the luxury market and marketing tools used to confront economic crisis. The author can produce recommendations which can help the industry further improve its market position. 1 – The world of luxury uses the Internet to present a brand image to its customers. But the most luxury fashion brand do not use the Internet to its full capacity. The Internet offers many opportunities for marketing, customer relations and sales. Previously, we studied how Luxury fashion brands use social networks to their advantage to communicate with its customers. These brands can create forums where customers could freely express their opinions to give their feelings about a product. This will allow the brand to better understand the expectations of its customers.

The creation of a close relationship with the client might be interesting; it will allow a vital connection between brands and their audience. Another area for improvement can be the creation of online events . Consumers like to participate in the life of the brand. These events are closed events right now and not available publically.

From the perspective of luxury business selling on the Internet. There is an ever-present risk to a luxury fashion product. A luxury product, as we have studied already must retain the dream that we can find in stores as it is an essential part of the experience. It is therefore very important to be careful about online sales. As 34% of Internet users are buying online, (Bain&Co, 2009) market share should not be overlooked. Brands must offer online sales but always with the service of luxury. The product will have to be sold with the sales service (delivery, after sales services and packaging service). Brands should be careful that selling online might damage the brand perception. 2 – Anti-counterfeiting campaigns ads were essential for stopping the loss of revenue.

But a more important communication must be made. Anti-Counterfeiting campaigns need advertising spots, press publication, a place on the website of the brand. The brands must actively fight against this illegal market. It might be a possibility to create videos to compare products of the brand counterfeit ones. This could help by not only showing potential customer about how to identify a potential counterfeit article as an advertisement about how much better are the original products. 3 – Luxury brands value the loyalty of its customers, to work on the same a loyalty programme could be started which could include advantages as early showcase of a new collection to exclusive sale access.

5.3 Limitations and suggestions for further research

In this thesis the researcher carried out the critical analysis from the perspective of luxury fashion brands. It would be interesting to understand the effect of the same economic crisis on other luxury products sectors and how it has affected them. Another avenue for further research could be to generate a better understanding of how various factors, which define luxury, define are variable depending on the product.

VI- References

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“The Idea Of Luxury, A Conceptual and Historical Investigation”, Paperback, UK Caroline Nguyen (2006), “The counterfeiting of European luxury brands in Asia”, in Labor Economics session, UK. Michel Chevalier, Gerald Mazzalovo (2012) « Luxury Brand Management: A World of Privilege » Jacques Marseille (1999), “Luxury in France from the Enlightenment to the present.” Gallimard, France Uché Okonkwo (2007) « Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques »

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