Luxury Brands And Lifestyles, Values And Attitudes Of Modern Society And Culture
Luxury brands are no longer targeted at the traditional middle aged consumer but are now recocnised that its most significant consumers are in their twenties. Hence, marketing efforts particularly in Asia have been emphasied on attracting young consumers with a middle income. Such efforts include providing a ‘clear and effective brand message worldwide, in all areas of communication including: fashion shows and special events/advertising/public relations, visual display and internet web sites’
Luxury brands are more attaintable globally due to increased distribution channels and marketing communications around the globe. For example, the strong Japenese economy and the increased levels of working females have contributed to an increase in percentage of all luxury brand sales. Vuitton’s initial step for globalisation by forming an alliance with a businessman in 1976. This relationship was formed to strategically increase market share among the upper class and the upper middle class. This alliance facilitated the company to sell its products directly to department stores without wholesaling,hence a franchise approach which was innovative for the industy at that time. Due to overwelming success Vuitton has lead the way into establishing its own store in Japan in 1978 and gained complete control ,and the other brands later followed.
Luxury brands are broadening their target consumer range by extending their brands to reach middle-income consumer’s throgh more affordable product ranges. Increased spending on luxury fashion goods are contributed by increased amounts of females entering the work force and their increasing incomes, as a result creating disposable income. Clothing and fashion purchase decisions are based on want rather than need (Jones and Hayes, 2002), as purchasing intentions in the fashion industry have transformed from a necessity to a luxury, ‘Luxury as standard’. This has enabled luxury brand corporations to reach a mass market of consumers to target their products towards by providing to consumers who are ‘trading up’.
Through intensive marketing efforts globally luxury goods are characterized by recognizable styles or designs as well as the visibly demonstrated self images and social status, consumer manifestations of uniqueness motivation may be exhibited by acquiring or wearing luxury fashion items, which may help individuals establish a unique personal identity as well as a unique social image. (Park, H & Rabolt N 2008) Recogning the strong relationship between advertising and marketing, companies increased their advertising efforts. In 2002, LVMH spent more than $1 Billion US on advertising, which was 11 percent of its sales. (Chevilier, M & Mazzalovo, G 2008) Heavy advertisement is delivered to consumers through print media, billboards, embassotors,major PR events, and sponsorships.