Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Vertu

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Introduction In the high end retail market, Gucci (1921), Louis Vuitton (1854) & Vertu (2000) are three successful so-called luxury brands. However, creating luxury brands is a difficult marketing exercise. Marketers are moving from the traditional marketing mix approach towards greater use of experiential marketing to create an emotional attachment between the brand and the customer. It is necessary for a brand to convey a personality that the customer can relate or aspire to. Q1: What are the key success factors in creating an exclusive product/service? Using the brands discussed in the case. a) Gucci * Gucci’s products grabbed the attention of many powerful celebrities including Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. These women represent elegance and style, which enhances the prestigious aura of Gucci. * Another key success to maintain its exclusive status is to never compromise into the down-market even with bankruptcy at stake in the 90s. * A major influence on the success of Gucci in the 90’s was the appointment of leading designer Tom Ford as the creative director of Gucci overseeing product lines, store image and store design. In March 1995, his first collection caught attention of the press by utilizing sex and glamour, which reinvented its image to bring back an aura of exclusivity and prestige. In addition to this, Tom Ford believes in giving the whole experience of buying Gucci through stores with rich and classic decor located on expensive streets, model like salespeople, great customer service and distinctive Gucci packaging. (b) Louis Vuitton * Louis Vuitton has tried to modernize its image by using young designers, while maintaining the classic designs. However, no designers can eclipse the powerful brand image of Louis Vuitton itself. * Louis Vuitton stands out from peer by focusing on product quality. All products are extensively tested to make sure they can withstand wear and tear. The company emphasize integrate manufacturing initiatives such as “quality circles” in the production process. * The company operates a pricing strategy by practicing on never reduced in price and no sales period.

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