The Brand Challenge: Luxury branding

Jean-Noël Kapferer

Building luxury brands means forgetting most of the classic rules of marketing and adopting instead what are now recognized as the anti-laws of marketing. When a luxury brand is managed without taking into account the critical specifics of luxury it undermines its own luxury credentials, loses prestige, equity and thus pricing power. Unfortunately, this is a classic error often seen among luxury brands where strong pressures lead managers to forget these specifics. Some luxury brand owners are in a hurry to get a good return and are willing to dilute their brand by making it more accessibly priced and more widely available. This happened to Jaguar when managed by Ford. Using the wrong brands as benchmarks can also lead to making the wrong decisions. This problem arises when one includes in the same survey Coach (a masstige [mass prestige] brand) and Chanel (a true luxury brand).