Cult of the luxury brand

Cult of the luxury brand
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First Published: Fri, Apr 06 2007. 12 51 PM IST
Updated: Fri, Apr 06 2007. 12 51 PM IST
New Delhi:The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia’s Love Affair with Luxury has ringside views of Asia’s luxury cult. It develops a powerful argument to explain why Asians are snapping up Western luxury brands and provides invaluable lessons on what it takes to succeed in the Asian market place.
Written by Radha Chadha and Paul Husband it looks closely at the luxury brand cult in Asia as a phenomenon so powerful that Asians now account for half the world’s $80 billion luxury brand industry, it has pointers on what propels Asians to luxury brands; why junior executives spend an entire month’s salary on a Louis Vuitton bag; what is the psychological make up of Asia’s first and second generation of wealth holders that fuels consumption; why a continent so rich in its own tradition yearns for Western designer labels and what it means for companies targeting Asian consumers.
“It is staggering that 94% of Tokyo women in their 20’s own a Louis Vuitton bag and that Hong Kong boasts more Gucci and Hermès stores than New York or London. Even India, the new kid on the luxury block, has respectable three month waiting lists for hot Vuitton items,” said author Radha Chadha who also advises companies on brand building in Asia.
“From the glamorous Bollywood brigade to down-to-earth Punjabi farmers, from Bangalore’s high-tech entrepreneurs to the razzle-dazzle of Delhi society – luxury brands will have to tune in to the many nuances of India’s new money to be able to dance to it successfully,” she added.
“What is interesting is the way the luxury brand passion percolates down to the girl on the street - the Tokyo teenager with her Prada rucksack, Hong Kong secretary with her Burberry bag, or Seoul university student in Ferragamo shoes.” said Paul Husband, co-author and a leading retail centre planning and development consultant.
The authors explain the paradox of simultaneously pumping up a product’s status while pumping it out to the masses. They outline a powerful model that explains the spread of luxury in developed markets such as Japan and Hong Kong, while predicting the future course for emerging markets such as China and India.
Written in a lively, accessible style, it has over 150 interviews with industry experts, luxury brand representatives, consumer research, academic literature and first-hand studies of luxury stores in New Delhi, Mumbai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta.
It offers a glimpse of the thriving retail scene, from glorious flagship stores in Tokyo to bustling local markets in Seoul to 5-star hotel arcades in New Delhi while comparing consumer segments to understand inner motives for their obsessions.
The authors demonstrate how the continent’s massive economic and social transformation is dismantling centuries old ways of defining your place in society, and how your spot on today’s social totem pole is marked by your Chanel suit and your Cartier watch.
Priced at Rs 995, details can be procured from their website: www.luxurybrand.com
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First Published: Fri, Apr 06 2007. 12 51 PM IST