Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Keeping Luxury Inaccessible

Ward, David and Chiari, Claudia (2008): Keeping Luxury Inaccessible.

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Abstract

This paper sets out to explain and decipher luxury and especially inaccessible luxury with the intent to provide enterprises three new analytical tools to ensure they stay ‘in front of the pack’. The paper starts by assessing what luxury was and is today and how and why it has evolved so far. It looks at Mass and Intermediate luxuries and then discusses three models to assess also Inaccessible luxury. The three models specifically developed by the authors are: 1. The Tangibility of Luxury, 2. The Spectrum of Luxury and 3. Brand Identity of Luxury. It will be shown that a luxury product can indeed migrate towards intermediate and mass luxuries when its traits become tangible and when rarity turns into abundance and luxury becomes accessible. The authors promote the idea that this process can be controlled by the enterprise or industry providing the brand, product traits and distribution are managed accordingly. The authors also examine the particular linkage between rational and emotional value through the brand and map the degree of luxury of a brand by assessing what actually differentiates the luxury products from the rest. This is not done in the traditional way of assessing the marketing mix (4P, 6P or 7p etc.) or examining the key features of the product but by building and managing a more integrated and knowledgeable approach, supported by the proposed models. Although the paper makes strong reference to luxury fashion, the comments, concepts and counselling provided are applicable also to luxury yachts, sports cars, real estate, banking etc.

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