Campaign India Team
Nov 28, 2011

JWT partners ESC Dijon-Bourgogne to present study on luxury brands

The online survey was targetted to consumers between the age group of 25-42 who had indulged in luxury shopping in the last six months

JWT partners ESC Dijon-Bourgogne to present study on luxury brands

JWT partnered with French School, ESC Dijon-Bourgogne to present the first every study on luxury brands in India.  The Franco-Indian research project on ‘Communicating Luxury to the Affluent Masses’, presented their initial findings at the ‘Private Label Forum’ of the World Brand Congress in Mumbai on 25 November. The objective of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of ‘How luxury brands can retain exclusivity whilst marketing to a wider audience’.

The online survey was targeted to consumers between the age group of 25-45 across India, who had indulged in luxury shopping in the preceding six months of the survey. The survey found that only 43% of respondents agreed that luxury brands are of significant higher quality than non-luxury brands. The paper explains three phases in the evolution of the market: luxurification, de-luxurification and re-luxurification. It suggests connoting a sense of ‘distance’ as being the key to building long terms brand success.

Glyn Atwal, professor of marketing at ESC Dijon said, “The luxurification of Indian consumer society means that consumers are now developing brand preferences. The challenge for luxury brands is to decode the aspirational DNA in order to connect with the Indian luxury consumer.” He further adds, “A striking example is within the jewellery sector. Jewellery is still valued as an investment but it is also about aesthetics and design. It also reflects the spirit and personality of the owner. Jewellery brands evoke very strong emotional and symbolic values.”

Commenting on the study, Shaziya Khan, vice president and executive planning director,  JWT said, “Luxury brands need to retain the aura of prestige and exclusivity. Luxury brands have a range of techniques to evoke a sense of distance. This will give luxury brands a sustainable competitive advantage.”

Khan, added, “As luxury brands reach out to newer affluent and aspirational consumers, luxury brands risk eroding their brands perceived exclusiveness. Luxury brands can reach out to the affluent masses but they need to retain the aura of prestige and exclusivity.”

The study concludes that luxury brands need to consider a strategy of reluxurification. Khan further added, “This is about creating a sense of distance. If something is within reach, you don't value it as much as you value something that is far from you or beyond you."

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