Make It Mine - Customization as the Future of Luxury

5250 words 21 pages
| LXFM 730, Marketing of Luxury Goods | Fall 2010 | Prof. Taylor Hastie | Rebecca Elena Glaser | Make it Mine – Customization as the Future of Luxury

1 “The things at Prada today are not well made, the fabrics are not as good, everything was much better in my time” Miuccia Prada

I.Purpose of Research

The changing landscape of the luxury industry challenges brands to find a new approach to reach out to their core costumers. Brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Burberry are about to jeopardize their true customers and their image by overexposing themselves to a mass luxury clientele. Thus, a new approach must be found to bring back the feeling of true luxury, personal attention and to create a bond to their core
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Hermès is the epitomization of luxury, which is highly due to the fact that the house is still making all its products by hand, sourcing the finest materials and using special design and production techniques that have been invented from the house’s founder over 150 years ago. However, there is another reason why Hermès is on top of other luxury brands: Customization. Unlike in most luxury boutiques, Hermès only receives a few handbags each season to sell them directly. However, this is the exception. The rule is that those handbags are just a display of options. The customer can choose the material (canvas, cowhide, reptile or ostrich), the color and the hardware and in case of the Kelly bag the seams (Thomas, 2007, 172). And then you wait for a product that is specifically tailored to your taste and needs. Obviously this is an experience that real customers highly value. The next chapter provides a brief overview about the luxury consumers today and examines the need to offer separate services for each customer type.

III.

The Luxury customer today “Today’s luxury consumer is different from the wealthy consumer of the past.” (Okonkwo, 2007, 65)

As mentioned above, many luxury brands opened themselves for the middle-class customer. Silverstein and Fiske have extensively described the evolution and habits of these consumers in their book “Trading up” (2005). Amongst those “mass wealthy” consumers, the spending on luxury goods has increased

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