Book Review / Business / Fashion / Updates

Book Recommendation | The Luxury Strategy : Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by J.N. Kapferer and V. Bastien

The Luxury Strategy : Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands is written by Jean-Noel Kapferer and  Vincent Bastien.

Book introduction from Amazon:

Luxury is in fashion and is now to be found in almost every retail, manufacturing and service sector. New terms like “mass-luxury,” “new luxury” and “hyper luxury” attempt to qualify luxury, causing confusion today about what really makes a luxury product, a luxury brand or a luxury company.

Luxury experts Jean-Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien provide the first rigorous blueprint for effectively managing luxury brands and companies at the highest level. The new edition of The Luxury Strategy includes more information about digital strategy, globalization, sustainable development and why luxury brands are resilient to recessions.

It analyzes in depth the essence of luxury, highlights its managerial implications and rationalizes the highly original methods – often very far from the usual marketing strategies – used to transform small family businesses such as Ferrari, BMW, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Armani or Ralph Lauren into worldwide successes.

The Luxury Strategy rationalizes those business models which have achieved profitability, while sustaining the luxury status of their brands, and sets out the counter-intuitive rules for successfully marketing luxury goods and services.

My review:

Published in the early 2009, this book attempts to piece together the strategies for luxury to survive in today’s cut throat economy.

I wanted to read the book because I’ve been studying about Fashion, high-end luxury fashion to be exact and I was very intrigued to know more about luxury.

I have to admit, I have not completed the book but I’ve read more than half of the book and I’ve gained a lot of insights. Each chapter is like a professionally written academic article about luxury. Interestingly, I’ve read another review on the book which I’ll link below and it says it’s supposed to be a manual for new luxury brand entrepreneurs but I think it’s more appropriate for it to be like a text-book for luxury brand marketers and managers, which is logical considering both authors are current professors in HEC.

The book begins with the history and philosophy of luxury, which is to live beyond death, think Pharaoh in Egypt and to create a legacy. And I must say, the book has clearly defined luxury and premium. Luxury is repeatedly stated as a dream, a desirable object that is created artistically while premium is the highest tier of a normal range product, with added function for value. Ferrari is luxury, but Lexus is premium. I won’t bother explaining in detail here because the authors did a splendid job in the book and I won’t be doing it justice at all by attempting.

There were several useful graphs in the book that helped to illustrate the various concepts of luxury or what makes a lucury brand which I thought were very insightful.

So in conclusion, I would strongly recommend this book for ALL marketing and brand owners because you will be able to learn how Luxury works and take a few tips for your own brand! Creating a desire and a dream is not a special privilege for the Luxury consumers. Mid-range brands that have identified this early in the game are already winning (Think Mr Bean Soya Bean Milk Franchaise in Singapore, or global brand H&M). Also it’s also a great read for all luxury lovers who wants to know more about luxury and be further educated on the topic. It would be terrible if you bought a luxury product and realize it’s actually a premium brand isn’t it? I’m kidding. 😛 You’d generally be safe if the press says/splashes on the news “LUXURY BRAND XXX”.

Jokes aside, The Luxury Book is a very information guide and it’s not for skimming. You’ve been warned, if you are going to borrow it from the local libracy like I did, then I’d say it’ll take a good 2 weeks to really complete each chapter a night. Think of it as a Luxury Strategy Bible! (;

I read the first few chapters and tried to skim the rest but I couldn’t because there were just too many new concepts and graphs to grasp so I hope to get my hands on the book again.

If you enjoyed my review, do check out a more daring and differing review on Forbes here.

Also I just found out that there’ll be  NEW EDITION coming out in October and pre-orders are available! You can preorder on Amazon here:

The Luxury Strategy 2012 Edition

Book introduction on Amazon:

Luxury is in fashion and is now to be found in almost every retail, manufacturing and service sector. New terms like “mass-luxury,” “new luxury” and “hyper luxury” attempt to qualify luxury, causing confusion today about what really makes a luxury product, a luxury brand or a luxury company.

Luxury experts Jean-Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien provide the first rigorous blueprint for effectively managing luxury brands and companies at the highest level. The new edition of The Luxury Strategy includes more information about digital strategy, globalization, sustainable development and why luxury brands are resilient to recessions.

It analyzes in depth the essence of luxury, highlights its managerial implications and rationalizes the highly original methods – often very far from the usual marketing strategies – used to transform small family businesses such as Ferrari, BMW, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Armani or Ralph Lauren into worldwide successes.

The Luxury Strategy rationalizes those business models which have achieved profitability, while sustaining the luxury status of their brands, and sets out the counter-intuitive rules for successfully marketing luxury goods and services.

Check out the authors’ profiles on HEC here.

A little more trivia, thoughts on my mind:

I used to want to further my studies in Luxury Branding, it was my dream to take up Masters in Luxury Branding / Strategy in Europe, Paris. So it would have been my dream to have these authors as my professors. But I now have a different perspective in life. I don’t want to study to learn to be an excellent marketer or manager anymore. I want to be my own boss. I’d still want to continue studying, but I also want to be working and learn how to manage my own business at the same time. I’m not sure if I’ll continue my studies after my degree yet, I’ll start work first and see how it goes! (;

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