Luxury Marketing is in a class of its own!

Exclusive European brands coined the term luxury marketing over 40 years ago when they found that traditional marketing strategies could help sell more of their products but by doing so they could also push them out of the prestigious luxury market.
This elite group included well-known luxury brand Louis Vuitton who adopted the new business strategy in what Vincent Bastien and Jean-Noël Kapferer termed “the anti-laws of marketing” in their book the Luxury Strategy. Bastien says:

“In fact, we coined the term anti-law of marketing to designate the counterintuitive managerial principles, which made these brands command their incredible pricing power and margins.”

Luis Vuitton Luxury Marketing

Luxury is hot, says Angelika Bergmann, marketing lecturer at MIUC. She has 15+ years in executive management experience and says luxury marketing is more about what the product represents in terms of perceived values. How can “I” experience the luxury brand that creates the bond between the luxury product makers and the consumer?

Angelika says one trend in luxury marketing is moving away from having things that are valuable to “being things”.

“I no longer have things, it’s who am I so I can identify with certain perceptions, luxury marketing does into storytelling and experiences. To be someone special says I am somebody who made it eg Chanel.”

There is a trend towards elitist “clubbism. For example, with Hermes and the latest bag, you have to be invited to join, it’s all about Who Am I? Before retailers focused on quality, functionality, high specs and products that were special. It’s about outdoing each other in Who is More Me? It’s marketing tailored to the hidden needs based on Maslow’s hierarchy of feeding your self-esteem.


“Who am I? Instagram is no longer about sharing it’s who has the hottest lifestyle. Who is me and who is more me? It’s a competition of “me’s”, clubs, product placement luxury hotspots eg vintage champagne brands.

Angelika, who has worked for several prestigious companies at senior level with positions such as Academic Director at Management Centre Europe, President EMEA at Harris, EVP at CNBC Europe and Managing Director at CNN Germany, says the new MIUC module is for students who will specialise in luxury marketing and product management.

The module will focus on the emotional benefits, the customer journey, the customer needs and the creation of experiences to evoke the defined emotional benefits before and after they’ve bought the product eg a Rolex watch. It will cover issues such as:

  • Understanding the needs of luxury clients via case studies
  • Fall from grace case studies
  • Ensuring the relevant marketing tools are applied correctly
  • Successes and failures of brands
  • Trends in the latest context

Marketing graduates who thrive on affluent brands and lifestyles can help innovate for current and future generations because they have an affinity to them. New affluent markets, luxury places like Marbella with luxury retailers, are increasing all the time. In tourist destination luxury marketing the global trends are such that there are new affluent groups in society that have never had the disposable income for accessories that are now flocking to luxury retailers and luxury hotspots such as the new Chinese, Eastern Europeans eg Czechs, new highly affluent social groups satisfying their consumption.


There is a sense of entitlement, the opportunity to give themselves the best of the very best. You can mark your territory with Who am I eg not many people can make a polar expedition because it costs 50,000 euro. The Intenet of Things (IoT) is the next big innovation for technical brands eg wearable technology for polar expeditions.

And Angelika adds:

“Some of the luxury brands are so luxurious we don’t know about them. They are so exclusive the mere mention of the brand is a hush hush secret.

The Luxury Strategy’s 24 anti-marketing laws with the four key laws highlighted in bold:

  1. Forget about positioning; luxury is not comparative.
  2. Does your product have enough flaws to give it soul?
  3. Don’t pander to your customers’ wishes.
  4. Keep non-enthusiasts out.
  5. Don’t respond to rising demand.
  6. Dominate the client.
  7. Make it difficult for clients to buy.
  8. Protect clients from non-clients, the big from the small.
  9. The role of advertising is not to sell.
  10. Communicate to those whom you are not targeting.
  11. The presumed price should always seem higher than the actual price.
  12. Luxury sets the price; price does not set luxury.
  13. Raise your prices as time goes on, in order to increase demand.
  14. Keep raising the average price of the product range.
  15. Do not sell.
  16. Keep stars out of your advertising.
  17. Cultivate closeness to the arts for initiate.
  18. Do not relocate your factories.
  19. Do not hire consultants.
  20. Do not test.
  21. Do not look for consensus.
  22. Do not look after group synergies.
  23. Do not look for cost reduction.
  24. Do not sell openly on the Internet.

Check out our marketing degree courses at MIUC on:

BA Marketing & Advertising: Communications & PR

By Mary O’Carroll

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