The Anti-Laws Of Luxury Marketing #6

Jean-Noel KapfererSeptember 6, 20091 min

#6. Dominate the client.

Luxury is a consequence of meritocracy. Once the exclusive privilege of the aristocracy, luxury today is what restratifies our so-called classless societies, but on the basis of merit, no longer simply on birth. So everyone is looking for ways to pull themselves up – luxury brands are at the same time a reward and a token of gradual elevation. To preserve this status, the brand must always dominate its client. This is not the same as saying don’t respect them: parents dominate their children, but that does not mean that they don’t respect them; on the other hand, if they treat them as ‘best friends’, making themselves out to be their equals, they lose their aura and profoundly disturb their offspring. This relationship between parents and their children is very close to that between brand and client.

As a result, a certain distance is preserved that is not supercilious or aloof, but nevertheless maintains an aura of mystery.

Luxury is the domain of culture and taste. Even if many well-off buyers do not actually have the codes themselves, they deduce from the limitless consumption of a luxury brand the fact that it must be coded as a luxury. The luxury brand should be ready to play this role of advisor, educator and sociological guide. On this account it simply has to dominate.

Excerpted from: The Luxury Strategy: Break The Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands by JN Kapferer and V. Bastien, in partnership with Kogan Page publishing.

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