Many might think about luxury and big names like Gucci and Prada come to mind. Sipping on Moët & Chandon seated on the ornately decorated rooftop terrace of the prestigious, five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel may make a statement, "I have arrived". Having attained this level is not for the masses, only a select few fall into the luxury target market.
Defining the word luxury can often be arduous, as its definitions vary immensely and are subjective to whom you discuss the topic and in what context. According to Gary Harwood at HKLM, "A luxury brand is very expensive, exclusive and very rare-not meant for everyone. When it ceases to be these things, then it’s lost its exclusive cachet. Commoditizing luxury brands and making them more accessible to the middle market puts them at risk of becoming ordinary, common, and less desirable. And the more available a brand is, the less luxurious it becomes".
Luxury brands thrive on the fact that they are exclusive and prestigious, only a select elite can aspire to attain.
Luxury is traditionally classified in two key segments:
- Luxury Goods: Fashion & Accessories, Watches & Jewelry, Well-being, and Beauty Products, Art
- Lifestyle Purchases: Automotive, Travel, Home & Interior Design, Alcoholic Beverages including Wine, Champagnes, and Spirits
These segments help to understand how diverse the luxury brand sector is and what career opportunities await Master in Fashion and Luxury Business Management students. After participating in an industrial visit to Hansgrohe, a green design company that produces high-quality kitchen and bathroom fixtures, students understood how their luxury brand AXOR fit into their business model.
Having recently underwent a brand restructuring, AXOR elevated its brand awareness and retargeted its market, breaking away from the general masses and spotlighting a consumer that is looking for authenticity, something different, that stands out and makes a statement. The new AXOR line designed by a team of the top ten designers from around the world identifies with the social elite that can afford paying 2000 euros for a faucet for a wash basin.
GBSB Global Business School in Barcelona also recently hosted a presentation given by Kristina Stanislavkaia, Founder and CEO of BLL Relocation and Concierge Services. This company visit was a part of Professor Jaime Romeu’s Luxury Sector Analysis class. BLL Relocation and Concierge Services provided a great example of how luxury service works and what clients such commodities attract, a select few willing to pay generously for high quality attention to detail and organization. These individuals are looking for comfort and ease, delegating daily stress to the company to manage on their part. Other luxury services could be hiring a full-time or live-in domestic servant or seeking financial services from select elite financial houses known for their reputation and other noteworthy clientele.
Luxury consumers tend to be part of a small social class, and the often have the biggest influence on buying behaviors. This creates a revolving mechanism where brands seek their endorsement and can proudly claim they are distinguished "luxury".
The wide range of luxury sectors allows students the opportunity to identify which industry is best suited for them. One degree can open many avenues from working with an artisan jewelry designer to offering personal assistant services to expatriates.
Global Business School Barcelona’s Master in Fashion & Luxury Business Management program seeks to shape and develop students’ competencies, cultivating managers able to understand and play by the rules of the fashion and luxury goods industry. Students will be able to respond to the multifaceted, always-changing world of fashion and luxury business management.
This industry is increasingly competitive. It therefore requires graduates who can respond quickly and efficiently to the constantly changing challenges by outlining new strategies to ensure success in the market. There are a wide variety of channels to explore. Graduates from the Master in Fashion and Luxury Business Management program take from their experiences at GBSB and step into a new generation of managers, suited for the demands of this fascinating industry.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager