JWT reveals initial findings of study on luxury brands

MUMBAI: Franco-Indian research project on ‘Communicating luxury to the affluent masses‘ between JWT Mumbai and the French Grande Ecole, ESC Dijon-Bourgogne presented their initial findings.

The objective of the study was to gain a deeper understanding of how to retain exclusivity whilst marketing luxury to a wider audience.

The paper explains three phases in the evolution of the market: luxurification, deluxurifcation and re luxurification. It suggests connoting a sense of ‘distance‘ as being the key to building long terms brand success.

ESC Dijon professor of marketing Glyn Atwal said, "The luxurification of Indian consumer society means that consumers are now developing brand preferences.

An important and paradoxical revelation of the research study was the process of deluxurification in India. An online survey with luxury consumers found that only 43 per cent of respondents agreed that luxury brands are of significant higher quality than non-luxury brands.

JWT Mumbai VP and executive planning director Shaziya Khan added, "Luxury brands can reach out to the affluent masses but they need to retain the aura of prestige and exclusivity."

Khan has written extensively on the importance of luxury brands connoting distance, as the financial gap among the affluent masses and classes narrows.

"Luxury brands have a range of techniques to evoke a sense of distance. For example, this could be based on cultural, historical or intellectual distance. This will give luxury brands a sustainable competitive advantage" Khan added.

The study concludes that luxury brands need to consider a strategy of reluxurification. Khan said, "This is about creating a sense of distance. If something is within reach, you don‘t value it as much as you value something that is far from you or beyond you."

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