Break Free from the Product Life Cycle

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Kotler, P. (2003). Positioning and Differentiating

Break Free From the Product Life Cycle
Youngme Moon
Harvard Business Review

A company must differentiate itself from others during the product life cycle by creating an image that demands attention and fosters unique brand awareness. Louis Vuitton is a company that continuously rejuvenates itself and has maintained a highly coveted brand for 150 years. A $1,000 monogrammed Louis Vuitton handbag is in such demand that it has spawned a multi-million dollar market of counterfeit products, most commonly referred to as "knock-offs." The demand is so high for these knock-off products that LVMH Moet Hennessy, owner of the brand, has a special team that works with international police organizations. Last year there were 6,000 raids by police, resulting in the arrest of nearly 1,000 counterfeiters (LV, 2005). The LV logo has become an icon in the designer luggage, handbags and accessories market. The words Louis Vuitton are the code for describing an internationally recognized and exclusive fashion empire. LVMH Moet Hennessy's target market is aimed at women aged between 18-35 who have a love of fine design, and the taste for tradition and luxury. Louis Vuitton has maintained its lead in fashion through clever advertising in magazines like "Vogue" with print ads that focus on LV logo products as chic. In recent years the company has expanded is product line into ready-to-wear, shoes, watches and jewelry. Since 1998, Marc Jacobs has provided the artistic direction to develop and market these new collections. Tapping actress/singer Jennifer Lopez as a model was another key move in skewing younger and getting some zest in print ads. Clearly LVMH Moet Hennessy's market strategy is its high-quality and high-priced image which is promoted via elaborate packaging, exclusive distribution, and status symbol advertising. This ability to differentiate themselves from the crowded designer marketing place...
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