The anatomy of the luxury fashion brand
Received (in revised form): 9th September 2008
Antoinette M. Fionda
is a PhD student specialising in Luxury Fashion Marketing at Heriot-Watt University. Previously, Antoinette worked in both the Fashion and the Luxury Fashion sectors in a variety of areas from design to management and consultancy.
Christopher M. Moore
is Chair in Marketing and Head of Fashion, Marketing and Retailing at Glasgow Caledonian University. Prior to his appointment at GCU, he was Professor of Marketing and Director of the George Davies Centre for Retail Excellence at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. A graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Stirling, his doctoral research was in the area of fashion retailer internationalisation. His current research interests include business models for luxury fashion retailers; fashion brand management issues and trends in fashion retailer internationalisation.
ABSTRACT Purpose: To explore the critical dimensions necessary to create and maintain the success of a luxury fashion brand. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts a qualitative approach in the form of case studies of 12 international fashion retailers. This involved semi-structured interviews with management to explore their knowledge and experiences, supported by secondary research such as internal documents and media reports. Findings: Identiﬁes nine interrelated key luxury fashion brand attributes that are crucial in the creation and maintenance of the brand proposition. The management of the luxury fashion brand is complex, and requires a consistent and coherent approach. Originality/value: An empirical understanding of the luxury fashion brand’s critical dimensions will assist in effective and efﬁcient luxury fashion brand management.
Journal of Brand Management (2009) 16, 347–363. doi:10.1057/bm.2008.45 Keywords: luxury fashion branding; brand management
The luxury goods market is signiﬁcant, not only in terms of its market value (estimated to have exceeded US$130 billion in 2007),1,2 but also in terms of its rate of growth – which has in the past 10 years signiﬁcantly outpaced that of other consumer goods categories. The rate of growth has been driven by a variety of factors, the most signiﬁcant of which has been the
Correspondence: Antoinette M. Fionda School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
increase in the number of high-net-worth individuals with an appetite for luxury brand consumption. In response to signiﬁcant consumer interest and demand, the suppliers of luxury fashion goods have developed business strategies that seek to better service consumer demand by increasing availability through the extension of their geographic coverage and their market accessibility via the opening of
© 2009 Palgrave Macmillan 1350-23IX Brand Management Vol. 16, 5/6, 347–363
Fionda and Moore
dedicated points of sale.3–5 Fuelling and supporting this development of the luxury market has been increased media interest in luxury goods consumption, and the emergence of luxury brand awareness as an integral element of consumer culture. Consequently, a variety of studies have noted that luxury brands are among the most recognised and respected of consumer brands the world over.5,6 Within the luxury offer, there is an everexpanding offer of luxury categories. There are four principal categories of luxury goods: fashion (couture, ready-to-wear and accessories), perfumes and cosmetics, wines and spirits and watches and jewellery.7 More recently, the categories of luxury automobiles, hotels, tourism, private banking, home furnishing and airlines have been added.8 The focus of this study is the luxury fashion goods category. Firstly, this focus is justiﬁed on the basis that it accounts for the largest proportion of luxury goods sales, with a 42 per cent share in 2003,9,10 and the strongest...