Case Study 2: Louis Vuitton in Japan
1. What are the key success factors of LV in Japan?
Since Louis Vuitton entered the Japan market in 1968, it became the most popular luxury brand in Japan by having 28 percent share in Japan’s market. The key success of LV in Japan is mainly contributed by the appropriate balance in keeping the brand globalized while localized at certain areas for the Japanese. To achieve this outcome, the consistency in product quality, fashion appeal and brand image were carefully controlled and ultimately the Japanese developed an obsession towards LV.
Being a world-class luxury brand having a long history, LV does not need to localize its brand image in order to be successful in Japan. What the Japanese consumers seek from LV is a European luxurious image and lifestyle which can enhance their status. Thus, LV uses the foreign consumer culture positioning as a European (or French) brand to market its products in Japan. In order to maintain its image, product quality is a basic requirement for consumers to recognize the brand’s value. Therefore LV maintains high quality products and most of them were manufactured in France. In additional, the image of the brand is maintained by keeping up with the trends while enduring prestige of the brand’s culture. For advertising, as they understand the Japanese consumers, LV did not hire Japanese celebrities to be the spokesperson. They still use the international superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, top models like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss to be the spokesperson in their advertisement. All these controls have emphasized LV’s consistent high-end image for the Japanese consumers.
Although LV remains globalization in Japanese market, it still has some areas that is localized and suit the Japanese culture. For instant, LV’s classic Monogram Canvas pattern was inspired by Japanese floral print and the collaboration with Japanese artist...