Posted by Dale Buss on August 21, 2013 07:03 PM
One of the most hopeful signs for the long-term global automotive business is that car brands keep coming up with new ways to please wealthy buyers. These lures attain different levels depending on whether you're Ferrari, Tesla or Lexus, but each brand is demonstrating its bullishness with innovative ways of reaching their target demographics.
Ferrari, for example, plans to field more hybrid vehicles for the ultra-rich crowd in the wake of the success of its $1.3 million LaFerrari. The 963-horsepower hybrid, unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March, is already sold out under CEO Luca Cordero di Montezemolo's strategy of planned scarcity that boosts a product's cache—and profit margins.
"I don't believe in the electric cars, but I strongly believe in hybrids," Montezemolo told Bloomberg Television. Porsche and Land Rover also are easing into the hybrid business.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 6, 2013 02:43 PM
There's a new hotel brand coming to the Caribbean and you can bet the shops inside will be top-notch. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has bought a five-star hotel on the island of St. Barths and is planning to open others in Egypt, Oman, and the Maldives as well as in Paris and Milan. The latter will be right next to Prada’s store. To get to the brand's 45 private villas in the Maldives, guests will have to fly in on a seaplane, Warc reports.
LVMH, like many luxury retail brands, is looking to expand its portfolio in order to give its high-end clientele a full, luxurious experience, from clothing and accessories to dining and travel accomodations. As London-based consultant Laura Ford of Futurebrand tells Warc, the company would like "to own the whole spectrum, to have a 360-degree view on what the customer is doing, what they are buying, what they are eating, where they are staying."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 24, 2013 06:45 PM
In a world of rewards programs, Chase is making waves thanks to its multi-faceted Sapphire Preferred Rewards Card, which lets consumers rack up points for hotels and airlines, dining, special experiences and other amenities all on one piece of plastic.
“Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) rewards people for what they love,” Jeff Bedard, marketing director of Chase Sapphire Preferred, told brandchannel. “Since it launched in 2009, the card has been built around passion points, what’s important to the affluent consumer—travel and dining and their purchases are rewarded with two-times the points."
The card, which isn't meant for everyday purchases like gas and groceries, caters to a higher-end clientele looking for exceptional service and experiences.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 13, 2013 01:54 PM
New York City loses $1 billion a year in tax money thanks to counterfeit goods being sold on its streets. At least that’s what one City Council member is saying to help promote her bill that would have police arresting those who buy the products as well as the those who sell them, according to the Associated Press.
The plan, which will be addressed at a public meeting on Thursday and is expected to come to vote in the next few months, is to have the buyers of fake Pradas, Chanels and other luxury goods either fined $1,000 or put in jail for a year.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration is planning to oppose the bill, the New York Post reports, because the size of the fine would keep tourists from buying pretty much anything. Plus, it wouldn’t be good PR to have images of tourists in jail floating around.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 21, 2013 10:16 AM
Luxury is back at the forefront of fashion and lifestyle despite the still shaky worldwide economy.
Findings from the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend, show gains in brand equity across 155 categories from auto makers to department stores across three key criteria: Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.
"This may show that after a number of years spent tightening their belts, consumers are looking to the quality and value they feel these brands provide,” said Aron Galonsky, SVP Brand and Communication Consulting at Harris Interactive.
Mercedes-Benz took top honors in the Luxury Automotive brand category for the third consecutive year, with Acura (which takes on uber-luxury in its latest US TV commercial, below), Audi, BMW, Infiniti and Land Rover receiving their highest scores ever. Harley-Davidson got its highest score in the study's 25-year history regaining top spot as Motorcycle Brand of the Year.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 15, 2013 10:07 AM
Swatch Group's new year surprise — that it's paying $1 billion to acquire the luxury unit of Harry Winston Diamond Corp. — is making observers beyond the jewelry business watch both brands more closely.
Canada's Harry Winston Diamond Corp.’s $1 billion sale ($750 million plus $250 million in debt) of its luxury business to Switzerland's Swatch Group AG provides the cash for Winston to invest more in diamond mining, a business that last year was more than twice as profitable as jewelry.
Shares in Toronto-based Harry Winston rose 4.4 percent on Monday after the deal was announced. The high-end company's chairman and CEO, Robert Gannicott, told The Globe and Mail that the company planning will use the cash to focus primarily on mining after eight years as a luxury jewelry brand. His plan: purchase the 60 percent stake of the Diavik mine it doesn’t already own from Rio Tinto Group.
In addition to Winston exiting the luxe jewelry-selling business, the deal will have an impact on Swatch Group's (relatively) cheap and cheerful Swatch brand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 3, 2013 11:12 AM
Nespresso has been riding the home barista trend, as consumers and gift-givers shelled out about $600 for counter-top coffee makers this holiday season.
But what to do with those crushed capsules? One enterprising idea is seeing them used as the basis for a handmade, custom timepiece as part of the Grand Cru collection produced by high-end watchmaker Blancier. At least you'll always know when it's time for a coffee.
it may sound crazy, but the idea didn’t come from an overly caffeinated designer at the German-owned Blancier, which specializes in customized watchmaking and has offered weekend DIY workshops. In fact, it was Blancier co-owner Willem Kamerman who thought of the idea while standing in line at a Nespresso boutique, according to Watchpro.
"We don't reuse the cups; we turn the waste into something more attractive and valuable,” Kamerman commented. “We move up the chain. Every time you look at the watch you're made aware that you don't have to throw everything away."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 6, 2012 11:01 AM
Next year is shaping up to be mixed, at best, for luxury goods. Continuing economic woes in the Eurozone, a flagging Japanese economy, and slow recovery in the U.S. will likely lead to modest spending on luxury brands in those regions.
At a recent fashion summit in Florence, Italy, luxury designers were downbeat. Michele Norsa, CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo, the Italian shoemaker, said: "Markets are very volatile. We must keep a cool head and define our forecasts day by day. ...The first part of the year will be slower. In the second part there will probably be a recovery. These are the signs we are receiving from all our markets." Michele Tronconi, the head of Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), Italy's fashion body, added, "Orders of goods to be delivered in the coming months have shrunk and I don't expect this trend to change soon."
Indeed, Italy is a microcosm of Europe's slide when it comes to luxury goods. Luca Solca, who heads luxury goods research at the Exane BNP Paribas investment group said Italy's luxury goods sales have taken an "abrupt hit" due to the country's austerity measures. Sales of luxury goods are expected to decline nearly 1 billion euros by year's end in Italy despite solid tourism. Globally, sales of luxury goods should grow about 5 percent in 2012 vs. 13 percent last year according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co.Continue reading...