MBA

Luxury Branding Chair Module

Photo: (from left) Mr. Y. Sawa (Vice President, Lexus International Executive), Mr. T. Yamai (President, Snowpeak), Mr. K. Nousaku (President, Nousaku), Mr. K. Endo (Vice President, Beams), Mr. S. Nakauchi (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), and Prof. Nagasawa (WBS)

Symposium on Japanese "Kodawari (elaboration)" Seduces the World (Jan. 31st, 2017)

Building Good Seller Brands in Spite of Highest Prices Toward Luxury Brands from Japan

If a brand with high technical standards and eminent quality adopts a low-price strategy aiming at the base-of-the-pyramid (BOP) market, it will be involved in endless cost competitiveness and there will be no way to beat products from emerging countries whose product quality has been showing remarkable improvement. In addition, a low-price strategy will cause not only a weakening of manufacturing but also a lowering of brand value. In order to create a breakthrough in such conditions, it is necessary to add value to products, or in other words, produce products which can be sold even at high prices, and aim at the top-of-the-pyramid (TOP) market rather than the BOP market.

Precisely because this is a time of economic stagnation, it is essential to climb out of horizontal competition with other companies, using the concepts of original products which other companies cannot copy: unique value, exclusive distribution channels and original promotion.

Such strategies of 'not competing in terms of price' and 'being armed with creativity and uniqueness' have been used by luxury brands including Louis Vuitton. Their strategy is, in short, to work in opposition to traditional marketing theory and brand theory – to manufacture products with high quality, meticulous taste and rich background stories – and sell them at high prices through exclusive distribution channels with almost no advertising.

The 'luxury strategy,' which systemizes such principles as 'anti-laws of marketing,' is fundamentally different from the mass marketing of common mass consumption commodities. The luxury strategy also differs from both premium strategy, which people tend to lump together with luxury strategy, and common fashion strategy.

Just as marketing for mass consumption products was created in the U.S.A., and massive enterprises such as P&G were developed and conquered the world, the luxury strategy was conceived in Europe and was realized during the process in which small family businesses, mainly in France and Italy, grew into world class brands within less than a half century. That unique method is in fact applicable to many businesses in almost all cultural spheres around the world. For example, it has been applied to enterprises such as the flagship shop of Apple Inc., design audio of B&O, Nestlé’s Nespresso machines, BMW’s Mini and Lacoste brand’s penetration of the Chinese market.

The module agenda is the theory and practice of luxury branding, which produces goods utilizing innovation and creativity, that can be sold regardless of their highest prices, and brands with enthusiastic admirers.

Our seminar is for strongly-motivated learners who aim for career building and career enhancement in luxury branding or in any business fields targeting the wealthy classes. Within the academic culture of WBS to stress 'Unity of Theory and Practice', and at the leading edge of luxury business study, Nagasawa's Seminar provides research and education that will be stimulating and contributive to successful business practices.

Source: WASEDA-LVMH Chair Module Brochure

長沢教授講義風景

Photo: Prof. Nagasawa gives his lecture.

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