Contact BSI
Derrick Daye
888.706.5489 Email us
Derrick Daye Luxury Branding

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #20


Luxury Brand Strategy Jaguar

20  Do not hire management consultants

Management Consultants sell ‘do like others’. This is called
benchmarking or also ‘best 
practices’. Using management consultants, formed in global
MBAs to the universals of 
management, in this way would erode the specific
characteristics of a luxury 
brand – and its ability to maintain its pricing
power to this specificity.

Let’s take a dramatic example: any non-luxury
automobile manufacturer 
should be obsessed by reducing costs. This is why
industrial platforms strategies, sharing all back-office costs, are so widely
spread. By the same token, 
relocations are nothing but normal for a mass brand
and even a premium or 
super-premium one. When one buys an Audi every single
dollar paid is to 
bring a return on investment: you pay for what you get (more
that is all). Now, should the same 
rules apply to a brand considered as luxury such as Jaguar?
Once bought by 
Ford, a very well-managed traditional company, soon the cost
were hired, bringing with them methods which eroded the dream. Why

would a reader of Forbes or Fortune still want to buy a Jaguar
as a luxury 
car when reading in his journal how much Ford was doing an
excellent job 
by sharing the Ford Mondeo structure and parts with some Jaguar
This is how the Ford Company killed the dream and could not have Jaguar 
its luxury status – and had to sell it to the Indian company Tata. And Tata is
now returning to the luxury strategy for Jaguar, to turn around 
the brand.

By bringing methods from any normal economic sector, management consultants instill the poison of averaging everything. Luxury pricing power is
not based on cost reduction but on added value and feelings of uniqueness.

Certainly Hermès has to buy the crocodile skins at
the best price it can. 
But, in any case, it will never buy anything but the
best skins. 
A similar risk is taken when luxury companies hire advertising
methods coming from Fast Moving Consumer Goods sectors. In FMCG, the marketing of demand is the rule.
All the concepts, methods, skills and frameworks are based on the idea that one
should be led by consumers’ wishes. How many advertising agencies’ recommendations
to luxury companies start with a chapter called ‘Understanding your target’, a
deep analysis of the motivations and declara
tions of the so-called target.
The natural consequence is to think of the 
luxury brand as a brand trying to
please these consumers, answering their 
needs, proposing consumer benefits,
having a brand positioning strategy.

Little by 
little the same methods used by Nivea
or Olay are extended to Lancôme. If you refer back to anti-law 6, you
understand why this is a huge mistake. Marketing of demand fits when the goal
is to reduce pain and alleviate problems. One starts by asking consumers what
is their problem – for instance: there is too much sugar in a regular Coke, so
people fear becoming obese. The answer is Diet Coke. Luxury works just the
opposite way: it aims at creating dreams. Do you start by asking someone what
his or her dream is if you want to invent the dreams of the elite? Of course

Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: JN Kapferer, excerpted from his book, The Luxury Strategy with permission from Kogan Page publishing.

See all of the Anti-laws of Luxury Marketing here.

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop

FREE Publications And Resources For Marketers

Recommend this story

Subscribe, Follow and Stay Connected to BSI


Leave a Reply

Submit your comment

More posts in Derrick Daye Luxury Branding

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #23

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #21

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #20

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #19

Brand Loyalty Rewards For The Ultra-Luxury Shopper

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #18

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #17

The Anti-laws Of Luxury Marketing #16