Leaders in Luxury: A Series of Insights

30-day Challenge – Day 15

I am devoting today’s post to Leaders in Luxury, a series of insights from esteemed professionals leading global luxury brands. My thanks go out to FT.com for making these available. Enjoy…

Sung-Joo Kim, head of MCM Group, on her career and the business of luxury

Leonard Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of Estee Lauder on the next luxury consumers.

Differentiating Upscale Hospitality Series: Orient Express

30-day Challenge – Day 12

Today, I am looking at emerging themes in luxury with a focus on the hospitality industry. With rooms becoming commoditized, hotels have but one option to capture the hearts of its customers – differentiate. How do you differentiate one luxury hotel brand from another? Well, for starters we are way past thread counts, serving sumptuous breakfasts, and delivering the morning newspaper. Upscale hotels are having to differente themselves on the experiences they can provide their guests. In the next posts, I’ll talk about how some hotel groups are doing just that. We’ll kick off the series with Orient Express.  Continue reading

Luxury in Asia

Prior to my articles on Patagonia and Saks Inc., I promised to deliver some interesting reads on luxury goods in Asia. I am now delivering on that promise with enough reading to keep you as busy as a W&M MBA student. Below are some some of my favorite reports/article on the Asian market for luxury from well the respected consulting firm, Mckinsey & Company. Some worthy reads over the weekend, with a pot of coffee (or tea) waiting in the wings. Enjoy…


No seismic shift for luxury in post-quake Japan – May/June 2011
Although they were rocked by the Tohoku earthquake, Japan’s luxury consumers are back shopping—but with caution.

luxury goods in South KoreaKorea’s luxury market: Demanding consumers, but room to grow – September 2011
This year’s Luxury Consumer Survey addresses three key questions: Can South Korea keep it up? What’s changing? And what do these trends mean for the players in the luxury industry?

ImageFive questions for … Christophe Lorvo – May 2011
Christophe Lorvo, general manager of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, answers questions about the global hotel business—and how to keep going after an earthquake.

ImageUnderstanding China’s growing love for luxury – March 2011
McKinsey’s in-depth annual report on the Chinese luxury market reveals two major trends: There are more luxury consumers, and they are more sophisticated.

Focus On Asia

For this week’s posts, I am going to focus on issues surrounding luxury goods in Asia. In some short paragraphs, I’ll introduce news topics surrounding the Asian market, where brands are pushing hard to establish a presence.

Gucci, Tiffany target Chinese banks in piracy law suits 

You have probably heard the phrase “imitation is the best form of flattery”. While that is true for many things, piracy in China bears huge costs for US firms – between $2.5 billion and $3.8 billion per year. In this article from Reuters, Emily Flitter discusses new developments in attempts by luxury brands to eliminate piracy.

Piracy and counterfeiting are huge “value leakers” for high-end brands, but in a strange twist of irony they can also serve to proliferate a brand (only at lower product prices and brand value).

The Rising Cost of Luxury In Asia

In the MBA program we are exposed to the macroeconomic dynamics of purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP is a figure that tell us if a big mac is more expensive in Brazil, than in China. Well, luxury goods have their own metrics, tracking the price of a basket of luxury goods across world markets. While Forbes Magazine uses the Cost of Living Extremely Well Index, Julius Baer’s August 2011 Wealth Report: Asia brings a new indicator to the party of economic indices. According to the Swiss private banking firm, the the price of luxury goods is up 11.7% in dollar terms in the four big markets of Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Mumbai. What is even more important is that prices have risen far faster than generic inflation in these cities. Want to know where to get the best price on a Chanel bag? Click here.