Premium vs. Luxury

How companies like Audi are redefining product classes at the expense of long time brands, who are now trying to get back into the premium game.

Lately, I have been thinking of a couple luxury themes I’d like to explore in my posts. They center around a couple main questions: Continue reading

Tesla Motors – Keeping up with the “Cool Factor”

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

If there is one thing I’ll keep doing as the publisher of L.I.L, it will be to bring “cool” things to your attention.

I am enchanted with Tesla , especially because its cars are not gimmicks designed to draw “the herd” (a respectful reference to mass consumers). They definitely have my stamp of luxury particularly because of the brand’s exclusivity, quality production, unique heritage, and innovation. More importantly, this is a car you need to have if you plan on helping change the world.

I’ll say no more. Read this interview with George Blankenship, Tesla’s Vice President for Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience.
I bet you’ll get goosebumps by just imagining the world that Tesla founder, Elon Musk, aims to develop.

How Many Lives Does a Jaguar Have?

So Tata Motors is doing a lot to revamp the Jaguar brand. It purchased the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford for $2.3B. Ford, which lost $800M on the sale, seems to have shed its heavy baggage, but can Tata bring this cat back to life?

There are mixed reactions from industry on the effectiveness of the luxe auto’s new advertising campaign, which is aimed at making an emotional connection with auto enthusiasts. Professors from the University of Michigan and MIT said it missed the mark, while a consulting firm out in LA stuck its neck out to say that the campaign is “avant-garde enough to definitely capture consumers’ attention and put Jaguar on the radar screen of more potential luxury customers”.

All those opinions don’t matter. Let’s see what the sales numbers say in a year. It will surely be an improvement for Jaguar to get 18,000 to 20,000 people to test-drive its cars, as opposed to the the 300 to 400 who try them out annually in the United States. Wow only 300 to 400. Anything above that will be a remarkable improvement.

A Room With a View of Your Porsche, Ferrari, Benz, …

30-day Challenge – Day 29

In the second half of this past semester at business school, I took an immersion course in real estate – the best course I have ever taken. The course not only exposed me to the business of real estate, but also introduced me to the nuances of an industry where success is not necessarily about reality, but your ability to create a perception, in which people want to participate.

Real estate can give you a means to exercise your networking, negotiation and selling skills. At the same time, real estate allows you to be very creative in realizing your visions of developing mixed use, multi-family apartments, commercial, or industrial structures. You can literally do anything and the next lines will show that. Continue reading

Focus, Focus, Focus – A Great Co-branding Strategy

30-day Challenge – Day 10

Yesterday, I wrote an entry about a questionable co-branding effort. Today, I want to write about what I believe is an absolutely ingenious co-branding initiative between Mercedez-Benz (MB) and American Express (AXP). Continue reading

BMW’s Car of The Future: Glued, Screwed & Rented – Forbes

BMW’s Car of The Future: Glued, Screwed & Rented – Forbes.

Take a look at the article above highlighting BMW’s attempt to answer consumer demands of the future. Would you like to drive these cars?

BMW i8

BMW i8

BMW i3

BMW i3

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.