How Luxury Brands Remain Relevant To Millenials And Gen Z

By Jeff Fromm, for Forbes 

"What we are observing today is a new paradigm: to successfully engage Millennials and Gen Z consumers, brands have to act in an inclusive, engaging and open manner. This requires a great deal of flexibility in communications, tone of voice, social media behavior. It all starts from within. Instead of asking themselves how to sell to these customers, brands should try and become “friends” with those new generations of consumers, participate in their lives through relevant channels and speak their language."

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Luxury Brands Are Becoming Big Players In The E-Commerce Game

By Tom Popomaronis for Forbes.com

Would you hit the “Buy Now” button with a reputable online seller if the price tag for your purchase was worth tens of thousands of dollars?

That’s exactly what watchmaker Vacheron Constatin hopes shoppers will do. As Bloomberg News reports via Internet Retailer, the Geneva-based company announced earlier this month that it’s going to partner with New York-based website Hodinkee to sell its Cornes de Vache 1955 timepieces online only. Each of the 36 limited-edition watches sells for $45,000. The release represents the first time in the brand’s 260-year history that the watchmaker will sell exclusively through the Internet.

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'Made in the USA' is a tough promise for luxury brands to make

By Christina Gustafson for CNBC
"Standing in the lobby of New York City's Trump Tower last month, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault told reporters that the Louis Vuitton brand will expand its manufacturing in the U.S., potentially setting up a factory in the Carolinas or Texas.

Yet even as President Donald Trump pressures other businesses to ramp up their American-based production, experts agree that the "Made in the USA" movement is unlikely to take hold in the luxury sector anytime soon."

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How luxury brands are responding to increased consumer demand

By Tom Lees for Mumbrella.com
"When supply meets demand does demand slow or cease? In this guest post, Tom Lees looks at how luxury brands maintain the delicate balance between hard to get and too accessible...In the past, luxury brands controlled the supply to effect subsequent demand. This approach helped maintain status. However, the digital world is changing how consumers consider and perceive luxury with implications on how brands manage and maintain their market position. Instagram pages now share and promote luxury lifestyles – expanding the accessibility to wider audiences, democratising what used to only be attainable by few."

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Luxury Retail: The Folly of the Discount

"When you discount your luxury product, the perceived value deteriorates and so does your ability to charge a premium. Suddenly, more customers are wearing the same purse, the underlying value has not changed significantly, but the perceived value certainly has. A true luxury goods retailer should never discount their products; especially their flagship products. In fact, discounting is a disservice to customers. Why punish your customers who value the product and are willing to pay full price?"

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QuietC.net Launched

Quiet C Holdings was founded by Louis Sterchi, a former Carlyle Group associate, to invest in businesses in times of stress and opportunity. DC-based Quiet C will consider just about any kind of business for partial or full acquisition - perfect for business owners who are looking to retire and pass on the company to strong management. See the ultra simple site at quietc.net.

The image underlying the website is called Midmorning/Silver, 1988 by famed photographer Joel Meyerowitz.

Excuses, excuses. Luxury prices at a tipping point

BY KRYSTINA GUSTAFSON for CNBC

"The value of a discretionary item rests in the eye of the beholder—particularly in the high-end luxury market, where price tags rely more on a shopper's aspirations than on the product's actual worth. As a result, luxury brands including Hermes and Louis Vuitton have been marking up prices over the past few years, as rising stock markets, improving home values and an overall stronger economy make the rich even richer. But are high-end brands in danger of alienating wealthy shoppers, who are increasingly spending their fortunes on experience-driven purchases such as travel?"

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FairholmeFunds.com Launched

We recently imagineered and launched the website for Bruce Berkowitz's Fairholme Capital Management and Fairholme Funds. Bruce is regarded for his high returns over the past decades, and he has been lauded as Morningstar's Domestic Equity Fund Manager of the Decade, and Institutional Investor's Money Manager of the Year for 2013. Lanzara Studio first began working with Bruce and Fairholme Capital in 2004, and we have worked on numerous projects together. 

The lead image on the Fairholme site is a rendering of Fairholme's upcoming Miami headquarters, which will serve double duty as a museum housing iconic works by James Turrell, Richard Serra, Basquiat, Richard Prince, and Warhol, to name a few.  LanzaraStudio followers may be most interested in the website section about Philanthropy, and may also want to read the Miami Herald article about Fairholme's new digs. 

Links:

Fairholmefunds.com

Miami Herald article about Fairholme

Rude sales people can boost luxury sales

BY PATRICK M. SHERIDAN FOR CNNMoney

Apparently, rude sales people and fancy brands go well together.

At least that's what a recent study shows. Shoppers appear to want to buy more of the high end brands after being treated badly, according to research conducted by two professors.

"As upsetting as it is to be condescended to, in a luxury environment it appears to work in the brand's favor," said Morgan Ward, who teaches at Southern Methodist University. He said it's about wanting to be "part of the tribe" or the in-crowd.

Ward co-authored the research paper, which was based on several scenarios in which participants interacted with phony salespeople they thought worked for upscale brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Burberry. Some of the people posing as sales staff were rude and some were not.

Surprisingly, customers in the simulations had an increased desire to buy the luxury goods after being treated rudely. In fact, the ruder they were, the higher the desire to buy the posh items.

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Bloomberg: Luxury Brands Are Stupid to Snub the Internet

KURT SOLLER/BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK:

Ninety percent of luxury purchases, which some analysts say is a $300 billion industry, still happen in stores, according to Forrester Research (FORR), but that’s skewed by the limits of acquisition placed on most high-end shoppers. The real business failing, says Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, is that “there are a lot of affluent people who are intimidated or annoyed by shopping at luxury retail stores.” 

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Soaring Luxury-Goods Prices Test Wealthy's Will to Pay

By SUZANNE KAPNER and CHRISTINA PASSARIELLO for The WALL STREET JOURNAL

Despite expanding into new markets, the luxury-retail business has been relying on price increases to drive sales. Now, even the very wealthy are nearing the limits of what they are willing to spend.

In the past five years, the price of a Chanel quilted handbag has increased 70% to $4,900. Cartier's Trinity gold bracelet now sells for $16,300, 48% more than in 2009. And the price of Piaget's ultrathin Altiplano watch is now $19,000, up $6,000 from 2011.

Such increases for some of the world's most expensive indulgences far outpace inflation and contrast with the middle and lower end of the retail market, where even small increases can turn off shoppers.

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Why High-End Luxury Brands Are Losing Their Luster

By Fani Kelesidou, for The Motley Fool

"The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive," the queen of elegance Coco Chanel once stated. And she was right. In the world of "true" luxury, the relentless effort to create something that's in a class by itself was always rewarded with a sky-high price, which only an exclusive group could afford.

During the last half decade, however, an emerging "luxury for less" or "affordable luxury" industry thrives on emulating what once was considered exclusive and making it accessible to the masses. But, "true" luxury was never meant to be accessible. And this massification is causing an identity crisis, one that could have severe implications for high-end luxury brands down the line. 

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