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Louis Vuitton Marketing Strategy

Louis Vuitton’s market strategy Essay

Louis Vuitton – The Global Luxury Niche Player

Key factor is ‘growth balanced between internalised and partnership strategies’

Introduction

Louis Vuitton Malletier is a French luxury fashion firm established in 1854 and is also known as one of the oldest fashion houses in the globe. The brand of Louis Vuitton concerns reliability, quality, style, innovation and authenticity. The LV brand symbol  sharply defines the brand identity by mining the company history and designed to express that. Mission Statement of LV is “Louis Vuitton must continue to be synonymous with both elegance and creativity. The products, and the cultural values they embody, blend tradition and innovation, and kindle dream and fantasy.”

Five priorities that reveal the primary ethics of the company are:

  1. Be creative and innovative
  2. Aim for product excellence
  3. Improve the brands ‘ picture with enthusiastic determination
  4. Work as entrepreneurs
  5. Strive to be the best in all we do

Company’s efficiency of a finely tuned machine, fueled by ever-increasing productivity in design and manufacturing as Vuitton grows ever-bigger, the ability to step up advertising and global expansion without denting the bottom line. According to rivals who have attempted to exceed Vuitton, their operating metrics are second to none. The fine equilibrium between tradition and innovation reflects in the products of Louis Vuitton. A luxury pricing strategy has been continuously pursued by the business, which implies elevated markups, limited availability, and few if any markdowns. Only through a worldwide network of company-owned shops Louis Vuitton sells its products. This maintains high margins and enables the business to keep control over its products through every step of the channel. Louis Vuitton utilizes demographic targeting to target its clients, both males and females of different ages. The financial crisis going on would not disturb world’s luxury brands as the luxury goods consumers are well-positioned enough that they just are not at risk to face such factors.

Louis Vuitton Marketing Strategy

Louis Vuitton opened its first store in China at Palace Hotel in Beijing in 1992. Company has the realization that the Chinese were sophisticated and soon they will be the biggest superpower. Chinese thinks that luxury fashion means the eminent elegance, high quality, taste, and expansive which in turn direct the destination of the trend in the region of China. Louis Vuitton pursued a consistent approach to market development in China, never compromising the difficult operational obstacles and controlling every aspect of the business as usual. This unique approach has powered Louis Vuitton to its current position as the most successful luxury brand in China. “Mythologizing Louis Vuitton’s service” means, to identify and achieve the objectives and the challenges faced for improving the quality of customer service at each store to enhance customer satisfaction. This recognition of each customer’s satisfaction positively affects the brand’s reputation, which in turn determines the brand’s value.

Methodology

The methodology of Interbrand is a crucial action that assesses brand value based on how much it is likely to gain in the future for the business. Interbrand utilizes a mixture of analyst predictions, corporate economic records and its own qualitative and quantitative analysis to obtain a net current value of these income. The research methodology and design method would require both main and secondary sources to produce significant literature-based and theoretically inclined studies for which such research methods could truly serve the study’s first-hand objective. Mostly, the study plan outlines the nature of the studies to be carried out and contains an explanation of the sample design, measurements and analytical methods to be used. The 3 critical issues that influence the research plan are:

  1. Whether primary or secondary data are needed
  2. Whether qualitative or quantitative research is needed and
  3. Whether the business is doing its own research or contracting with a specialist in marketing research.

Primary versus Secondary Data

According to the information needed and budget constraints required by the company, a decision must be made as to whether primary data, secondary data, or some combination of the two is needed.

Data collected specifically for the study issue under inquiry are primary data. For example, if a company wanted to know why users of a competitive brand didn’t prefer its brand, it may have to collect primary data to find out. The primary sources will have to represent original thinking as the core data for the research will have to be in case studies as well as survey questionnaires equipped with suitable statistical data and its measures as it can have direct observation to the research process as undergoing research should be handed in with empirical facets and crucial points gathered by the researcher.

Secondary data are those earlier gathered for other reasons, but can be used to solve the issue. On the other hand, if a company wanted to know the population size of key global markets that it might enter, it could find this information from secondary sources. There should also be the integration of secondary data as findings and assumption studies made by several researchers can be good option that supports any valid information. In marketing research, there are many sources of secondary data for use. Research services such as many marketing research firms, advertising agencies, and consulting companies that do marketing research on a contract Source. The company also has a marketing research department that can perform a variety of types of research.

Secondary information has the benefit of being generally cheaper than primary data, although it is not always accessible for study issues specific to the strategy.

Qualitative versus Quantitative Research

Whether qualitative or quantitative research would be a better approach?

A qualitative exploration and quantitative measurements use of projective methods to collect consumers’ hidden personal representations, repressed feelings, and non-expressed needs letting them use their own words creation of new quantitative indicators combining information resulting from qualitative and quantitative analysis

Qualitative research typically involves face-to-face interviews with respondents to develop a better understanding of what they think and feel about a research topic like a brand name, a product, a package or an advertisement. Focus groups and lengthy interviews are the two most prevalent kinds of qualitative marketing research.

  • Focus groups: Participate in conversations among a tiny amount of people led by an interviewer; they are intended to produce insights and thoughts.
  • Long interviews: Conducted by an interviewer with a single respondent for several hours. They are intended to find out stuff like the meanings of different products or brands for an person or how a product affects the lives of a person.

More systematic processes for obtaining and analyzing numerical data are involved in quantitative research. Observation, surveys, experiments and mathematical modeling are four prevalent kinds of quantitative marketing research.

  1. Research on observation includes monitoring individuals and recording appropriate facts and behaviors. For example, retail stores may use observational research to determine what patterns customers use in walking through stores, how much time they spend in various parts of the store, and how many items of merchandise they examine. This information can be used to design store layouts more effectively. Similarly, many retail marketers do traffic counts at various intersections to help determine the best locations for stores.
  2. Survey research involves the collection of data by means of a questionnaire either by mail, phone, or in person. Surveys are frequently used to study client views, attitudes, satisfaction, and many other problems in marketing research. Mail surveys are helpful to reach commonly distributed markets but take longer than telephone surveys to get answers. Personal surveys involving structured issues are helpful but costly.
  3. Experimental research includes the manipulation of one variable and its effect on other factors. For example, the price of a product in one test store could be changed, while left the same in other stores. Comparing sales in the test store with those in other stores can provide evidence about the likely impact of a price change in the overall market. Experiments are helpful to get a clearer concept of the causal relationships between variables, but often they are hard to design and efficiently administer in natural environments. Thus, many marketing research experiments are conducted in laboratories or simulated stores to carefully control other variables that could impact results.
  4. Mathematical modeling study often includes secondary data, such as scanner information from retail checkout counters gathered and stored in computer files. This strategy includes the creation of equations to model interactions between variables and utilizes econometric and statistical techniques to explore the effect on sales and brand decisions of different strategies and tactics. Mathematical modeling is helpful as it offers an effective way to study issues with highly big secondary data sets.

Often, qualitative research is used in early stages of investigating a topic to get more information and insight about it. Then, quantitative approaches are used to investigate the degree to which the insights hold across larger sample focus groups through Telephone surveys, Mail surveys, Personal, (in-depth) interviews, Mall intercepts, Internet surveys, Projective techniques and Observation.

Methodology In Detail With Survey

The company has to take into consideration the factors that gear the rich males as well as females. LV has taken more care to target the women customers, as the researchers found that the difference in purchase is mainly based on the products. The questionnaire should contain the matters that the consumer prefers about the company and it should be very simple to evaluate and rate in a look itself.  The face-to-face questionnaire filling up by the customer can be carried out while they were making payment for the purchases in the shops. Otherwise, in case of much busy customers, the shop can have a section where the sales persons can take the customer contact number for later questionnaire survey.   The survey will be carried out equally between males and females, as the company needs to make enhancement in the product industry based on the gender preferences in the products quality as well as modernization. The questionnaire also provided an open answer asking the young people to write down their own personal definition of brand. Younger generation surveys can be better carried out through online survey also. That will benefit the company in a variety of ways in the production as well as distribution.

Analysis In the table format

The relevance (from 0% to 100%) of brand in LV luxury product evaluation and purchase decision (Do you buy because of the of the brand?)

Brand Name Vs Consumer Brand Priority:-

Brand name
Brand (Relevance  % in 100)
Louis Vuitton  72.69

 

Gender Vs Product Purchase Table:-

GenderNo:Product Relevance %
Male5034 %
Female5040%

Age Span Vs Product Purchase Table:-

Age SpanNo:Product Relevance %
Under 20 yrs505%
20 – 30 yrs70048%
30 – 40 yrs30026%
40 – 50 yrs20014%
Over 50 yrs15011%

Results & Analysis of Data

The appropriate analysis techniques of collected data depend on the nature of the research question and the design of the research. Qualitative research information consists of interview documents analyzed for concepts or topics in terms of content. Depending on the study goals, quantitative study information can be evaluated in a multitude of ways. The interpretation and evaluation of the study outcomes is a critical component of this phase. It is a fact that clear-cut marketing research study results are totally unambiguous. Usually, relationships among variables or differences between groups and judgment and insight are needed to draw appropriate inferences and conclusions. Researchers in marketing should always double-check their assessment and prevent overstating their findings ‘ power. The consequences of creating or altering a marketing strategy with judgement on the general quality of the research should be thoroughly considered and treated. The secondary data will analyze and evaluate information that found in the primary sources and creates information more accessible to the readers and the parties involved as these were supported by good books, peer reviewed journals as well as articles and other publication types. The data to be gathered will be tallied by the researcher and will be encoded in the computer.  Hard copy will be printed to ensure that files are kept including the questionnaire responses of the sample.  Frequencies will be computed into percentages and will be presented through graphs, tables and textual arrangements.

The study outcome is a full declaration of all that is accomplished in a research project and contains a written up of each of the past phases as well as the research’s strategic suggestions. Research constraints should be observed closely. Research results should be clear and unambiguous with respect to what was done and what recommendations are made. Researchers should work closely with executives to ensure full understanding of the research and its constraints. The analysis and results of the questionnaires provided during the company events measures the consumer value creation on the company products. This has been made on purpose to be able to bridge literature references and spontaneous empirical data which in turn made researchers able to collect research data in different languages associated to LV.  The open-ended questions were able to combine deductive quantitative and inductive qualitative approach what allow researchers to analyze:

Whether the free answers reflect the defined dimensions. This leads to a better validation of results.

More empirical meanings to the abstract dimension of the model: to which adjectives do functional, symbolic, and affective dimensions refer.

The transfer between event and brand directly from the analysis of  “language connections” established at the level of free expressions.

Louis Vuitton Marketing Strategy

The data analysis is based on both quantitative and textual data analysis. With respect to quantitative analysis, researchers were able to check the structure of the core model, ie; to establish whether the relationship between functional, symbolic, affective and economic dimensions of consumer values are stable or different from one country to the other. On the other hand, the qualitative analysis was developed in order to reinforce the results previously obtained by the quantitative one. Ways that applied textual data analysis procedures like:

  1. Analyze at the country level the frequencies of the adjectives used and the way they can be associated to the consumer values dimensions computed.
  2. Automatic content analysis to build semantic fields that define the set of words from different language that have a same meaning. This allows us to compare at a conceptual level the ideas expressed in different languages, and to build an inductive model of consumer values from empirical data that can be compared to the literature based one.

The analysis of data can be through scaling interpretation for the survey questions that can be in support to any descriptive type of analysis basing from the responses of shoppers. The measurement for such analysis, must take such forms of non-comparative scales to be illustrated as qualitative approach can involve numeric value and on the other hand, be it in semantic way with complete scaling measurements as equipped to understand relevance’s. There will be utilization of interval scaling as the researcher can justify the use of the arithmetic mean as measure of average. In the scale measurement, the degree of agreement as well as disagreement will be given desired numeric value wherein there can include such 2-5 interpretative points to be effective in calculation processes. The data to be presented will have to be in tabulation and due analysis through the use of deviations in median and percentage standardization. This study is based on a real time observation that aims at capturing consumer values toward sponsored event of the brand.  Data collection describes the sample structure.

Now the LV research results concerning the four different samples (Spanish, French, Italian, and German samples) will be commented to examine the proposed theoretical research in the different countries. Regarding the various sample, five significant relationships have been identified among the three dimensions of the Americas Cup (AC) consumer value and the four dimensions of the Louis Vuitton consumer value. In this sense, AC affective value positively affects the affective and functional value that consumers associate to LV. This implies that the customer who sees the AC event as an exciting, important, important and well-organized contest will see Louis Vuitton as an appealing, pleasurable and seductive brand. The AC functional value positively affects the LV affective value and also the AC symbolic value shows the highest relationship between both LV symbolic value and LV economic value. The research shows absence of relationship between the AC functional value and any of the scope of the LV customer value is because of not considering the functionality dimension of value neither in the AC event, nor in the LV brand. Each dimension of the AC consumer value fits with its corresponding dimension of the LV consumer value. The result also shows AC affective value positively correlates to the LV affective value and negatively to the LV economic value and the researchers explained that the negative relationship could be due to the uncertainty of this sporting event. Company researchers hypothesis could be partially accepted, as some of the dimensions of the event value are related with some of the dimensions of the sponsor brand value in the four countries but some differs in certain values made it possible to identify cross cultural context differences.

Louis Vuitton Brand Analysis Discussion

Louis Vuitton is the leading company in both sales and product sector and geographical coverage. As time passed, the LV Company made great successes in Europe, and was eventually turned into an international company. The first London store opened in 1885 followed by stores in New York, Washington, Alexandria and Buenos Aires in 1914. By the mid twentieth century, Louis Vuitton was a thriving company that, in 1978, opened its first store in Japan. Already a popular brand with Japanese tourists in France, the opening of a Japanese branch caused demand for LV goods to soar. Naturally the company reaped a heavy profit within days of opening in Japan. These profits have continued up through the present, which finds 45 Louis Vuitton stores in Japan alone. Japanese market annually makes up a large part of Louis Vuitton’s sales. Some 200 Louis Vuitton boutiques in main European, U.S. and Far East towns provided prestigious luggage, elegant apparel and a broad variety of accessories to their distinguished customers in the 21st century. Company is renowned for his marketing skills and tight control over how and where products are sold came out on top in a fierce battle to control Louis Vuitton.  Louis Vuitton opened its first store at Palace Hotel in Beijing, China in 1992, 14 years after its first Asian push with stores in Tokyo and Osaka.

The challenge that explores the predicament Louis Vuitton, one of the world’s leading luxury products makers, faces with respect to brand management while expanding its operations in China. LV had conquered the luxury goods market successfully in Europe, the US and some parts of Asia with operations across the world with 1,500 retail stores in about 60 countries. In the early 1990s Louis Vuitton decided to expand its operations in China and South Korea and later, LV made its entry into India. In 2004, Asia accounted for about 40% of the sales of LV products. LV is determined to capture the growing Asian market. It however faces several challenges in its expansion plans in Asia. One of its major concerns is protecting its brand against dilution. Louis Vuitton, the leading luxury brand, has extended its UK retail store network from its Bond Street flagship to include stand-alone stores and major department stores.

China, although a huge market, is also a place where fake branding is endemic. In addition, Louis Vuitton’s expansion plans in Asia also opened up the issue of private ownership versus franchising with regards to the profitability of companies in the luxury goods industry. The main insights concentrate on brand protection and brand extension in foreign markets with minimum budgets and careful viral marketing activities among the target groups. For a brand like Vuitton, China is an important area of growth, with the challenge that the region is difficult and expensive to break through. Great researchers proclaimed, “China will make a difference to Vuitton because its population is so large.” The largest luxury store in a 900 sq. meter flagship shop in Shanghai opened in China, which has a 10-meter high glass facade etched with the brand’s house symbol. This store is a confident and extravagant statement by the Louis Vuitton brand of its aspirations within the Chinese market. Its purpose is also to attract public attention and to generate interest, and hopefully sales, from Shanghai’s brand aficionados.

The use of both approaches, the emic and the ethic methodology, provides a good and quite complete understanding of different cultures. One hundred fifty years old, the luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton, remains faithful to its founder’s original principles of quality and design. When Louis Vuitton selected solutions from i2, it successfully combined modern technology with semi-manual production processes and a traditional respect for top quality and good service that supports the company’s expansion.  The firm would have struggled with our prior systems to support this development. At the same moment, Louis vuitton experienced a double-figure annual growth rate. The picture of luxury and the promise of product quality have drawn more and more global clients. Comments company that “their quality attracts our clients to our goods,” and “we also have to provide them with a quality service. This implies ensuring that when our clients want them, our products are accessible in our shops.”

In operational terms, it is the blueprint for management procedures, information technology processes and stock handling methods. Staffing and other human resource policies are typically developed and then extended to the stores. It’s a bold move by a company looking to expand its footprint in fast-growing markets like China, although the ad will air worldwide. Print advertisements are widely used by the business in cosmopolitan towns in magazines and billboards. Recently it has chosen to join the world of TV and cinema. The commercial explores the theme “Where will life take you?” (90 seconds) and is translated into 13 distinct languages. The business calls it “a luxury house’s first ever on-screen corporate campaign.”

LV is one of a number of luxury brands fighting the spread of counterfeit items across the world. Despite the proliferation of piracy, the brands have enjoyed a few victories. LV requires a severe perspective of all counterfeiting, employs a team of attorneys and unique investigative organizations, actively prosecutes perpetrators throughout the world and allocates approximately half of its communication budget to counteract the piracy of its products. Today, with a tiny amount of exceptions, Vuitton products are mainly accessible at genuine Louis Vuitton boutiques. These boutiques are frequently discovered in upscale shopping districts or, less frequently, in department stores of ultra high quality. The department store boutiques function separately of the department and have their own LV directors and staff. LV has lately introduced an online store as an approved channel for marketing its products through its primary website.  Research proves that Louis Vuitton has filed a $47 million lawsuit against online auction giant eBay for not “doing enough” to stop or stem the sale of counterfeit Vuitton goods on the auction site. LV official’s claims  “We always thought that counterfeit requires zero tolerance for several reasons. ” It’s a fraud economy that escapes all rules of normal labor and normal economic rules and taxations, so it’s a bad thing for every state in the world. Secondly, it’s bad for any kind of creativity, research and development, because if you don’t protect intellectual property, why should people dedicate time and energy to create?”

Conclusion & Recommendations

The purposes of this study were to compare the way in which consumers from different countries assign value to LV brand based on a combination of deductive quantitative and inductive qualitative approaches. The results have implications for both sponsorship research and practice as they revealed new insights in the customer’s functional, affective, symbolic, and economic evaluation of sponsor-event association on a cross-national level. The brand values are based on data collected during the 12 months prior to evaluation month.  It’s focused everywhere that the Vuitton’s unique identity of relentless focuses on quality and the in-built rigidly controlled distribution network. Future studies that could be of use by the researchers can be seen in the matter of how effective this particular research study to the society. This may reveal that the study of applied values and norms could be the useful indication of the studies to be discussed. This will also be kept as a digest in the future research studies that is more or less related to the presumed study. The study then, may possibly explain relevance of research approach and its affectivity to the served purpose respectively.

The recession’s consequences on LV will be limited, weak, or even non-existent. In fact, the client that the company is far less affected than the rest of the economy by these short-term economic swings.  Company has high purchasing power, located in a number of countries where the economic climate will be buoyant, even if there’s a minor recession in the U.S.  Despite economic conditions, LV reported growth of 8% in 2007 and say growth will continue in 2008 despite the challenging monetary environment and an uncertain economic climate at the beginning of this year. Increasing market share and the profitability of its leading brands as well as improving the results of its developing companies remain LV to top priorities. The screen campaign is a very clever move, in a way; Luxury is based on fixed cost. The campaign is in business terms a way of creating a gap between brands that can afford it and those that can not afford it.  Its 22nd store establishment in China has proved the advertising strategy of Louis Vuitton in China. It’s leading advertising and branding strategy in the past and present excellent then also, improvement is always possible in the world. A research of the future advertising strategy and branding image construction and protection should be investigated for product promotion. 

The recommendation that needs to be well thought-out by the company is to consider the product shipping facilities in LV’s upcoming markets including China, Europe and others Asian countries. Company should also take in to consideration on the manufacturing of products that cannot be easily counterfeited for establishing the brand value more powerful. The company can sustain full customer satisfaction by focusing the processes like orders, supply, demand and pricing in product marketing. Based on the researches, company officials should study the considerable variations in the purchasing aim throughout noticeable and not noticeable products as well as among individuals with different levels of social status. It is recommended that the company managers have to develop benificiary market subdivisions and market place strategies targeting young consumers in developing countries. It is recommended that continuous evolution in Louis Vuitton designs should bring new products exclusively to Louis Vuitton’s 350 shops every six months.

Company has to put forward inventory techniques in all fields of their expertise to compete with the marketers. As the world has transformed into a designer track, the company needs to design its products to satisfy the new generation consumers. Luxury fashion spending trend amongst the metropolitan residents will be reaching all time highs in the coming years.  Online purchasing will lead to a revolutionized change in the future marketing. The company has designed to widen its worldwide markets to take advantage on the upcoming luxury product demands. The has taken up the decision to derive policies to pick up the accuracy of product sales anticipation as well as planning product delivering process to maintain the company’s prestige. Verdict research published at the end of last year says that growth in regions including China will nearly increase in value by 2012.

LV must be careful not to market its products to a wide market since shortage value seems to be one of its appealing factors that would certainly increase its sales. Beyond considering LV’s history basis as the top brand, it has considered itself a quality & traditional luxury-goods company and has the belief to expand through innovation rather than through mass marketing.  In Japan, an extensive marketing could be undertaken to expand the innovation ideas without devaluing the reputation of the brand.  To move successfully into the future LV must remember that it has made it this far on reputation and an unwillingness to bend its values, and it must continue to market that way in order to maintain credibility. The fake-goods market is an insult to LV’s credibility, and thus far the company has done its best to tackle the problem. To deal with the fake-goods market, at least in Japan, is to enforce the idea through advertising that it is mocking to buy such goods. All in all when looking at LV’s current sales numbers, it is clear that despite previously mentioned problems, the company is doing very well. As has been stated many times, the LV brand is all about luxury and the company has its own values. To keep the company in top position, expanding the consumer-base of its products, such as through the introduction of famous stars as sales representative, eventually compromises its status as a luxury goods provider. Although LV can certainly improve its marketing techniques, it must maintain focused within its previous elite client. Expansion into new areas, such as North America, is of course good, but, the company in order to maintain its integrity and thus its selling power must continue to market its products to the smaller wealthier classes thus preserving its status as a top luxury good.

Quotations

  1. “The prestige of a luxury brand gets eroded once too many people own a specific luxury product.”

(Dubois and Paternault  -1995, cited in Dall’Olmo Riley and Lacroix, 2003 )

  1. “Fashion communication is mostly a visual process rather than verbal, that the power of advertising is to quickly and effectively deliver messages to audiences throughout the world.”

(Solomon and Rabolt (2002))

Works Cited;
  1. Fashion Marketing: By Tony Hines, Margaret Bruce
  2. Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Vuitton>
  3. Business Week <http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_32/b4045419.htm>
  4. Customer Think <http://www.customerthink.com/blog/louis_vuitton_effective_experience>
  5. Answers.com <http://www.answers.com/topic/louis-vuitton%20>
  6. Fashion Note Book <http://brandmediaweek.typepad.com/fashionnotebook/louis_vuitton/index.html>
  7. Survey Question Model <http://my3q.com/home2/272/ad149/31769.phtml>

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