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Book Review - The Cult Of The Luxury Brand

Ranjani Saigal

The Cult of the Luxury Brand is the first book to explore how and why an amazing “luxeplosion” is rocking Asia, sweeping up not just the glitzy upper crust, but secretaries clutching their Burberry bags, junior executives sporting Rolex watches, and university students in Ferragamo shoes. Asian consumers account for as much as half of the $80 billion global luxe industry.

Hong Kong boasts more Gucci and Hermès stores than New York or Paris. China’s luxury market is growing with such gusto that it will single-handedly be the biggest by 2014. Even India, the new kid on the luxury block, has three-month waiting lists for hot items, while in Tokyo, the epicenter of the cult, 94% of women in their 20s own a Louis Vuitton bag.

How did Asia develop such an interest in luxe? What makes women spend an entire month’s salary on a Louis Vuitton bag?  How does a marketer of luxury goods target the Asian markets?

Radha Chadha and Paula Husband have done extensive research on the subject and present their findings in this book. The easy to read style of the book makes this very complicated topic accessible to an average reader while providing the professional with plenty of useful insight that could help with marketing and retail strategies.

“The spread of the luxury culture in Asian countries has typically followed a five stage process”

 It begins with stage 1 where there is poverty and deprivation. Economic growth brings about stage 2 where masses buy white goods while the elites start buying Luxe. Stage 3 is the show off phase where people would like to acquire symbols of wealth and display economic status. Stage 4 termed as the fit in phase is when there is the large scale adoption of luxe fueled by the need to conform. In the final stage luxe becomes a way of life where the buyers are locked in the luxe habit and become confident, discerning buyers.

The book explains the unique nature of different countries in Asia and provides insights into the culture of the people and their luxe buying habits which every marketer needs to consider carefully as they expand into different markets. The chapter on India is particularly insightful where the authors identify trends in different cities. They discuss the Old Money and New Money culture and clearly lay out ideas on selling brand names to different sections of society.

The content and the style of the book has made this book very popular and it is on its way to becoming a best-seller. Whether you are an executive who wants to build your luxury brands in the booming Asian markets or a shopper fascinated by luxury brands, this book is a must-read one for you.

The book may be purchased at Amazon.com.
About the authors

Radha Chadha is one of Asia's leading marketing and consumer insights experts. After working with leading advertising agencies, Radha established her own brand consultancy in 2000 in Hong Kong. Chadha Strategy Consulting advises companies operating in Asia on all areas relating to building a brand and its communication. Radha is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta.

Paul Husband is one of Asia's leading retail centre planning and development consultants. In 1998 he founded Husband Retail Consulting to meet the demands of Asian developers for world-standard retail centres that would differentiate them from their competitors in an increasingly challenging marketplace.

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