Even a cursory glance through a fashion and lifestyle magazine will give you a glimpse of what is commonly referred to as a luxury brand. Image of shiny goodies in perfect little boxes or couture dresses that look too perfect to be true line pages after pages of eye-candy in these glossy magazines. In front of such a pleasant palette of goods, one has to ask oneself if these brands are true luxury brands or simply a built-up marketing product that offer little more than its propaganda.

The word ‘Luxury Brand’ has been over hyped so much that the roar has become quite deafening and the line between ‘real luxury brand’ and the ‘make-believe luxury brand’ keeps merging every now and then.

So, how can a luxury brand be best defined? No matter how difficult this task may seem, I can confidently state that a luxury brand provides a level of craftsmanship, service and experience that goes above and beyond the industry standard. This definition sounds good, but it somehow does not address the overall conditions of the luxury market. We also have to include the must-have qualities inherent to luxury such as bespoke, customization, scarcity, singularity, emotion, and personalization. So what is a luxury brand? A brand becomes a luxury brand when it offers an experience that is unique and adapted to the individual needs of its patrons on an individual basis.

In light of this definition, luxury brands should never produce mass-consumption products sold in boat loads to satisfy the self-indulgence of stock investors. Obviously, all brands strive to be highly successful and to dominate the world in their market, and I am not recommending that they don’t. I am simply stating that the founders and leaders of these esteemed brands must almost remember to stay true to their original core values as they grow to become a conglomerate. It is important that a luxury brand does not sell its soul for the financial gain of a few. Failure to solve the dilemma of growth versus exclusivity can result in long-term viability or even the death of your brand.

Roxanne Genier