The competition between the first and the third luxury group is still alive after almost two decades.

In order to better understand the power and the potential of the two groups, it is interesting not to analyze their fashion brands performance and to focus on the other brands they own instead.

Let’s take champagne for LVMH and sports brands for Kering.

On February 10th Dom Perignon announced the Vintage 2006, for the fifth consecutive year, “an unprecedented decision in the history of the label. This series of vintage reflects exceptional climate conditions and the importance accorded to time” says the Brand press release.

And it continues “2006 is characterized by generosity, made possible by taking the risk of allowing time to work its magic…..maturation in the cellar was unhurried”.

The importance of time. Maturation unhurried. A very special vintage. A careful production. Quality is queen. Patience is key.

As far as Kering is concerned a relevant portion of the business is covered by sports and lifestyle brands and the flagship brand is of course Puma.

In 2014 Puma launched its new brand platform “Forever Faster”

Forever Faster is Puma statement, wishing to remind to all customers that we are and we will always be the fastest sports brand in the world” said at its official launch Adam Petrick, Global Marketing Director of the Brand.

The idea is developed around being the fastest sports brand in launching new, innovative products.

As we know very well the devil is in the detail. And as you can tell the style of a man from the socks he wears, we can say the same about luxury groups: you can tell their own style (and potential) from the “other” collateral brands they picked and manage in order to establish a group.

LVMH is a very established high-end fashion and luxury group. Kering is a high-end fashion and sports and lifestyle group. Different brand portfolio, different management, no doubt.

LVMH has acquired champagne brands that definitely need to be handled with patience, care and attention, extreme attention to detail and an attitude for excellence conquered in years, and centuries. 

Champagne is a symbol of “savoir faire” and “art de vivre” and of a specific “terroir” and origins. When Bernard Arnault decided to create LVMH probably was focused in the acquisition of brands rich of a patrimony of excellence, high quality, exclusivity and able to communicate the same message to the final customers.

The creation of a Louis Vuitton trunk and of a Dom Perignon cuvèe tend to the same target. And ask for the same attitude: patience, time, attention to the detail, excellence from design to production to promotion. That is the luxury spirit. The Art of Travel and the Art of Enjoying luxury. Celine and Chateau d’Yquem, Givenchy and Moet Chandon. Impeccable.

Kering on the other side opted for a more quick and contemporary attitude. Young brands such as Volcom and sports mogul brands such as Puma. Sports and street style. And this also (indirectly) influenced the high-end brands of the group, with the renown “Forever Now” Gucci campaign, for example. 

“Now” seems to be a key word for Kering. “Fast and furious”, we could say. The faster the better. The quicker wins it all. 

Two different positioning and two different paces in the same ever-changing world. 

At the very end, as I pointed out in a previous post, it’s a matter of positioning, you can choose Charlize Theron as a long term brand ambassadress or Gigi Hadid to surf the trend of the moment. It’s a matter of choices.

And these choices will make the difference (and are making it in terms of groups performance). Every choice has a deep impact on the present and future of a Brand and of a Group. Positive or negative, we will see in five years.

Patience or Speed? Which is the best and most successful approach? Is luxury and high-end fashion more about running 100mt at the Rio Olympics or about a discovery travel in Bali? Is it more about a Shake-n-shack or a dinner at the Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence? The final result will depend on the final customer feeling and trust.

The more authentic, the more robust, the more long-lasting, the more meaningful , the more engaged and committed in terms of true global message to the final customer with its portfolio will be the winner.

It’s just a matter of time. Time is luxury, isn’t it?

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