Category Archives: Columns on luxury for ET

A guide to strategic luxury brand marketing

A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse! Well, that’s luxury marketing opportunity the bard William Shakespeare has spelt out for you. A game of pureplay demand of luxe-addiction and constrained supply in the name of limited-edition or handcrafted-edition. The first step is in understanding the very basic difference between marketing of luxury brands…
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Seven Ages of a Luxury Brand

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. Just like the Seven Ages of Man described by William Shakespeare, a Luxury Brand also has Seven Ages. The column aims…
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A brand’s guide to luxury retailing in India

When a luxury retailer wants to do business in India the brand has to understand that this is not China and thus cannot be clustered as emerging markets for these brands. The two markets are intrinsically different. We are the old markets for luxury, unlike China. In 1926, the Maharaja of Patiala gave Cartier its…
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Luxury buying is driven by a three-letter word: EGO

Ego is very tricky. It can make you, it can break you. Sometimes you may also like to say like John Lennon: “Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.” Just like with people, brands also have to be careful in dealing with ego. Ego…
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The theory of relativity

Luxury is not universal. Luxury, as my readers will know by now, has come from the word luxe which means dazzle. Now the luxe factor is fundamentally relative. What dazzles one need not dazzle another. The second layer of difference lies in the degree of dazzle. Let me elaborate with a few Indian examples the…
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The world of luxury counterfeits just a click away

I have a soft corner for watches and I had apparently almost twisted the arm of my former boss Mr Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman of RP-SG group, to see his brand new Breguet (It is a story that he loves to narrate). Mr Goenka knows I am crazy for watches so he is sweet enough to…
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The Great Indian Middle Class Dream

All the major luxury brands owe their existence to one class of buyers:  The Great Indian Middle Class (GIMC). The New Maharajas, before you raise your brows, let me explain it to you as to why you do not drive the luxury market in my motherland. The fun part is dear New Maharajas that not…
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Democratisation of Luxury

Branded luxury is not new to Elite India. There was a time in the 1920's, when 20% of Rolls Royce's global sales were from Elite India. In 1926, the Maharaja of Patiala gave Cartier its largest commission till date the remodelling of his crown jewels, which included the 234.69 carat De Beers diamond. The result…
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The Great Indian luxury consumer decoded

It is not easy to classify the Great Indian luxury consumers. Though several attempts have been made over the years, somewhere we Indian have been able to confuse these classifiers. A classic example was when I saw a gentleman driving a Mercedes E- Class towards the CNG counter of the petrol pump. Although we need…
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The mechanics of luxury retailing

Over two decades ago, when my grandfather passed away, I had my first tryst with luxury. I inherited his closest possession, an Omega manual-wind mechanical wristwatch. I was in standard II and knew not the world of difference between the Omega and the Mickey Mouse Casio quartz I had worn till then. To my horror…
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