Integrated Marketing Communication Strategy
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Louis Vuitton is classified under luxury industry and was established in the year 1854 in a Parisian workshop by Louis Vuitton (Clow & Baack, 2011). The company was originally established on original craftsmanship and quality leather costumes. Later on Vuitton’s death, his first born son George took over and expanded the company to reach international market, managing this company called assurance for quality products to the market.
According to the management, the company has continued to improve and refine its status for quality products through its four fundamental elements of business model—product, dispersal, communication and price (Dahlen, Lange & Smith, 2010). Currently the company is serving 12 different international markets, covering 60% market share in luxury products (Shimp 2008).
The 2008 global economic meltdown initiated the following trends in the luxury industry, which have helped Louis Vuitton remain as leader in the industry (Fill, 2009).
Luxury and Technology
Technology advancement form support of luxury: badge of significance, immersive experience and uniqueness. Universal markets are likely to account for 80% of the luxury industry’s development by 2015 (Mueller, 2011). The immense development is attributed to in supply and online sales for luxury retail products. Louis Vuitton will required to be at front in responding to social demands, uniqueness of brand and selling a sense of originality (Dahlen 2010).
The industry is embracing online applications as a mean to connect with their customers and develop contacts. The company has created a number of applications and Amble that acts as a tour guide to all of the major towns while providing an interactive service to the users (Pickton & Broderick, 2004).
Value of Quality & Constancy
The other inclination is meltdown-proof luxury focusing on constancy and durable quality. The young generation is concerned with quality and regards extravagance purchases as a venture. Luxury products need to increase their artefact durability, both in class and trends, to place the product as a durable investment (Christian, 2011). Moreover, there is a growing drift in luxury that goes beyond phony and speaks to innovation, personal sustainability.
Improved Brand Reliability
After economic meltdown, luxury products are executing a more inclusive considerate of consumers by obtaining more information from the market and developing comprehensive trademark strategies (O'guinn, Allen, & Semenik, 2012). These enterprises have begun to codify their brand heritage, and with their mission to create a compelling brand positioning in the market (Okonkwo, 2010). The industry will see many brands establishing customized cultures by 2015. The growth in brand trustworthiness also demands for a massive awareness of the competitor’s market activities.
Louis Vuitton aims at customers who value craftsmanship, tradition, style, and exclusivity. Specifically, they target the wealthy middle aged women and affluent young fashionable ladies who have disposable revenue (Pecknold, 2007).
The average Louis Vuitton consumer belongs to the upper economic class and is stylishly aware. These buyers emphasize the significance of self-esteem.
CURRENT COMMUNICATION TOOLS
Louis Vuitton Cup
The 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup will be marking the 30th anniversary of the yachting competition that is sponsored by the company. This event caters to the wealthy, who are loyal Louis Vuitton shoppers (Pecknold, 2007). The competition strengthens Louis Vuitton’s impressive image while creating a sense of distinctiveness that is sought by those who participate.
The interactive video city guides are available on the Louis Vuitton site. The guides focus on the customary elegance of cities such as London, Paris and Rome (Clow, & Baack, 2011). The company’s City Guides designed for the consumers who travel frequently and need to have entertainment. The city guides have allowed Louis Vuitton to provide their customers a supplementary service while strengthening their brand in the cities (Dahlen, Lange & Smith, 2010).
The Company advertises via a mix of mass media. Examples of which include ads in fashion magazines such as Vogue and billboards that are found in major metropolitan areas. These adverts target the younger, fashionable ladies (Fill 2009). These ads features popular celebrities to convey brand image of elegance that this class seeks to emulate.
Need For Product Development
In order to take advantage of market share and to further develop the Louis Vuitton brand, the management have to ensure that the company stay competitive within the luxury industry’s market (Mueller 2011). Unlike its competitors; Chanel, Gucci, Dior, and Prada, The Louis Vuitton company is yet to establish a luxury cosmetics product line. The introduction of a Louis Vuitton cosmetics line would attract a profitable, new target customer into the market that could convert into brand reliability (Pickton & Broderick, 2004). By bagging this younger and massive target market, the company will make sure that it retains a larger market share as the consumer matures, get used and begins to purchase other luxury products from Louis Vuitton.
This cosmetic market line will be designed to target the young, American ladies who are between the ages of 20 and 3o years. This young cohort of women is expected to be establishing or it has already established its career and has may be having a sensible amount of disposable income (Christian, 2011). However, they may not afford most of Louis Vuitton luxury products at this beginning. As a brand aspirant, this emerging market is fashion-forward and trendy, and regards the lifestyle and antiquity of high fashion (O'guinn, Allen, & Semenik, 2012). They value what brand their product is and is deliberate about their cosmetic’s brand.
Being a company that provides heavily to devoted clienteles, this “fashion-ista” serves as both an appropriate and profitable imminent market for the Louis Vuitton company. A recent research conducted by Bain & Company in cooperation with Vogue magazine establish that women in the U.S.A (Okonkwo, 2010). who consider themselves as “stylish” and are keen follower of the latest fashions spend three times the average on all attire, accessory and beauty consumptions.
Furthermore, the 2012 Beauty Brand Index – grounded on a combination of consumption incidence, share of wallet and brand constancy – presented Louis Vuitton in the top 10 brands for accouterments (Pecknold, D2007). This positive positioning from these studies will allow Louis Vuitton to move into the cosmetic industry with a lot of ease and gain the trust of their firsthand consumers. The Louis Vuitton Company has the impeccable opportunity to influence their products to capture market segment from competitors, generating brand supporters as either new customers or product switchers (Clow, Baack, 2011).
Particularly, recent research on, “Why She Shops,” indicated that women in 2010 did not consider “price” as a differentiating factor (Dahlen, Lange, & Smith, 2010). Based on principal research conducted through a survey disseminated to college students and latest graduates, statistics approve that this target customer purchases makeup at best once a month at department stores that deal with luxury cosmetic products.
Furthermore, the three most imperative features that influence purchase committed and decisions were brand of product, superiority and price (Fill, 2009). After investigating the manipulating factors for 5 distinct cosmetic groupings it was found that while the price was significant, the most crucial feature was the quality, inferred through the brand of the product (Mueller, 2011). Convincingly, this new target market will be highly approachable to a Louis Vuitton cosmetic line and will associate the product’s reputation for quality with their imminent products, despite the product group.
.The strategy of a single Louis Vuitton luxury brand is broken down into four Ps i.e price, product, place and promotion (Pickton & Broderick, 2004). There are certain principles that are used to ensure success of a luxury brand as well as to develop a bisness model that results into success (Christian, 2011). This strategy shows that the sucesss in Louis Vuitton luxury brands is not a coincidence but something accomplished through strategy that can be applied by other firms struggling with the absence of brand power or trying to apply brand power in marketing strategies.
- Set of principles for a product
The principles of brand awareness are mainy focused on the four P’s of marketing.In the cases of proucts, consumers are informed regarding the fitness of a product for use or the level to which the prouct conforms to requirements as well as how desirable the product is.These priciples of product awareness makes comparison of Louis Vuittton proucts with other products meaningless.
One of the principles is elimination of counterfeiting. This principle is implemented through enlightenment campaigns (Pecknold 2007). The company is involved in a fight against counterfeit goods such as imitations in Japan which provides the largest market. The public is enlightened by way of campaigns and seminars related to intellectual property on regular basis.
The other priciple used is the principle of prohibiting appraisal of authenticity. This is achived by not authorizing LV’s officially sanctioned stores to to verify whether a product is genuine or not. Since imitations are a violation of Trade Mark Laws, and are not eligible for sales or prchase they are disposed and finally the prase “We do not handle this at this store” is implemented (Dahlen, Lange, & Smith, 2010).
Other main principles used in product development include the principle of prohibiting second hand operations and the principle of prohibiting licencing.
- Set of principles for price
Generally, marketing demands low prices that is achived by reducing costs or offshore production in varous regions such as China.Louis Vuitton products are high price and this is compensated by making them high quality. However, certai price principles are used at LV following the appointment of Kyojiro Hata as the president of LV Japan and eventually making it global (Fill, 2009).
The main principle used is the principle of preventing exhorbitant pricing. The policy of keeping prices in Japan to a certain level to the price of the same prouct in other countries is what resulted into an increase in revenue by 40% (Mueller, B2011). Prices of products that have been kept to 40% of prices in other regions of the world have resulted into popularity of products such as handbags among women while LV has created a trust which enures brand business is successful.
The other principle used in pricing is the principle of proper pricing. LV has ensured that the disparity of local prices to its prices are kept down to 1.4-fold by eliminating parallel importers whose prices did not conform to local prices, resulting into establishment of official sales routes instead. The new policy includes pricing where customs and distribution costs are included (Mueller, 2011). This ensures reliable pricing and customers’ trust is won pure and simple.
Other major pricing principles that are regarrded significant in the company include the principle of prohibiting surprise price changes, the principle of prestige pricing and the principle of prohibiting pricing in odd prices.
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