Logos, Monograms & Customization reign the LV industry.
Text: Sofia Orfanidi
Sources have brought to light that Louis Vuitton brand and the classic famous LV monogram are ranking among the world’s top valuable brands, regarding a study that was conducted by Millward Brown in 2010, and for those who don’t know, Louis Vuitton is the world’s 29th most valuable brand, before Wells Fargo and right after Gillette.
We’ve been witnessing the story of Louis Vuitton, shifting accessories strategy and each time all have a lot to say. The story of Vuitton’s attempts toward its customers bring out a number of evaluations, both for and against that attempt to shift the focus to a more leather-centric, for the upmarket customer segment, but we’ve never asked you guys whether or not this shift has affected your own buying behaviour. Today, we want to find out. At least, we will try to from a marketing strategy perspective.
So, what happens when the world’s largest luxury brand decides to focus away from the very trademarks on which its hit has been built? Clearly, the research team of LVMH has detected that some of the customers were getting tired of the brand’s increasingly ubiquitous ‘LV’ logo. However, as a great percentage of the turnover comes from Asia (28 percent), the fact that Vuitton’s reorientation strategy is lockstep with the shifting habits of Chinese people doesn’t surprise me. And what came next, label slaves were dwindling in numbers. However, this doesn’t mean that the logo-loving Chinese consumer have disappeared. They still account for a significant part of revenue pie.
It’s not just the public that’s fatigued with the LV logo to blame for this shift strategy in brand identity. With the consistent increase in counterfeit seizures, brands have identified a need to move away from their trademark logos and monogrammed leather goods, which are unbelievably easy for counterfeiters to replicate. And so, brands like LVMH began to take things into their own hands by abandoning their signature styles and opting for something a little trickier to mimic. Anything, but what can make the work harder for the counterfeiters.
First, here’s the pie of the luxury market. You guys fit into two groups: people who consider themselves current LV customers and those who do not. For the first ones, especially those of you who purchase primarily from the canvas lines (monogram or damier etc), do you feel snubbed by LV’s shift towards its entry-level customers? Do you see yourself an entry-level costumer of the brand? Do you feel now less likely to buy the new LV accessories because of the new entries, and if you do, where will you be spending your handbag dollars down the line?
And coming to the second category, i.e. my dear non-shopaholics of currently LV but also of other high-end handbag lines, this Vuitton’s shift strategy is addressed exactly towards you. Do you find the concept of more discreet, logo-absent Vuitton leather goods interesting or fascinating? Would you be willing to spend $4,000 or more on a leather bag if you liked the design? Do you feel like your opinions of Louis Vuitton are already set in stone, for better or for worse?
LV branding is pinnacle and close to a heyday when luxury and quality are considered; Quality is what characterises Vuitton, subliminal towards a ‘mark of excellence’. It is about glorifying since ‘handmade’, which gives the ultimate compliment; the absolute value of worth.
On the other hand, I can explain the need for a brand to be ‘‘refreshed’’. Nowadays, all are accepting the reality of an instant newness; what is cool, eccentric, and different are always preferred and obviously become a trend. Therefore, we are all influenced exponentially from the Internet and globalisation – what is old becomes new again. It is essentially, a gap between the trend versus its classic in the making. The key today is how cutting-edge technology creates the question if hand-made productions breed obsolescence.
All can be created, but will it be sold? Once again, Louis Vuitton must decide if innovation is needed for the brand, or do they risk the loss or tarnishing of a ‘mark of excellence’ that took years to establish. In January 2013, LVMH said it would introduce more leather goods and fewer logoed products after reporting no improvement in the pace of sales growth at its fashion and leather-goods unit. A monogram that was selling and still is selling as much as the Louboutin name and it is maybe one of the most important things that offer an exclusivity around the brand. For me, it’s like a bubble bath that we all need at the end of a hectic day. Besides, there’s a reason their logo is instantly recognizable worldwide! That’s true actually. People still want logo and business is turning towards them. The new creation boost Vuitton’s monogram. In the spirit of innovation and collaboration, Louis Vuitton has appointed six photographers and directors to tell creative stories for each of the six iconoclasts of the project.
Personally, I don’t believe LV has to over logo a bag or valise. They simply need to continue with the craftsmanship and savoir-fair that made them synonymous with true luxury since 1854. Louis Vuitton decided to take a punch and celebrated the new Monogram Collection.