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THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY                                  Author                  CARMEN KERVELLA          carmenkervel...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY                                Reconciling between incompatible                               ...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYSchizophrenia is characterized ̶ amongst other things ̶ by a “split in personality”. To theobse...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYToday, luxury is facing seriousproblematics as is has to deal not onlywith its old dilemmas, bu...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY             PREDOMINANT VALUES, WESTERN v’s EMERGING COUNTRIES          THE WEST              ...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY      INTERNAL VALUES OF LUXURY v’s TECHNOLOGICAL VALUESI N T E R N A L VA L U E S             ...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYIf the “conflict” between luxury and modernity has always existed (it is not for that matter,co...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYThe major strategic issue at stake today and tomorrowfor luxury brands revolves in their abilit...
THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYThe luxury sector cannot resolve this dilemma by consensus, by adoptinghalfway measures between...
LEADING YOU AHEAD OF YOUR BRAND      aHeadLand is a strategic         brand consultancy     that was founded to help  take...
LEADING YOU AHEAD OF YOUR BRAND       Learn more about         aHeadLand on     www.aheadland.com
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The SCHIZOPHRENIA of LUXURY by Carmen Kervella

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Reconciling between incompatible and contradictory values, this is the major issue at stake in the luxury sector of today and of tomorrow.

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The SCHIZOPHRENIA of LUXURY by Carmen Kervella

  1. 1. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY Author CARMEN KERVELLA carmenkervella@aheadland.com Illustrator MARIANNE RATIER marianneratier.blogspot.com www.marianneratier.com Translation from French FELICITY STANMORE Published in French, Sept. 2012 INFLUENCIA MAGAZINE© 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  2. 2. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY Reconciling between incompatible and contradictory values, this is the major issue at stake in the luxury sector of today and of tomorrow.I l l u s t r a t i o n© M A R I A N N E R A T I E R © 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  3. 3. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYSchizophrenia is characterized ̶ amongst other things ̶ by a “split in personality”. To theobserver, the luxury sector today is affected by multiple divisions of the mind. It oscillatesbetween lust and virtue, craftsmanship and technology, globalization and localization,materialization and de-materialization, timelessness and instantaneousness, magnificence andausterity… these contradictions are endless.The great paradoxes of luxury emerged in the 70’s, whenluxury turned its back on the haute-couture to invest inprêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) and accessories. This wasamplified in the 80’s and again in the 90’s, when Europeanluxury expanded and democratized to reach a larger andmore diversified audience. Luxury became a veritableindustry, breaking off with its intrinsic values of selectivityand exclusivity. It started to aim at the greatest number ofindividuals, hence it became "accessible". Whilst this wasthe case, there was a fundamental need for luxury tocontinue to convey status and to distance itself from massbrands in order to sustain and heighten its desirability.Consequently, the luxury brands developedcommunications that conveyed idealized, exclusive, andunattainable worlds. I l l u s t r a t i o n © 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © M A R I A N N E R A T I E R
  4. 4. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYToday, luxury is facing seriousproblematics as is has to deal not onlywith its old dilemmas, but also with aphenomenal number of newparadoxes:On one hand, it must remain universalin an ever-changing world governed byconflicting values and visions (SLIDE 5)On the other hand, it must arbitratebetween its own intrinsic values(perennial) and the extrinsic values(rampant) of our modern andtechnological civilization (SLIDE 6) I l l u s t r a t o r© 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED M A R I A N N E R A T I E R
  5. 5. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY PREDOMINANT VALUES, WESTERN v’s EMERGING COUNTRIES THE WEST THE EMERGING WELL-BEING STATUS Collective Values Individual Values FUTURE PRESENT Transmission Enjoyment MEANING SIGN ↓ ↓ INSTITUTION BRAND“The West” designates the historical “The Emerging” designates theterritories of luxury, impacted by thecrisis and the recession DILEMNA Emerging Countries who are experiencing economic growth © 2010 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  6. 6. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURY INTERNAL VALUES OF LUXURY v’s TECHNOLOGICAL VALUESI N T E R N A L VA L U E S EXTERNAL VALUES TIMELESNESS IMMEDIACY Verticality Horizontality AUTHORITY SHARING Distance Proximity MYSTERY TRANSPARENCY Exception Replication ↓ ↓ INSTITUTION BRAND DILEMNA © 2010 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  7. 7. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYIf the “conflict” between luxury and modernity has always existed (it is not for that matter,correctly speaking a conflict! Most luxury houses have stemmed from the innovative vision oftheir creator, who often broke the consensus that were at the time prevalent), this situationhas never been as exacerbated as it is today. The values that are currently propagated, namelythose shared by the new generation resulting from globalization and digitalization, areprofoundly fingerprinted from the technological values ̶ immediacy, transparency, sharing,horizontality, proximity, duplication…And yet, luxury is intrinsically situated in opposition to thesevalues. Luxury is by essence vertical and authoritative, while oursociety extols participation and sharing; Luxury is inscribed in thelong term, even though we live in an era of immediacy,instantaneity and immanence (through these technologies);Luxury stems from mystery while we acclaim total transparency;Luxury promotes exceptionality, whilst we live in a "warholized"world which propagates replication. Ultimately, the game ofluxury has always been about giving a privileged elite the meansto distance themselves from the mass, yet today, proximity ispraised. I l l u s t r a t i o n© 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © M A R I A N N E R A T I E R
  8. 8. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYThe major strategic issue at stake today and tomorrowfor luxury brands revolves in their ability to arbitratebetween their proper values and the ever-changingvalues of the world in which they evolve. This exerciseproves all the more difficult since luxury must evolvewithout effacing itself. It must find its right place in worldwhere modernity is symbiotic with technology. Yet, italso must remain universal and coherent whilstconsidering the expectations, aspirations and values oftheir new clients, who today, have a colossal weightinfluencing the production, behavior and values of luxuryhouses.Therefore, the main challenge for luxury brands is tofind, in each of its expressions, the right balancebetween the Institution it represents (i.e. their heritage,their vision and the perennial values of their creator)and their contemporary incarnation (i.e. the brand,subject to the contingencies of modernity and the I l l u s t r a t i o n © M A R I A N N E R A T I E Rbusiness objectives of its managers). © 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  9. 9. THE SCHIZOPHRENIA OF LUXURYThe luxury sector cannot resolve this dilemma by consensus, by adoptinghalfway measures between extremes because luxury is, in itself and in itsessence, extreme. It cannot succeed in saying everything at the same time:being simultaneously discrete and triumphant, ecological and extravagant,aristocratic and provocative tantalizing, without becoming totallyschizophrenic and losing their consistency, their status and reputation !In a world of contradictions, the most valuable thing for luxury is to bethemselves, no matter how extreme, paroxysmal, and disruptive. Time hasrevealed that the true uniqueness of luxury resides in its innate ability toalways assume who they are. Carmen Kervella AHEADLAND Brand Strategy expert Trends and Targets expert www.aheadland.com c.kervella@aheadland.com© 2012 AHEADLAND, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED @carmenkervella
  10. 10. LEADING YOU AHEAD OF YOUR BRAND aHeadLand is a strategic brand consultancy that was founded to help take clients to “higher ground” in their strategic reflection and problem solving.
  11. 11. LEADING YOU AHEAD OF YOUR BRAND Learn more about aHeadLand on www.aheadland.com

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