Jimmy Choo: Does The World Need Another Lifestyle Luxury Brand?
Jimmy Choo Is Moving Foward With A Luxury Boom Brand Strategy In A Down Luxury Drought Market -- Chances Of Success Are Slim
The August 29 New York Times gives an in-depth profile of the Jimmy Choo company and the company's plans to expand their essential luxury brand known for designer shoes and fashion accessories into a lifestyle brand. The company's chief executive Joshua Schulman is quoted, "We're on a journey to transcend a great product into a lifestyle."
The essence of the revamped Jimmy Choo brand strategy is to bring on a new range of branded scarves and perfume and expand the existing line of handbags and eyewear. They are further exploring jewelry, watches and swimwear. In addition, the company plans to double the brand's boutiques to reach 105 worldwide. Click here to see the original NYT article.
The question for Jimmy Choo -- and any other luxury marketer with grandiose visions of rapid growth and expansion -- is whether the world REALLY needs another luxury lifestyle brand? Does Jimmy Choo have the 'chops' to go up against such well-regarded lifestyle luxury brands like Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton or Chanel and take a piece of their action? Further, does the new luxury marketplace truly have room for yet another lifestyle brand?
Great luxury brands only grow organically because consumers clamour for more -- Not as a result of business plans and corporate strategy
Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, a research firm specializing in the luxury consumer market, thinks not. "The Jimmy Choo company is taking a business plan conceived during the luxury boom and implementing it in the midst of a luxury drought. It has all the makings of a strategy born of corporate hubris and investor greed, and not one based upon the luxury consumer demanding more 'Jimmy Choo' -- especially since the real Jimmy Choo, the genius and vision behind the brand, isn't involved with the company anymore.
Great luxury fashion brands like Chanel, Ralph Lauren, and Louis Vuitton, are created and carried forward by a passionate, talented visionary, not by a team of corporate executives. Not only is the timing of this expansion wrong, it fails to recognize that a luxury brand is far more than a name and a logo. A luxury brand is carefully crafted, not manufactured to the specs of a corporate business plan."
Danziger continues that the one part of the plan that makes sense in the current environment is to develop a shoe collection for H&M, the bargain-priced retailer that makes fashion affordable. "Everybody shops at H&M, no matter where one falls on the economic ladder, so Jimmy Choo will reach a new lower-income shopper, as well as reconnect with the affluent shopper who has been reluctant to spend $500 and up on a pair of shoes in the past year."
Brand strategies must adjust to the new normal luxury market
"Clearly in this brand expansion plan, the Jimmy Choo company executive team failed to do their homework and adjust their strategy in the face of the new realities of the luxury marketplace. Fashion luxury marketers in this luxury drought are challenged by both fewer luxury consumers willing to make upscale purchases and a decline in the average amount they are willing to spend.
The kind of up-to-date, research-based information about affluent consumer spending and purchasing contained in Unity Marketing's recently published Personal Luxury Report 2009 would aid brands like Jimmy Choo to find a new strategy for success in the vastly different, more competitive and much smaller luxury market that will be the new normal over the next two-to-five years.
The boom times are over when business came easy; luxury marketers today have to be willing to change direction and find new avenues to growth in the luxury drought that has taken over." This report provides marketers with facts and figures that support strategic decisions Unity Marketing's Personal Luxury Report 2009 provides detail data about the purchase behavior and spending patterns of the nation's most affluent consumers in fashion, jewelry, watches, beauty and wine and spirtis.
In addition to its focus on historical shifts in the luxury consumer market, it gives marketers a forward-look into the future trajectory of consumer trends that are transforming the luxury market in 2009 and beyond.
"We designed the Personal Luxury Report 2009 as both a powerful desk reference and a source for insight into the future of the luxury market. It provides the kind of detailed facts and figures about the luxury consumer market that makes data-driven executive's hearts flutter. But because it also focuses on the mindset and attitudes of the luxury consumer, it is an invaluable tool to help luxury brand executives plan for the future of their changing marketplace," says Danziger.
For Luxury Marketers: This is a report about your customers & your target customers
The Personal Luxury Report 2009 compiles data on personal luxury purchases from four luxury tracking surveys that Unity Marketing conducts every three months with 1,000-1,250 affluent consumers who purchased one or more luxuries in the study period. Unity's luxury tracking study is the only longitudinal survey of its kind that tracks the luxury consumer market, what they buy, and how much they spend. A total of 4,609 luxury consumers were surveyed in 2008 with an average income of about $200,000, which is representative of the 22 million affluent households in the country.
Further, the report breaks down the affluent market into three distinct segments based on income, including profiles of the ultra-affluent consumers with incomes of $250,000 and up.
New data points provide more granularity for marketers to delve into trends in their target market
Enhancing this year's Personal Luxury Report 2009 are new data points that enhance luxury marketers' understanding of where affluent's money is being spent and how it is changing from year to year. It contains data about the average amount spent within a particular product category, such as Luxury Fashion Accessories, and within the category detail about the average amount spent on women's shoes or women's handbags, for example. It enables marketers to identify what products are up and down within their product category.
This report also provides an estimate within product category of how the consumers' share of wallet is divided based upon type of store. So you can tell when affluent shoppers are shifting their spending out of one retailing segment and into another. For example, this year affluents spent less of their fashion accessories budgets in department stores and more in specialty fashion boutiques.
This report doesn't stop with the data -- It pushes further to help marketers and retailers put the information to use
Unity Marketing's aim in publishing the Personal Luxury Report 2009is to translate the data into information that marketing executives can use to make critical strategic decisions. This market research report helps make the research data and findings accessible and useable. It provides marketers with three powerful perspectives: "What,” "So What," and "Now What." The report is written to reveal the key research findings, explain why they are important to luxury marketers, and then help marketers find ways to put the research to use in developing new concepts, new strategies, new tactics for success.
To that end, the report includes 25 take action call outs that will help luxury marketers translate the research findings into marketing strategies and tactics.
Seven new trends are explored that help luxury marketers get out in front of shifts in the future luxury consumer market
Finally this year's Personal Luxury Report 2009 includes a review of seven key trends in the luxury market, including the importance of green marketing to affluents, how the recession is affecting luxury consumers and how the country of origin of specific products influences luxury consumer to buy.
You can call Pam Danziger at 717-336-1600 to discuss your specific research needs.