The main question is, what is better? Exclusive products or massive manufacturing on market?
In the eternal dilemma of whether offering massiveness or exclusives to the market, the most famous global brands are experiencing a variety of turbulence that can cost them survival on the rough global market.
World-renowned fashion designer Giorgio Armani has launched a business of building and arranging luxury apartments from China and India to the UK. Like Armani, Bugati has also opened up clothing stores, and on the other side Vivienne Westwood opened a restaurant with her name in Hong Kong.
There is an endless row of luxury brands that have sold their names to something absolutely unconnected with their core businesses.
It is normal for every successful company in one kind of business to give a try in something else.
But if transition to another kind of business does not go well, the company is doing more harm than good to themselves. This applies in particular to luxury companies, because joining the various areas that have nothing to do with their major business leads to the fact that the most valuable business they have is getting less and less worthy.
Management consultant Peter York gave an example for misusing the name of a brand – Pierre Cardin. Cardin was the pioneer of licensing brands. His name can now be found on hundreds of products. From shirts and bottled water to canned sardines.
The King of Licenses Pierre Cardin became very wealthy with this approach to business. His empire is worth around one billion and a half in USD. Numbers are estimated in 2011.
Lot of business consultants claim that it is worth much less.
„ – I did everything. If someone asks me to make a toilet paper, I would do it. Why not? ”
Cardin told for New York Times.
There are, however, remarks that Cardin has spread his company to much.
If you overwhelm, the value of your brand falls. Brands who are cautious in such situations, last longer – Peter York says about Cardin’s ventures.
Although it’s not quite clear how to evaluate if some brand went too far, some criteria are very exact. The Harvard Business Review has made a survey of 150 luxury brands. The main conclusion is that it is not even important to expand all the domains of a brand, but the success depends on whether they are able to choose what is best for them.and what is having a logical connection with the brand.
Bulgari is the best example. Bulgari has become known to the wider public after becoming a favorite in the film industry. In Rome was filmed Ben Hur, War and Peace, La Dolce Vita and the whole parade of actors who worked on these films revealed this Italian brand while they were there.
For Elizabeth Taylor it was said that she knew only one Italian word: Bulgari. After they made Bulgari famous, it became a famous brand also in the United States. They opened the first store in New York in the seventies. Besides jewelry, they also started producing watches, perfumes and handbags. Not so long ago they made a move out of this box and Bulgari started a hotel business.
The first hotels opened in Milan in 2004. In the next 12 years they opened two more and are planning to open three more. Although surprisingly, the hotel business for Bulgari proved to be a good decision. They continued in their “rhythm of luxury” and did not make a spectacle of it. It’s about very small hotels. They managed to preserve exclusivity and did not open the chain. Only three hotels. In other words, they did not do what Pierre Cardin would most likely do.