​​© 2019 Retail and Luxury Goods Club, a student club of Harvard Business School

Luxury Marketing

Course Number 1905

Associate Professor Anat Keinan
Winter; Q3; 1.5 credits
14 Sessions; Paper

The course will focus on managing the paradoxes of luxury; each module will explore in depth a key luxury marketing paradox:

• Module 1: managing luxury brands: growth and profitability vs. prestige and exclusivity
• Module 2: marketing ultra-luxury to high-end consumers: aspirational or ostentatious
• Module 3: combining heritage and tradition with technology and innovation


Module 1: The art of creating luxury brand equity: creating, growing, and leveraging luxury brands


• The Luxurification of commodities
• Leveraging brand equity: brand stretching, brand extensions, brand dilution
• Protecting brand equity: counterfeits and imitation by competitors
• Celebrity endorsement and sponsorship
• Brand heritage and storytelling
• Rejuvenating / repositioning luxury brands
• Going global - the challenges of educating "non-consumers”


Module 2: Understanding the luxury sector


• Luxury retail - mystery shopper visit, boutique audits, the luxury retail experience
• Luxury services - Concierge services, Wealth management, event planning, private jets
• Luxury experiences - vacations, restaurants, hotels, creating memorable and meaningful experiences
• Understanding the luxury consumer - market segments, motivations to buy
• Understanding perceptions of luxury and attitudes towards luxury consumers: aspirational or ostentatious and inappropriate?


Module 3: The future of luxury: tradition vs. innovation


• Luxury entrepreneurship / innovative business models
• E-luxury / E-tailing / Luxury and social media / the omni-channel experience
• Luxury and innovation / Luxury technology products
• Non-traditional approaches to luxury marketing, alternatives to traditional advertising, (e.g., co-branding and business partnerships)
• Luxury and sustainability,  social corporate responsibility
• Careers in the luxury industry

Wrap-up class: key challenges in luxury marketing: in the last session we will review the main challenges and opportunities to luxury marketers by integrating insights and themes explored in the three modules. In addition to considering how the companies and cases discussed in class dealt with these issues in innovative ways, we will discuss additional examples of luxury brands that successfully (or unsuccessfully) addressed each of these challenges.