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The democratization of luxury

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Luxury: Definition and presentation.
    1. The origin and history of luxury.
    2. The characteristics of luxury.
  3. The democratization of luxury sector.
    1. Reasons for change.
    2. Current paradoxes of luxury.
  4. Portrait of 'new luxury'
    1. Presentation.
    2. The means: Analysis of 'luxury marketing'.
    3. The tools.
  5. Time of luxury: Time of brands.
    1. The brand: Legitimacy and identity.
    2. Stakes of a luxury brand vis-a-vis the democratization of its offer.
    3. Illustrations.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. Appendices.
  8. Bibliography.

One notes, a strong expansion of the luxury market at the economic level, estimated in 2000 at approximately 90 billion euros (according to a Eurostaf study). Moreover, exploratory studies promise a bright future, with the emergence of a new wealthy class, globalization, and an expansion in the list of the countries related to luxury consumption generating a strong potential for the development of the sector. At the organizational level, small independent and semi-traditional companies of the past gave way to conglomerates of international size, with multi-brand groups applying methods and strategies that have been tested in mass markets. This is the result of an acceleration of movements of concentration by mergers, acquisitions and transfers of brands on a globalized market. One can see a goal of financial profitability in this sector, without which the motive for the creativity and excellence of products would disappear. The new world of the luxury is none other than an original summary of financial and aesthetic strategies, constraints of productivity, traditional know-how, innovation and conservation of heritage. All these paradoxical structural tensions however ensure its success and its development. Once the preserve of the wealthy, luxury items are gradually descending to street level. The coming together of the luxury and marketing has led to a requirement: to open up the luxury segment to the masses and to render "the inaccessible accessible". Thus today luxury has several faces, for the various sections of people it caters to. In same time, the social visibility of luxury has increased; first of all by the mechanical effect of the increase in the number of existing luxury brands, then by the intensification of investing in advertising for luxury brands. One witnesses an extension of distribution networks, with an increase in exclusive shops, and also the appearance of selective distribution chains using the codes of large distribution. Hence, the co-habitation of two tendencies: the first conveys the power of the dream and the attraction of luxury, the other standardizes it and demystifies it.

[...] The Internet accelerates and amplifies the democratization of luxury which is no longer based on the notion of something which is rare and expensive. This democratization of luxury via the Internet reveals a change in the behavior and values of the life of consumers. The emergence of the ?luxury pleasure? In a gloomy socio-economic environment, where the consuming citizen is disillusioned, even chronically anxious, luxury is an answer to this society which the sociologist Robert Ebguy calls society of consolation?. [...]


[...] B The issues of luxury brands vis-a-vis the democratization of their offer 1 /Dangers Highly sensitive to the fluctuations of the market Luxury industries now obey the rules of the market and profitability. The democratization of luxury increases the sensitivity of its sales to the fluctuations of the economic situation. In the event of economic difficulties, the middle-class is more inclined to switch to cheap products, than the privileged class for whom luxury items are everyday products. Recent events have however shown that the psychology of the consumer was more complex than one would have believed. [...]


[...] One wonders then if, in spite of its success, Dior will succeed in keeping its core and its position as a luxury brand such that the democratization operated by the latter is pushed to the extreme. CONCLUSION The study of the origins and the history of luxury, as well as its characteristics, enabled us to highlight the paradoxical aspect of the universe of luxury. The analysis of the concept of a brand, its capital and its identity highlights the paramount importance of good management of the brand. [...]

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