Week of 12 December 2011

The Allure of the Male Timepiece
By Tina Gaudoin

I’ve never really understood why men collect watches rather than, say, navy-blue Ralph Lauren Polo shirts, Purdey double rifles or even antique compasses. When I put the question to Rob Diver, managing director of Tag Heuer UK, his answer—”Men can’t wear handbags, so a watch is our way of differentiating ourselves, of making a simple style statement”—did have a certain ring of verity about it. In fact, few things in the luxury-goods world excite the attention of men like a watch. Despite, or maybe because of, the plethora of alternative time-telling options—cellphones, iPads, computers, TVs—the allure of an intricately crafted timepiece is compelling, particularly when it has a tony brand name with a venerable past.


Segmenting the affluent market key for luxury branded growth: Ledbury Research
By Kayla Hutzler

LONDON — Luxury brand marketers need to stop thinking of the affluent population as one group and try to understand the different cultural aspects, lifestyles and spending habits at play within the various levels of the world’s wealthy, according to a presentation by Ledbury Research at the Luxury Briefing Wealth Summit 2011.

The areas of the world in which the wealthiest individuals reside is changing dramatically and brands need to plan their marketing campaigns and retail stores accordingly. Indeed, to make these geographical changes, brands also need to understand who the wealthy people in these countries are and why they spend.


The Corruption Trap
Angela Garvey Hammond

Emerging markets are where money is to be made: pent up consumer demand, cheap labour, few regulations. But just under the surface lies the murky world of corruption, ready to derail even the most scrupulous businessperson. Now what?

“Moscow, it’s a web of illogical bureaucracy, which can best be described as a moving target. Once you get a handle on the processes involved, someone in the administration gets fired, the rules change, and you start again. We found ourselves often being forced to take two steps back because of this. However, you persevere, and you launch,” so says Alex Shrifin


Luxury brands in China reach new lows
By Zhang Rui

Chinese consumers are raising complaints about luxury brands, which they see as offering low quality goods with high price tags. A Sina blogger with the handle “Nan Nan” said he bought a new T-shirt under a famous brand, but the color faded dramatically when he hand-washed it. “The 3,000-yuan shirt became a 30-yuan shirt after washing it once,” he wrote.

International brands have been subject to quality disputes before. In 2006, Zhejiang’s provincial industrial and commercial bureau randomly examined imported shoes and found that only 24 percent met Chinese standards. Those shoes included Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana. More than 300 pairs of shoes were destroyed because they had “serious” quality problems.




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