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Abstract

Louis Vuitton is one of the renowned fashion houses worldwide. This research covers the strategy for enlarging market share of fine jewelry in the US. The fine jewellery in the US is already established and has major national and international players and hence there is a lot of competition. To enlarge its market share in the industry, Louis Vuitton should concentrate on various marketing efforts- ad campaigns, celebrity endorsement, website marketing, and exhibition to various individual categories in US. The person should be Asian/white, live in suburbs, professional, homeowners with mortgages, household with less than four people, income range of about $ 70,000 and an age range of 25-54 categories in order for LV to gain fine jewelry market share in US. The marketing strategies will boost its market position in the fine jewelry industry in the US

Table of Contents

1.0  Industry Context ……………………………………………………………..…………4

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2.0  Management Issue ……………………………………………………..……………….6

3.0  Literature Review ………………………………………………..……………………..7

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4.0  Research Aims/ Questions ………………………………………..……………………13

5.0  Research Design/Methodology…………………………………………………………14

6.0  Qualitative Approach: A case study of Channel ………………..…………………….. 15

7.0  Quantitative Approach- Fine jewelry customers profile……………………..……….. 24

8.0   Conclusions and insights ………………………………………………………………25

Industry Context

The U.S. fine jewelry market captures almost half of all revenues in the international market: both specialty and branded jewelry enjoy the lead position. Top companies profiled in the fine jewellery market include Signet Jewelry, Tiffany, Blue Nile, as well as Zale Corporation and others. The industry is characterized by cutthroat competition from fine jewelries from other countries. Among the key raw materials used in this industry, there are gold and diamond. Being beautiful in appearance and rare in occurrence, diamond is largely used across the fine jewelry market because of its exceptional properties.

In the USA, fine jewelry prices are deeply affected by international macroeconomic conditions, which are the main factors causing a driving demand for fine jewelry and supply. There is a strong correlation between U.S. fine jewelry and macroeconomic factors. This was particularly evident during the 2008 financial crisis, although the market recovered at a very fast pace. Almost all public companies reported increased profits or a very small loss in 2010 relative to 2009; almost each company generated a margin improvement (Patseva 2012). The main trends going across the fine jewelry industry include customers’ preference of online jewelry shopping and changes in buying behavior and consumer preferences.

The key growth drivers overhauling the growth of the fine jewelry industry in the USA are the ease of shopping, because information is available at a click, an increase in global national incomes, and Internet penetration. Nevertheless, various key risk factors, such as online/cyber-crime, fraud, as well as the lack of expert professional advice and real product assessment, are bringing forth heightened challenges in the industry. As a result, the key players combine value, creativity, and attention to details to capture customers. National chains, local independents and numerous retailers, such as retail jewelry’s distribution channels, namely discount chains, Internet auction sites, Internet jewelry sites and TV shopping, characterize the fine jewelry industry. This makes the retail market very competitive and highly fragmented. There are about 32,000 retail locations, which specialize in fine jewellery in the USA (Profile America 2008). Thus, specialty jewelers face competition from retail stores, which sell fine jewelry. They offer basic high-priced, mid-priced, medium quality gold, diamonds, as well as other fine jewelries. The industry comprises stores offering a greater selection of styles, as well as higher quality, high-priced merchandize, including collections from local artisans and well-known national designers.

In the fine jewelry industry, diamond accounts for over 50%, followed by gold and gemstone jewelry. The industry products consist of fine diamond jewelry, fine silver jewelry, fine gold jewelry, and fine platinum jewellery. Thus, gold is one of the most popular metals for almost all forms of fine jewelry, as it is a finite resource or a rare metal, and it is beautiful to look at. Most fine jewelries are made from white and yellow gold, and as a result, customer’s personal preferences normally dictate the color they opt for, and at times, they even find fine jewelry, which combines an unusual and stunning appearance or look.

The industry products include rings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, earrings, watches, clocks, and jewelry made from precious metals. This means that there are numerous types of fine jewelry available for players in the industry. The purity and clarity of stones, metal purity, cut quality, and the style of design determine how much customers pay for fine jewelry, and how they choose retailers or specialty stores. The fine jewelry market caters for both men and women. Men’s jewelry includes such items as rings, cufflinks, bracelets and watches. The men’s selection is much limited and it is not wide-ranging, as jewelries are designed for women with a wide array of items to choose from. The fine jewellery industry is expected to grow in the future enlarging the market share of fine jewelry in the USA, since Louis Vuitton will be a good move considering the well-known and established brand name and a wide range of fine jewellery products to be offered to the customers.

Management Issue

Louis Vuitton (LV) is one of the top worldwide fashion houses. Its products are sold using established lease departments in high-end departmental stores, standalone boutiques, as well as through the company’s website and the e-commerce division. LV can enlarge its market share of fine jewelry in the USA by taking advantage of the already well-known brand image. Louis Vuitton is the world’s largest luxury label with 13 production workshops, international logistics centers and more than 300 exclusive shops in 50 countries, and about 10,000 employees. Concerning management, Louis Vuitton’s secret is control; the management should ensure that its jewelry brand does everything from the design to distribution: from creativity through designing to manufacturing. This will not only mean guaranteed superiority, but also high operating margins, far higher than of the key players in the fine jewelry industry. The fashion house should also deploy mass-marketing techniques for jewelry, such as celebrity endorsements. The expanded fine jewelry market will manage to gain higher sales, while retaining its high status, which should be enforced by careful and targeted advertising in high-end publications, as well as selective distribution. To gain the fine jewelry market share in the USA, LV should also operate well-known retail jewelry brands, such as Kay Jewelers’ and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry in the USA.

With so many individual businesses, the retail fine jewellery industry will represent a mature market with an excess of $ 35 billion of annual revenue. The established Louis Vuitton specialty shop will compete effectively with large chains, since price is not the only exclusive factor, which defines success, but there are also such factors as merchandising and marketing. Louis Vuitton fine jewelry line will be receiving support because of its well-known brand name, and stores will be willing to team up and allot prime retail space to it. The jewellery product can be displayed and sold in Louis Vuitton stores in all states of the USA. Rather than dilute its brand, the company can strengthen itself in such a way that jewelry bearing the famous LV logo can be desired everywhere in the United States. The LV logo signifies luxury, which has enabled it to balance populism with prestige, maintaining the implications of a luxurious brand with a mass-marketing outlook. When the jewelry line comes to Louis Vuitton stores, there will be no rule of diminishing returns in operation: the superior the brand awareness, the superior the desire for jewelry. The brand symbolic power will guarantee an instant cure for status anxiety, as all people will recognize jewelry.

Literature Review

Louis Vuitton (LV) is one of the top most valuable luxury brand names internationally. LV products range from leather products and luxury trunks to ready-made jewelry, watches, shoes, sunglasses and books. The LV brand and its famous LV monogram are among the most valued brands globally. It was ranked 29 as the most valuable brand worldwide in 2010 (Brown 2010), but managed to climb up to 21st position out of 100. It is currently valued at $25.9 billion. The fashion house expansive product lines and its refusal to offer a discount during the period of recession have made it one of the most valuable luxury brands. The brand has managed its image and products throughout the cycle; it is among the few companies, which have weathered the recession quite well and have prospered, when it comes to its availability. To prosper further and increase its current value, LV can enlarge its market share of fine jewellery. To establish themselves fully, various luxury brands, such as Channel, have expanded their fine jewelry lines.

The LV fine jewelry brand extension can add value to its brand and image. The fine jewelry line extension will be perceived by the customers as flavor enhancements, but not as an extension of LV brand into new categories. LV should undertake market research to comprehend what drives different segments and choices. In the USA, different segments are available for brand extension in the fine jewelry sector beyond narrow areas, in which they have invested. By extending its fine jewellery line in the USA, LV can play with the brand’s most celebrated icons and symbols, reinterpreting them to craft innovative graphic designs, which emphasize the Louis Vuitton identity using such materials as diamonds, gold, colored stones and silver.

The LV brand extension into fine jewelry represents an extraordinary opportunity for the house to extend and enrich its range of products capable of putting a spotlight on the brand’s value of artisanship and exclusivity. A new brand should stand for status, exclusivity and exquisiteness supported by the solid reliability of the LV name in order to cash in on the core values of its equity, namely expensive and exclusive status symbol for various kinds of persons. LV offers “products of distinguished quality”, as well as “attention to detail” and while general marketing places on “relative quality”. The concept, which LV places on, is “absolute quality”, which causes most customers to insist on “Louis Vuitton or nothing.” A continued policy with regard to the fine jewelry line can also lead to customers’ insisting on ‘Louis Vuitton or nothing”. The art of Louis Vuitton brand expansion will mark the continuous exercise of leveraging the house greatest asset: its brand. LV will attain this through rebuilding fine jewelry into a refined and singular idea for the presentation in the U.S. market through strategic planning, creative thinking, effective resources allocation and joint commitment to all. The successful brand expansion of the fine jewelry line in USA will be best measured through increased revenues.

The brand will be distributed via Louis Vuitton established channels, since it is generally the simplest way. Because extensions are close ones, these channels will fit the brand. Additionally, because the brand will be extend into the existing jewelry categories, it will be important to seek novel channels. Building a strong fine jewelry brand will necessitate careful planning and considerable long-term investment. At the center of every successful brand, there is a unique/outstanding product or service, which is supported by ingeniously designed and implemented marketing. At the heart of Louis Vuitton’s success, there are unique outstanding products, and therefore, fine jewelry should not be different.

Nonetheless, LV will have to engage in strategic brand management, which will entail designing and implementing marketing programs and activities for building, measuring and making the brand maximize the value of fine jewelry. The strategic brand management process will entail identifying and establishing the fine jewelry line positioning; planning and implementing brand marketing; measuring and interpreting the performance of the new line. The final process will entail building and sustaining the value of the fine jewelry line. The LV brand will help customers, both individuals and organizations, assign fine jewelry to it. The customers will evaluate similar fine jewelry differently depending on the LV brand. They will learn about the fine jewelry line through experiences with the company’s products and marketing activities, which will be deployed. Quality and outstanding jewelry will enable the growth of the fine jewelry line. According to Madsen (2003), as customers’ lives become more complex, time-starved and rushed, the capacity of any brand to reduce risks and simplify decision-making is priceless. The new line will have to do extremely well at delivering the benefit, which the customers truly desire, when it comes to fine jewelry. LV has to focus persistently on maximizing fine jewelry customer experiences. The line also has to stay relevant for it to do well. Because of the increased competition in the fine jewelry industry, LV has to keep in touch with the current market trends, conditions and customer’s tastes. The pricing strategy of jewelry has to be based on customers’ value perception; LV has to optimize cost, price and quality to exceed or meet consumers’ expectations in order to beat the competition. LV also has to position the fine jewelry line properly through establishing the required competitive points of parity with the key players in the industry. The house also has to establish deliverable and desirable points-of-difference.

The established marketing programs should also be consistent for them not to send conflicting messages. LV has to make use of and coordinate a full collection of marketing activities in order to build equity: the company has to make the most of the unique capacities of every communication channel ensuring that the meaning of new products is continuously represented. LV fine jewelry line managers also have to comprehend customer diverse tastes and preferences when it comes to fine jewelry; they have to know what the consumers like and do not like about a new product. They should embark on creating a detailed and research-driven portrayal of the target customers. The line also has to be offered properly as sustained backing in such a way that the success and failure of the marketing programs are entirely comprehended before they are altered. The new line should also be given adequate research and development support. LV also has to monitor the sources of brand equity by ensuring that it creates a brand charter, which defines the meaning and equity of the brand and the manner, in which it should be treated. Companies have to assign explicit responsibility for monitoring and safeguarding brand equity (Keller 2000).

Erdem (1998) argues that brands have to signal a particular level of quality in order for the satisfied customers to choose a particular product again. In this case, brand loyalty will offer the security and predictability of the demand for fine jewelry products of the fashion house and create barriers to entering the market for other companies. Loyalty for LV fine jewelry products in the USA will turn into willingness to pay high prices for products. Although competitors may easily copy jewelry designs and the manufacturing process, they will not easily leave a long-lasting impression in the minds of customers, individuals and organizations from the years of product experience and marketing activity.

The customers, who will initially support the LV jewelry line, will be the same as those supporting other lines and previous extensions. Ultimately, it is usually the perception, which the customers have about brand extension, which determines the value, they attach to a new product or service. The perception that the customers will have regarding the new fine jewelry line will be shaped by the activities of brand organization, as well as lenses and filters, which the customers will apply when observing and experiencing jewelry items. Because the customer’s perception of a new brand is paramount for the triumph of the extension, LV has to invest in R&D in order to understand customers’ needs and preferences. LV needs to observe the customers, when they purchase jewelry in the USA. This will be important in showing whether they interact differently with the brand as compared to other countries, which may be an indication of different needs. In addition, the observation may show whether the current fine jewelry players are meeting customers’ needs and identify gaps, of which LV can take advantage. Qualitative research will help to uncover the manifested needs of the customers; it is critical to listen to what the customers have to say and the language, which they use to express themselves. Only by understanding customers’ needs in the USA, the brand extension team can decide on the existing possibilities for extension in fine jewelry. The understanding of the LV brand perception is important in assessing how the extension fits other lines and how the extension influences the main brand. This shows that LV has clearly to keep in mind the strategic motivation for brand extension in the USA.

The LV established standing among the U.S. customers will allow the house to cash in on the power of the main brand for the purpose of additional returns. The launch of the new brand extension is an important component of the customer packaged-good business. All extensions usually have various advantages, such as the increased likelihood of gaining retail distribution, reduced promotional expenditures, reduced customer risks, and improved parent brand equity (Keller & Lehmann 2006). These possible benefits will make LV marketers assess the performance of the new line’s extension in the first months to spot signs of success or failure. For instance, LV can benchmark the growth of a number of fine jewelry customers, as well as repeat purchases against the set norms to offer indicators for marketing support or the withdrawal of some products to preserve funds.

The LV brand extension has to develop penetration and repeat purchase levels comparable to the current brands of equal size, and such activity will need to be sustained over time. It points to focusing on distribution-led and salience-focussed marketing activities through communication-based actions, advertising and selling fine jewelry products, which are appealing enough to purchase more than once. LV advertising of the new line will necessitate such advertising, which leverages and reinforces the salience of the parent brand and one, which is meant for a wide population. This will encourage the trial and adoption of the fine jewelry line extended into the purchasers’ brand collection. LV will leverage its equity through its brand extension under the established brand name. The customer evaluation of brand extension will depend largely on two aspects: the apparent eminence of the parent brand and the apparent consistency between the LV brand and the added type (Bottomley & Holden 2001). Various researches have previously indicated that the value can vary in the same way as the function of consumer characteristics and that of the brand (Yeung & Wyer 2005; Kim & John 2008). The research conducted by LV will identify U.S. customer characteristics. The brand extension via the fine jewelry line will appeal to diverse customer tastes, increase brand visibility, and as a result, assist LB in selling more than the existing competitors, while discouraging new competitors in the fine jewelry industry. The fine jewelry extension by LV will be judged by the efficiency in leveraging current brand equity from the parent brand to new jewelry products, and the  efficiency of the extension contributing to parent brand equity. LV will leverage its strong reputation reinforcing its fashion house image. The most critical consideration of the LV brand extension is that there will be “fit” in the mind of the customers, which will see the basis of fit for extension in numerous ways, namely unique jewelry physical attributes, user types and usage situations.

Research Aims/Questions

The two main research questions are as follows:

  • How will Louis Vuitton market its fine jewelry to gain a competitive advantage in the industry?
  • Will Louis Vuitton gain fine jewelry market share in the USA?

These two major research questions will guide this study. In enlarging the market share of fine jewelry in the USA, LV will be seeking to beat such competitors as Signet Jewelry, Tiffany, Blue Nile, as well as Zale Corporation among others. As a result, it is important to establish how Louis Vuitton will market its fine jewelry to gain a competitive advantage in the industry, as there are major well-recognized fine jewelry companies in the USA. Developing the LV brand extension will not be possible without designing an accompanying marketing mix. Fine jewelry will require accompanying pricing, distribution and media channel support, and communications. This research will identify the right marketing mix for the LV fine jewelry line in the USA. It will also seek to identify whether LV will gain market share in this country. LV’s ability to gain market share will be in line with its success, which is dependent on the marketing mix, as well as the ability of the customers to see the basis of fit.

Research Design/Methodology, Findings, and Discussion

This study seeks to establish how Louis Vuitton can enlarge its market share of fine jewelry in the United States. it will employ both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The two methods will complement each other, as they will yield data answering the research questions. The idea of quality is important for this research; on the other hand, quantity is elementally the amount of something. The qualitative approach used in this study will focus on the questions beginning from how, what, where and when, and the ambience and importance of the research issue. This approach will be used to measure the extension of the study phenomenon. The qualitative method will offer complex intricate details of the fine jewelry market, which will be difficult to convey by the quantitative approach. The qualitative method lays emphasis on depth, quality, understanding, and richness, whereas the quantitative one focuses on statistical representativeness and scientific thoroughness.

The qualitative method to be adopted in this study will be a case study approach. Besides, the case study of Chanel will be employed. It is suitable for this study, since the fashion house has successfully explored the fine jewelry market for a long time, and as a result, the case study of its marketing strategies can be learned by LV. The case study approach will enable a close examination of data within the context of the fine jewelry industry. In their true essence, case studies investigate and explore modern real-life trends through a comprehensive contextual analysis of a limited number of conditions or events, as well as their relationships. Neumann (2007) defined a case study research method as an experimental inquiry, which explores a modern trend within the real-life context, where the boundaries between the context and the phenomenon are not clearly apparent, and numerous evidence sources are used. Chanel is a suitable case study, since it is a fashion house, which is continuously on the forefront of beauty, fashion and fragrance innovations. It competes with Louis Vuitton on equal grounds. Nevertheless, the introduction of its fine jewelry line has been done so well thar LV can learn lessons from it while extending its own fine jewelry line.

The quantitative research approach will be quantitative secondary data analysis. Secondary data will be the profile of USA residents, who purchase fine jewelry, including their age, income, marriage, gender and other important demographic factors. Secondary data will also reveal factors, which make potential consumers in the USA buy fine jewelry, since these factors may also influence their choices to purchase Louis Vuitton jewelry.

Qualitative Approach: A Case Study of Channel

To enlarge its market share of fine jewelry, Chanel has employed such marketing strategies as celebrity endorsement, the ad campaign, website marketing and exhibition. Marketing has played an important role in Chanel fine jewelry brand development and management. Channel management uses marketing channels, which reflect the exquisiteness, uniqueness and rarity of the brand. Vickers et al. (2003) argue that luxury goods are products with an experiential dimension. An interesting thing about the marketing mix of Chanel and its positioning is the covering of important consumer segments and the organization of these segments to make them obviously exclusive, even if jewelry appeal to diverse groups of buyers. According to Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel, “fashion does not exist in dresses; fashion is in the air, it is brought it by the wind, one feels it coming, breathes it in the sky, and one the pavement, it depends on the ideas, customs and happenings” (Charles-Roux 2005, p. 11). Chanel interprets the way, in which the changing world is apt to affect the customers’ wish for its fashion product.

Celebrity Endorsement

Chanel uses well-known celebrities to market its fine jewelry. Well-known persons, who enjoy public recognition and make use of it on behalf of Chanel, appear in house advertisements. Some of the celebrities that Chanel uses for its fine jewelry endorsements include Blake Livery, Audrey Tautou, Keira Knightley, Marilyn Monroe, Diane Kruger, and Carole Bouquet among others. For instance, the Marie Claire cover shoot featured Blake Lively wearing Chanel fine jewelry watch. In the magazine cover shoot, Blake Lively advertised and promoted the watch. Such promotion plays a critical role in realizing the goals and strategies of Chanel.

Celebrity involvement is a promotional method, which enhances purchase decisions, as well as loyalty. Using a celebrity fosters a connection or match between the endorsed brand and the celebrity endorser in the customers’ minds. The company spends millions of dollars on celebrity endorsement. Contracts indicate that celebrities play a critical role in the advertisement industry as evidenced by Chanel, choosing celebrities as endorsers for its advertising campaigns. Using such people in the campaign attracts considerable attention of the public. Chanel usually benefits from the endorsement, as there are investments, which usually come back in terms of added sales. The success of endorsements is judged in terms of the exposure and visibility, which a celebrity gives to company products and the company itself (Cresswell 2008). There are very many examples pointing to the fact that celebrity endorsement normally leads to increased sales. For instance, the contract with Nicole Kidman to endorse Chanel classic perfume led an increase in global sales by 30% (Cresswell 2008).

Celebrities are considered to be reference groups, which positively affect the buying decision of the customers, and from this perspective, most organizations, including Chanel, use well-known celebrities as a promotion method for affecting customers’ buying decisions with the intention of increasing the market share of a company. The relationship between Chanel and celebrities occurs for a set duration of time. There is a matching, which occurs between a celebrity and the company. Once an agreement is reached and the contract signed by the celebrity, the relationship is binding for the set duration. When choosing a celebrity, Chanel considers two important factors: his or her attractiveness (a more prominent/attractive endorser contributes a great impact on the company sales) and the reliability of the celebrity (trustworthiness and expertise have to be credible).

Research has indicated that effective celebrities for endorsement have to be assessed against five important characteristics usually referred to as “TEARS” Model (Shimp 2003):

  1. Expertise: knowledge, skills and experience of an endorser with regard to the advertised brand, for instance, a model is considered to be an expert, which endorses clothing and jewelry-related products.
  2. Trustworthiness: integrity, honesty, as well as the believability of the endorse reflect the degree, to which the customers believe and trust what the celebrity says about the advertised brand.
  3. Attractiveness: an endorser has to have attributes, which make him/her attractive to the audience, for instance, due to personality attributes, physical look and an attractive lifestyle, among others.
  4. Similarity: this attribute represents the extent, to which the  celebrity matches the target audience on the aspects related to the endorsement (age, lifestyle, sex)
  5. Respect: this aspect refers to the quality of being esteemed or admired because of the endorser’s overall achievements.

These five attributes are usually evident in brand endorsers chosen by Chanel to endorse its fine jewelry. There is usually a celebrity fit, compatibility between the chosen celebrity and the targeted audience. There are positive relations between the target market and the celebrity. There is also a brand/celebrity fit, since there is compatibility between the desired image of the endorsed jewelry and the endorser. There is also celebrity credibility, since the gender selected to endorse jewelry generally has an impact on celebrity appeal.

Exhibition

Chanel also uses exhibitions to market its fine jewelry line. Such fine jewelry items as rings, necklaces, cufflinks and earrings are displayed in Chanel stores for public viewing. Such exhibitions are usually profitable for Chanel, as the house displays its products to a wide array of prospective shoppers in a short duration saving money and time. Exhibition advertising is a blend of advertising and exhibition and benefits Channel, since the company displays its fine jewelry products to target customers helping it grow its business. The exhibition of Chanel entails displaying products with an aim of increasing sales. The biggest advantage in this case is that buyers visit the company and save it money and time. Exhibition advertising is a very critical tool for Chanel, especially when introducing new products in the market. The fashion house does not only get an immediate feedback with regard to its jewelry, but also it can judge the future prospects of new entrants.

The rationale behind displaying products is to capture prospective buyers’ attention, which eventually results into sales. Chanel usually makes desired endeavors to make its fine jewelry collection eye-catching and appealing. Thus, presentation plays a fundamental role in determining sale prospects. Fine jewelry products are presented in different colors and convert prospective clients into real ones. Color provides products with their defining image and assists people in setting them apart from those of competitors. The advantage of the exhibition is that Chanel displays a wide range of fine jewelry products; and buyers get an opportunity to source as per their choice from a wide array of products. Having huge cost-benefits for Chanel, the exhibition acts as a display place for both the buyer and the company, which can establish a network for potential dealings. The customers get a chance to view fine jewelry items in close proximity, and there is a face-to-face interface between potential customers.

Other than in-stores exhibitions, Chanel also uses a special Chanel exhibition. For instance, there was such in New York held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005; the exhibition assembled an extraordinary arrangement of over fifty accessorie,s as well as designs from the Chanel archives, the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute, as well as such global institutions as London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Chanel has also improved its fine jewelry area over time. From 1993, the activity has been one of the three supports of Chanel. In 1932, in Paris, Coco Channel displayed a fine jewelry collection in the salons of her private mansion. By 1987, after Channel asserted itself as a key player in the international luxury industry, it established a watch brand extension.

Coco Chanel dedicated a boutique to the novel business line on the chic Avenue Montaigne, and presented a stunning watch premiere, which was inspired by the Chanel perfume. Timepieces with diamonds enjoyed such good success that by 1993, Chanel reintroduced the 1932 fine jewelry collection in spite of the bad economic situation at the time. By 1997, Chanel jewelry had become a craze, and it redecorated the “Hotel de Cressart” situated on the high-status Place Vendome, 18 in Paris; the redecorated hotel was a place for displaying fine jewelry and timepiece collections. For the last ten years, the Chanel design division has continued to innovate its fine jewelry, while sustaining the founder, Coco Chanel, and enabling fashion house fine jewelry to pursue a star-studded path. This account shows that exhibition has played a major role since the establishment of the Channel fine jewelry line. With a wide range of fine jewelry, the exhibition plays a major role in reaching out to possible customers.

 In 2009, Channel also held a roving exhibition of "Mademoiselle's Stories" top jewelry series in Beijing and China. The exhibition construed the foundation of the legendary brand, its status, its unique style, and excellence, which were displayed by five work series, which were inspired by creativity in 1932, and which Ms. Chanel commenced in the diamond jewelry show, which was referred to as “Bijoux de Diamants”, as well as in her renowned life. The exhibition showed the creative concept in Chanel fine jewelry. The exhibited works were full of classic aspects of Chanel jewelry, such as an elegant camellia, five-pointed star that represented luck, elegant tweed, Guangrum pearls, and St. Mark’s fashion, through the use of a colored gemstone. In 1932, the wide-ranging use of the main materials in the exhibition caused such a stir and promoted the sale of the displayed products. 

Ad Campaigns

To promote its fine jewelry line and introduce new products, Chanel also uses ad campaigns. They comprise a series of advertisement messages, which share a single theme and idea, including Channel’s integrated marketing communication. Such campaigns make the company appear in the media at different periods for introducing and promoting fine jewelry. Ad campaigns have champion themes, which set the tone for different advertisements, as well as other marketing communication forms, which are used. The themes of campaigns are communicated through Chanel promotional activities. Some of them are usually developed with the aim of being used for a considerable time, whereas most ads are short-lived because of such factors as competition in the marketplace or ineffective market conditions.

One of the current ad campaigns related to Chanel fine jewelry is Spring-Summer 2012 modeled by Sam Way and Sigrid Agren. The ad campaign features a model displaying fine jewelry. Celebrity faces help to capture the attention of the audience, and various attractive features are added to pass the message. The Spring- Summer ad-campaign features two models walking hand-in-hand in the city. Suddenly, they happen to come across a Channel store, where a diamond engagement ring is put on the lady’s finger. The diamonds on the ring are eye-catching and help to capture the attention of ad viewers. Sam Way and Sigrid Agren captured the romantic moment that any man would decide to stop near a Channel shop to buy a diamond engagement ring. These ad campaigns are run in different TV channels at different times and in the company’s stores.

Most ad campaigns cause a huge increase in the performance of the Chanel brand in a short period. Since the noise level resulting from the competing advertisement is very high, Chanel attempts to create unique ads using celebrities. This results from the fact that competition among fashion houses ensures that all well-known appeals and creative platforms have already been used and even underused. Chanel is usually in a constant struggle to come up with winning campaigns and creative ads. The ads used in the campaign promoting Chanel fine jewelry have a sales response curve with respect to such aspects such appeal, size, and execution. The novelty in the media, message, target segment, and fine jewelry products generates an increase in sales.

Internet /Website Marketing

Chanel also uses its websites to display and market new and existing fine jewelry products. The displayed products attract a lot of people visiting the website, increase the number of customers for Chanel and augment the branding of company’s products. Chanel has a web promotional plan, as well as an effective web design and development plan. The company is ranked at the top of most search engines, like Google. It writes and publishes online press releases about new products, runs and facilitates giveaways and contests through the website, and interacts and blogs with visitors. Chanel’s good-looking website conveys various images to possible customers; it generates new prospects/leads for Chanel; and sells fine jewelry products via the Internet. The company obtains revenue from the website itself. To convey different messages on the fine jewelry collection, the website marketing strategy of Chanel is centered on the design.

Creativity

Other than marketing techniques used by Chanel, creativity in the fine jewelry industry is one of the factors, which has led to a considerable growth in the jewelry line. Previously, Coco Chanel put what she saw about jewelry into work, as she loved traveling around the globe. For instance, after one of her visits to Venice, she was inspired by Byzantine-style home design and color gemstones used to create St. Mark’s series of works. The St. Mark work shows a few laps on a bracelet arc, which is diamond-studded. There is also a cross radially planned gem, which shows a distinctive flavor. Most jewelry made by Chanel had an unusual story (Mauries 2000). Currently, Chanel has a design division, which continues to produce outstanding fine jewelry, and upholds the spirit of the founder, facilitating fine jewelry to pursue its impressive path. The current fine jewelry design depicts a detail-oriented approach, which is marked by fantasy, boldness and freedom, which carry Chanel through the heights of fame, when it comes to fine jewelry. Coco Channel loved diamonds, stars, camellias and pearls, and she had a wide range of these, and it was just a matter of selection for house fine jewelry, when it came to understanding the legacy of the founder in a dependable way.

Currently, Chanel seeks to offer beautiful showcases for its current collections, and as a result, regularly invites artists to imagine elegant manners of complementing the already existing jewelry collections. In 2001, Jean-Paul Goude, a graphic designer, created five elements. In 2002, Ingo Maurer, a graphic designer, invented a dreamy décor for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first jewelry collection. Thus, Channel has engaged graphic designers and other parties to create fine jewelry products to extend its line. Coco Chanel’s imagination in creating fine jewelry was perpetually immeasurable. She promoted unrestrained creativity when it came to her favorite jewelry themes, such as ribbons or feathers. Currently, the product of genuine fine jewelry expertise laid claim on Chanel’s unique features. Thanks to the outstanding proficiency of jewelers working for Chanel, the radiance of precious stones infinitely enhances a sparkling and discreet onward march of time. Rare and elegant products are genuine jewels, which symbolize different aspects, such as femininity.

The creative nature of Chanel fine jewelry products was evident in Chanel winning the GEM Award at the 10th yearly GEM Awards Gala. The event was organized by the JIC (Jewelry Information Center), an organization that is charged with the responsibility of offering public information regarding jewelry to the nationwide trade association of Jewelers of America. The fine jewelry award received by Chanel from GEM was awarded for Chanel’s coherence, creativity, and excellence in public communications and relations. One of the Chanel’s celebrities endorsing its products, an actor, Anna Mouglalis, attended the event wearing a “Panache” ring, “Plume” bracelet and a brooch by Chanel Fine Jewelry. All the three accessories were in 18K white gold set with diamonds (Channel).

Quantitative Approach - Fine Jewelry

The U.S. fine jewelry market emerged in 2010 and posted a dramatic 7.5 increase in consumer spending from 2009 to 2010 after two consecutive years of dwindling sales. The U.S. jewelry market has experienced various changes, such as an increasing demand for men’s ‘fine jewelry products’, which is a direct result of an increased expenditure by men. The U.S. population is very diverse, and hence, the retail concept of “one size fits all” does not work in the fine jewelry industry. The current increasingly diverse consumers in the USA have different needs and wants, and as a result, there are highly targeted marketing plans for capturing market share and sales. There are both potential and existing customers targeted by jewelers in the USA. The existing customers are usually the best and the easiest to serve, as dedicated patrons have built solid and long-standing trust to the existing fine jewelers. Nevertheless, there is a huge market for the underserved fine jewelry customers.

The two main ways to segment fine jewelry buyers are through the amount of annual expenditures on jewelry by every household, as well as the cumulative size of the demographic section of the jewelry market. The top three demographic aspects that greatly affect jewelry expenditures are education, income, and occupation. In the USA, the best jewelry shoppers are those, who earn $ 70,000 and higher, as they spend $ 1,206. Those holding managerial and professional occupations also have a high likelihood of spending on fine jewelry. When it comes to education, college-educated persons are likely to spend more on fine jewelry. Concerning the household size, a household with less than four people has a high likelihood of purchasing jewelry. The best target ethnicity includes the whites as opposed to other ethnicities. There is usually no perfect fine jewelry customer. The customers with the highest inclination to buy fine jewelry are Asian/white people, who live in suburbs, professionals, homeowners with mortgages, households with less than four people, whose income is about $ 70,000 and with an age range 25-54 (Index Magazine 2010).

Conclusions and Insights

The results above are quite helpful in answering the research questions for this study. Louis Vuitton can market its fine jewelry to gain a competitive advantage using celebrity endorsement, ad campaigns, website marketing and exhibitions. The success story of Chanel in the fine jewelry industry proves this. Chanel uses the above named marketing strategies and has managed to be the industry top player and to garner an award for its creativity.

Creativity is also an aspect, which has contributed positively to the success of Chanel in the industry, since the company’s design teams, as well as other outside players, have managed to produce outstanding fine jewelry. To enlarge its market share in the USA, Louis Vuitton can use various well-known celebrities to endorse its brand. Celebrity endorsement helps to increase sales and boost the company’s image. The premise behind celebrity endorsement is to integrate different activities with consumer preference.

From the Chanel case study, it is evident that celebrities have the power to influence customer-purchasing decisions. Celebrity endorsement used for the LV fine jewelry line will bequeath special aspects upon  products. Nevertheless, LV has to ensure celebrity fit with its fine jewelry collections, fit at the right time, at the right extent, in the right way and for the right purpose. This will ensure that celebrity endorsement yields fruits. The brand extension will be improved by celebrity endorsement. A suitable celeb, like a model or an actor will, be an extremely powerful means, which will magnify the LV marketing campaign. The celebrity will impart inspirational values and credibility to the brand; however, he or she will have to match the product. Good campaign ideas and an intrinsic connection between the endorsement and the message will be necessary for a winning campaign.

The second effective marketing strategy will be a creative ad campaign for promoting the fine jewelry line and introducing new products. LV should use different media, such as numerous TV stations and other media to air its ad campaigns. Ad campaigns should be aired at strategic periods during the day; for instance, before news are aired or in between a program with numerous funs. Ad campaigns have helped Chanel attain marketing leverage. Hence, this will also work for LV. The third marketing strategy is the exhibition of fine jewelry. Fine jewelry products should be displayed in LV stores for public viewing, like in the Chanel case. Exhibitions will portray a new brand and save on money and time. They will also target customers and add to the growth of the fine jewelry line. Another effective marketing technique is website marketing. LV has a website, and this will entail adding the new line and promoting it through the website. LV should use it to display and market new and existing fine jewelry products. It will attract many people to the website, increase customers for LV, and augment the branding of company’s products. Chanel has a web promotional plan, as well as an effective web design and development plan. The new line should be portrayed in an eye-catching manner and centered on the design to capture customers’ attention.

The quantitative research method showed that the customers with the highest inclination to buy fine jewelry in the USA are Asian/white people living in suburbs, professionals, homeowners with mortgages, households with less than four people, whose income ranges about $ 70,000 and with an age range of 25-54. As a result, LV should concentrate the identified marketing efforts on ad campaigns, celebrity endorsement, website marketing and exhibition in order to gain fine jewelry market share in the USA. The marketing strategies will boost its market position in the fine jewelry industry.

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