With an increasing year after year Brand Value of $25,9 Billion, Louis Vuitton is the luxury brand with the highest Value according to Millward Brown rankings (http://millwardbrown.com/BrandZ/Top_100_Global_Brands/Categories/Luxury.aspx) and it is one of the most valued brands worldwide.
Its monogram is recognizable by everyone as a synonym of luxury, leather and bags. Its parent company –the largest group in the luxury goods market-, LVMH, did €8.7 billion in leather goods sales in 2011 in a context market by financial crisis (and where millions of millionaires in Asia are addicted to luxury, though).
Regarding communications and marketing, Louis Vuitton remains always as a traditional but fresh and adaptable brand. Collaborations with artists and celebrities, spectacular events, digital marketing, powerful and carefully planned ATL campaigns remind us its power.
The elegant photographies by Annie Leibovitz portraying Angelina Jolie in Cambodia and Sean Connery in Bahamas are a part of the most recent campaign, that is inspired in the Journey as an exotic and tansforming experience.
In “The Spirit of Travel” (http://www.louisvuitton.com/front/#/eng_US/Journeys-section/La-Maison/The-Spirit-of-Travel) a beautiful short web film, the brand delivers its own definition of Journey:
“It’s not a trip. It’s not a discovery. It’s a process of self-discovery. Does the person create the journey or does the journey create the person”. LV is inviting us to take part of a philosophic experience that implies the utilitarian dimension of the product (a necessary complement to any journey, of course), and stressing the importance of the ego and individual -in opposition to the mass.
In the other hand, events are a powerful way to build brand experiences. Last year I was invited to the opening of the exhibition “Voyage en Capitale” at the Carnavalet Museum. I first imagined the exhibition as a sort of showroom presenting a collection of bags and suitcases. However, I was impressed by the spectacular display focusing in history and brand value. I asolutely loved the section describing how the famous monograms wehere created and designed
“Voyage en Capitale”, at Musée Carnavalet
“Louis Vuitton Voyges” exhibition in China (http://bluliving.com/louis-vuitton-exhibition-in-china)
Louis Vuitton has created its own universe with a series of unique codes and elements. This language states a rigurous basis, is like a chart that can be transfered into several media and communication channels. However, the result is far from being static: there is an outstanding creativity in the adaptation of this language in order to coherently respond to a vision of tradition at the service of innovation.
Collaboration with artists (mostly with contemporary visual artists and cinema stars from the independent scene) is a great example of this balance between tradition and innovation, between an existent brand code and the freedom of creativity.
Finally, I’d like to “video-quote” a film by Wes Anderson, “Darjeeling Limited”, where the big printed suit cases -by Louis Vuitton, bien sûr, are an important part of the story.
“The Journey” is a central element in Louis Vuitton’s communication, acting as a fil conducteur naturally as its product is per-se associated to it. However, the concept is explored far beyond from the utilirian dimension of the product. The brand wants to transport us to its own universe, a full experience marked innovation and experimentation -framed in some stablished codes built over the years.
It is not a coincidence then that Louis Vuitton is one of the most valuable and desired brands in the world.