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white paper Q&A: Laurence Bernstein answers questions about Luxury Branding 3.0

L

aurence Bernstein was interviewed by a leading French marketing academic on the subject of luxury marketing in April 2014. For technical reasons we cannot say who or where (the black box theory of transparency), but the text of the interview is interesting anyway.

Q

ARE YOU FEELING THAT MARKETING IN THE FIELD OF

THE LUXURY HOSPITALITY SECTOR IS CURRENTLY EVOLVING?

A

No. It seems to me that luxury hospitality marketing is the same as it has always been with the exception of a confusing array of socalled “exclusive” booking sites. Certainly advertising has not changed and content – experience – has become only more esoteric. It is as though luxury hotel marketers have never really understood what luxury means, or rather, what luxury means to wealthy people.

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The biggest problem is the confusion between luxury marketing and selling expensive stuff to rich people. There is a big difference, and hotel marketers fall into the trap of selling expensive rooms to rich peo-

ple, or, as is most often the case, not -quite-rich enough people who have somehow (either through their own budgeting or by taking advantage of the myriad deals available for pretty much every hospitality experience). Marketers need to understand what luxury really is…to often they think of it as meaning “expensive”, or “exclusive”, or “aspirational” and so on. Luxury goods and experiences may be any of those things – in fact they are probably all those things depending on who is looking at them – but this is not luxury. “Luxury travel” is an almost totally meaningless concept: all leisure travel is luxury for the person traveling. This is why they do it…to experience things that are not necessary in their lives, and with the exception of the psychological benefits of re-

New Insights into Luxury Branding in the Hospitality Business  

How has luxury marketing in the hotel sector evolved? What is the role of "Emotional Engagement" in luxury hotel marketing. These and many o...

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