Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses - As Well as the Classes

Pamela N. Danziger, Author Kaplan Publishing $27 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7931-9307-3
Danziger, a market researcher and brand advisor, addresses aspiring luxury businesses in this follow-up to her last book, Why People Buy Things They Don't Need. Using extensive surveys and demographic data, she examines attributes of the luxury class as well as the very concept of luxury. One of her mantras is that contemporary luxury is more experiential than product-based; whereas the previous generation of luxury consumers ""cocooned"" and bought one thing after another for their houses, the new wave of ""butterflies"" want to connect with the world through travel and entertainment. Danziger counsels well-known companies like Bulgari and Ralph Lauren, and she leans heavily on them for her examples, though she also includes interviews with a variety of executives from other corners of the luxury market (like Herend Porcelain and the Starwood hotel group). Her writing is relentlessly familiar, frequently addressing the reader directly and sometimes using herself as an example of buyer behavior-but with her expertise, she is hardly a typical case. After giving a historical perspective on luxury and who can obtain it, Danziger discusses its psychological underpinnings and reviews the major sectors of the luxury market (home, personal and experiential) as well as more practical business aspects like pricing and advertising. Despite her stated intent to help people wanting to sell a luxury product, the book offers only a few real lessons at the end. Those new to the market might find Danziger's overview illuminating, but industry professionals aren't likely to glean much from these pages.
Reviewed on: 01/17/2005
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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