Luxury: How Exclusivity Builds Demand


I was reading this article on Business Insider about Goyard, and it got me thinking about how the relationship works between elusive luxury brands and the increasing demand for them, the quieter that they are. Exclusivity and prestige are hankered after worldwide, whether that's through the things we own and use, the places we visit, the food we eat or the people we meet. To a large extent, I feel that there is a part of most, if not all, humans, that yearns to be part of the "in-crowd." What the "in-crowd" is to you individually, will differ. For some, it could be the difference between shopping at Primark and shopping at Zara; for others it could be going from Michael Kors to Louis Vuitton, or eating at San Carlo first and moving up to Nobu.

Luxury is relative and it always will be, but it's interesting to note that even in what most would consider "elite circles," there are still layers above to reach for. As the article states, high end luxury is sold on its exclusivity and lack of accessibility. How else are you going to sell that $30,000 bag if your brand is everywhere and everyone knows you, even if they can't afford you? And to my mind at least, owning, using and carrying luxury in all its forms, is today's status symbol.

To be clear, I'm not making a moral judgement here about whether that should be the case, or if it's right or wrong; rather, the point I'm making is that this simply is. And I think always will be.

I actually admire a brand that doesn't feel the need to shout about themselves on social media, that doesn't believe in pandering to celebrities or others if what they are asking for doesn't fit with the brand's image, and a brand that works so exclusively with its buyers on each product, that even the brand itself isn't aware of exactly who purchased which piece in long forgotten history. Perhaps it's the part of me that having grown up in the Internet age with social media ever expanding, it's nice to think that there are still some experiences that simply must be lived personally to understand their appeal.