Sensible, actionable advice for anyone hoping to move a brand into the upper echelons of retailing.

THE LURE OF LUXE

CLIMBING THE LUXURY CONSUMPTION PYRAMID

A fashionista offers marketers advice for connecting with the elusive luxury customer.

In a world where suburban teens tote designer handbags and Prada is available at the local outlet mall, how is luxury defined? As more consumers gain access to ostensibly high-end goods, many luxury brands are struggling to distinguish themselves while retaining the aura of exclusivity. How does a luxury company ensure that its products get into the hands of the “right” customer? And how does it hold on to a shopper “whose needs are constantly growing and changing”? These are questions that Phillips tackles in this marketing guidebook for those who want to grab the attention—and the dollars—of the ultrahigh-net-worth shopper. Each brief, easy-to-read chapter delivers a single marketing lesson, whether it’s the benefits—and hazards—of licensing a luxury brand, the importance of cultivating a smaller, elite clientele rather than courting mass appeal, or the dangers posed by counterfeiters. Charts and graphs illustrate concepts such as the “luxury consumption pyramid,” and callouts draw attention to key points. Like a textbook, chapters end with a list of lessons learned and a question for readers. Some of Phillips’ insights are common sense; most luxury marketers have probably realized the importance of having easy-to-navigate, smartphone-optimized websites, for example. But the handbook also offers on-point guidance on tapping the fast-growing global luxury market, noting that elite shoppers from countries like Brazil and China are big consumers of luxury goods, but simply opening new stores in these markets may not guarantee growth. Instead, a smarter approach could involve developing online sales, producing regionally tailored products (such as Hermès saris for the Indian market), and building overall brand awareness to capture tourist shoppers. Other useful tips include guidance on creating spin-off children’s brands, which provide a luxury consumer a chance to “indulge in a form of shopping that can be rationalized as selfless,” the changing habits of the high-end shopper, and how embracing a sustainable business model can benefit both the environment and the bottom line.

Sensible, actionable advice for anyone hoping to move a brand into the upper echelons of retailing.

Pub Date: July 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-1475113327

Page Count: 256

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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BEATING THE STREET

More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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