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The word ‘luxury’ is used to connote things which are exclusive, elegant and of premium quality. It covers a gamut of products such as automobiles, malls, hotels & motels, restaurants & coffee shops, retail houses and export houses, fashion, watches & jewellery, beauty products and accessories. A salient feature of luxury is its restricted access to ensure its exclusivity through premium pricing, invite-only access, etc.
Luxury brand management refers to a commercial activity that aims to attract and retain customers without diluting the essence of the brand. The term encompasses positioning, marketing, communications, research, logistics, and product extension. Fashion& Luxury brand management does not only build a brand from scratch but also weaves a seamless brand narrative across media via storytelling. Superior customer experience forms the cornerstone of fashion luxury brand management.
The entry of luxury brands in India, changing consumer tastes and preferences and the impact of globalisation have provided a fillip to luxury brand management as a career option. Today, the globe-trotting millennials are willing to go the extra mile for brands that maximise the customer experience and embody uniqueness in terms of style, quality and pricing to help them stand out from the crowd. The boom in fashion and luxury brand management has fuelled the demand for skilled professionals adept in building brands from scratch and cultivating their top-of-the-mind recall.
A luxury brand manager is responsible for conceptualising a strategy for marketing a luxury brand. He/She also oversees its execution. Luxury brand managers work closely with creative agencies, marketing professionals, developers and product managers to build a brand identity and recall. His day-to-day role involves conducting market research, planning a marketing campaign and managing the distribution and planning of resources. He is the in-charge of overall fashion and luxury brand development and management with an aim to boost sales, maximise customer satisfaction and build a loyal consumer base.
A luxury brand manager oversees the entire creative process for marketing an offering or a portfolio of products and services of the brand. He/She deploys an innovative marketing strategy, including conceptualising path breaking campaigns, remarketing, etc., to acquire new customers and maintain the loyalty of existing ones. In a nutshell, he is the custodian of the brand.
Below are some of the roles and responsibilities of a fashion luxury brand management professional.
Research about the consumer market: A luxury brand manager must be thoroughly abreast of the latest market trends to explore a suitable brand positioning. He/She also monitors the preferences and purchase behaviour of customers to tailor the brand campaigns accordingly.
ConceptualisingConceptualising the brand strategy: The overall responsibility of conceptualising the brand identity to execution of brand strategy rests with the brand manager. He/She thinks of out-of-the-box ideas to amplify launches, develop marketing campaigns to promote new or existing products, etc.
Deploy and oversee the implementation of brand guidelines: A luxury brand manager makes sure that the brand's key messaging and design meet the brand guidelines in terms of font, colours, size and design. He must ensure that all marketing collaterals, including social media posts, standees, press releases, and newsletters follow a consistent brand guideline.
Coordinate with various stakeholders: A luxury brand manager coordinates with different departments like the product, finance, marketing and R&D to support activities for strategic brand building and explore potential market opportunities.
Monitors consumer reaction: A luxury brand manager keeps an eye on customers' feedback and response towards the products and services and incorporates them into new marketing strategies.
The minimum eligibility to enter fashion & luxury brand management is 10+2 with a minimum of 50% aggregate percentage from a recognised board. A four-year undergraduate degree in fashion business management is the gateway to a career in this field. Most colleges have instituted an entrance test which tests candidates on sketching skills, creativity, logical reasoning and management fundamentals. One can also opt for a post-graduation in the field to gain an in-depth understanding of the industry.
A four-year undergraduate degree in fashion business management or fashion design is a popular degree for aspirants in fashion and luxury brand management. The coursework equips students with fundamentals of fashion, knowledge of management principles, marketing and merchandising, customer relationship management, retail management, etc. It also focuses on hands-on learning through masterclasses, workshops, project work and internship exposure. Comprehensive career guidance, a focus on resume building, a portfolio and strong networking skills prepare students for the first job.
To excel in the field, the aspirants of fashion luxury brand management must possess the following skillset.
Strong interpersonal skills: An aspiring fashion and luxury brand management professional must have strong interpersonal skills with the ability to mingle with all kinds of people. He should be a team player who can collaborate with various stakeholders.
Creative bent of mind: A luxury brand manager must be equipped with creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to devise innovative campaigns that convince people to choose his brand over others.
Keen eye on the new trends: An aspiring fashion& luxury brand management professional should have a look at market trends and be well-versed with the latest tools and technologies. He/She should be responsive to customer feedback to modify his customer's strategy accordingly.
Leadership skills: A person must be a go-getter to drive excellent results for the team. Moreover, the role of luxury brand manager requires him to interface with creative agencies and digital agencies, so he should have excellent project management skills to drive superior results from a team.
The fashion luxury brand management offers a plethora of exciting options to choose from
Luxury brand manager: This is the most sought-after role, which involves conceptualising and overseeing the implementation of the strategy of a luxury brand. The role of a manager is to conduct market research to identify suitable areas for brand development and recall. A brand manager must devise path breaking campaigns, collaborate with other trending designers, creators, and brands, analyse marketing spends and supervise the production process.
Product Marketing Manager: The primary role of a product marketing manager is to develop product marketing strategies and craft compelling brand messaging across marketing channels. He/She works closely with the product development team to analyse customers' demands and gain insight into their needs and requirements. He/She must have strong interpersonal skills, an eye on market trends and proficiency in marketing analytics tools.
Fashion PR Specialist: A fashion PR Specialist crafts and oversees the implementation of the brand strategy. He/She is the custodian of the brand reputation and maintains a cordial relationship with relevant stakeholders. A fashion PR specialist works closely with fashion magazine editors and writers to highlight the company's key initiatives and ensure a positive brand image among all stakeholders.
Fashion Retail Buyer: A Fashion Retail Buyer analyses the market pattern of buying to predict upcoming trends. He/She has a keen eye on the market trends since he is involved in deciding which merchandise to sell and considering how much product should be sent out in the market to meet consumer demands. A fashion retail buyer also examines the sale promotion strategies to attract customers. He/She is required to maintain a good business relationship with suppliers to ensure sufficient stocks in time.
Visual Merchandiser: The role of a visual merchandiser involves presenting, arranging and showcasing items at crucial customer touchpoints to boost sales. He/She is also responsible for identifying risks in sales, strategising marketing campaigns, maintaining a database of product offerings and managing promotional events. Aspiring visual merchandisers must be proficient in colour theory, lighting technology, and visual culture and possess a creative bent of mind with a basic knowledge of marketing and psychology principles.
The luxury market is predicted to grow further on the back of the increasing HNI population, changing consumer tastes and preferences and rising disposable incomes. This implies bright prospects in the fashion and luxury brand management industry. Luxury Brand Management professionals work across sectors such as apparel, technology, travel, automobile, jewellery, wine, and spirits. Trends such as sustainability, focus on the customer experience, inclusivity at workplaces and industry-academia collaborations are redefining this field.
All roles in luxury brand management require strong interpersonal skills, a keen eye on trends and out-of-the-box thinking to craft pathbreaking brand strategies. If you possess all these skills, the sky is your limit!
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