Course Code -MKTG5010 Branding Luxury

Question 1

Read the set of report on the coronavirus (For example, this SCMP report). As a luxury management consultant, what “proactive” recommendations, you have for the following two industries in dealing with the crisis? You can discuss this from any angle including immediate communications or long term brand building (e.g. new product developments etc.).


(a) A five star luxury hotel/resort of your choice (5 marks)


The times of crisis are opportunities for corporate organizations to fulfill their corporate social responsibility. All corporate organizationsmust contribute to the society in times of crisis, and especially in the times of corona crisis, a five-star hotel or resort can be quite proactive in terms of devoted service to humankind, and that shall be quite beneficial for the development of the brand identity for long term purposes. The corporate organizations earn a lot of profits from society, hence they should be paying it off to the society in times of crisis, as society functions based on the system of interdependence, and the ones with resources must be helping out the ones who are in need. Hence in the following ways, the five-star resorts and hotels such as Ritz Carlton can help the public to deal with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.


- The five-star hotels and resorts can help the government to set up quarantine facilities in case there is a shortage of space in hospitals to accommodate patients and provide them treatment. This kind of gesture has already been witnessed in Israel, whereby a hotel has been turned into a makeshift quarantine facility providing isolation to the ones either battling corona virus or are suspected to be affected by it. This would be a noble gesture as hotels and resorts do have ample amount of space, and they can be utilized by the public in times of need.


- The five-star hotels and resorts can also dish out the food items in their pantry for the public as isolation and quarantining lead to a lack of movement of goods and services which can lead to a shortage of food. Five-star hotels and resorts can help in battling food shortages as well.


- Five-star hotels and restaurants can provide paid leave to their employees as long as the lockdown continues, and can even pay for the travel cost of the ones who reside at distant locations as soon as possible (ButgelTunal? 2016).


(b) Luxury fashion and accessories brand of your choice (5 marks)


The luxury fashion and accessories brand Gucci, for example, has franchisee stores all over the world. They too have a corporate social responsibility to bail out the society in times of crisis caused by a coronavirus. Lockdown is the most widespread way of dealing with the prevention of the widespread redness of the coronavirus and in such a situation Gucci can help in the following way.


- Gucci can in compliance with the safety norms shut down its stores and if at all they want to keep their stores open then they must do it for a short period with the safety precautions necessary. The stores must provide their employees with paid leave as long as the lockdown lasts, and must also provide health care facilities to the employees who have been affected by Coronavirus.


- Gucci can also provide monetary aid to the society supporting the respective governments of the nations in which they have their franchisee stores and in that way the brand can showcase that it is quite proactive when it comes to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility and is quite aware of the fact that it must give to society from which it receives a lot (Uggla 2017).






Question 2
Discuss ANY FOUR characteristics how luxury brands differentiate from non-luxury counterparts. Give examples for each. (10 marks)


Brands provide a sense of image consciousness, a degree of distinctiveness and leverage of belonging to a class that is above the ordinary. Brands are not just a means of flaunting one's social status and make a show of the amount of wealth one has to afford a luxury item, rather it is a way of seeking self-actualization as mentioned in the pyramid of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The very mention of the term luxury indicates that the item is not a necessity and is preferred by the people when they need to simply suit one's physical demands of survival on the bare minimum has already been realized. Luxuries are only affordable when the needs of the bare minimum have already been satisfied and the person has moved way beyond the lower levels of the needs in the pyramid of hierarchy of needs of Maslow. In a society which is wrought with inequality of resources and wide gap of income, it is very much possible to make distinctions on brands as well, as luxury brands and non-luxury brands, since that shows which target audience is the commodity keen on attracting and with what degree of innovation on offer. This is the most basic distinction to understand how luxury and non-luxury brands tend to differ from each other. Luxury brands and non-luxury brands can be distinguished based on the following parameters.

- Luxury brands can offer the most precious and the rarest of the rarest commodities to its customers. For example, python leather is considered to be one of the rarest materials to be sourced given the fact that procuring it is extremely difficult, owing to the factor of life risk and the source of availability which is not quite common. Pythons are available in all parts of the world, but South East Asia is the destination which most of the luxury fashion brands look up to for getting python leather. Similar is the case with crocodile leather, for which South East Asia is once again a sought after destination, than most other parts of the world. It is in South East Asia that the maximum amount of expertise to derive the leather from the pythons and the crocodiles can be found and naturally that makes crocodile and python leather quite rare and expensive. Hence, only luxury brands can afford to procure them and sell them. Non-luxury brands, on the other hand, do not or rather cannot provide rarest of the rarest commodities as neither do they have the economic support to procure it nor do they have that customer or client base to marketize their products. non-luxury brands rather focus on providing the best of the commonly available items such as the finest quality leather or wool, which are not rare but also not too common.

- Luxury brands can provide customized products to their customers and they sell it at a hefty price to its uber-rich customers who express the desire to have something that just they would be owning and not others. That touch of exclusivity is something that makes luxury brands different from all other brands. For example, luxury brands get special consignments from royal families and celebrities all over the world to design exclusive outfits and accessories for them for their special life events such as weddings or some special event. While on the other hand, non-luxury brands tend to cater to the client base which is mainly comprised of the upper-middle-class people and thus the touch of exclusivity is not very much given importance too as despite having wealth way more than the common people, they are still not celebrities, but commoners. Hence this distinction between products making a class of people special compared to most others is what makes luxury brands distinct from non-luxury brands and that is way more than what money could buy (Podaru 2019).




Question 3

Review the following videos from Rolex



You may also want to review to support/reflect your answer.



3a) Refer to the above videos, do they reflect the “ideal identity” of Rolex’s brand identity prism? Comment and critique. (10 marks)

The Brand identity prism of Rolex is characterized by the following aspects of Physique, Personality, Self Image, Culture, Relationship, and Reflection. The aspect of physique deals with a strong body of the watches and clocks; which are made of the best quality stainless steel protecting the item from any form of damage, and also the sense of comfort that it gives to the wearer along with a sense of style and sophistication.

The aspect of personality deals with the issues of providing the wearer with a sense of having an elevated personality, an elegance which is supposed to make the one wearing express an outstanding degree of confidence, along with the guarantee of quality assurance from the company. Personality thus comprises of both style and quality at the same time.

The aspect of self-image encompasses the aspects of a social circle that is spread globally forming a network, which is quintessentially a mark of being a world renowned brand having an identity of its own which is extremely distinct and classy.

The aspect of culture refers to the brand offering the best of the Swiss quality with a hint of global culture and incorporated into it, which makes the Rolex products quite classy and unique. Rolex thus tends to show that Swiss elegance and culture are extremely versatile and can be made to suit the global quest for fashion, quality, and class.

The aspect of relationship takes into account the fact that Rolex is renowned worldwide and is endorsed by celebrities and stalwarts from all over the world.

The aspect of reflection upholds the fact that Rolex is expensive which makes it the prerogative of the few hence it is unique, with its intriguing style statement.

The first advertisement shows that world famous artists, as well as cultural stalwarts, had assembled at South Africa from all around the world to witness them taking part in the series of cultural programs and talk shows at Cape Town's Baxter Theatre, which had hosted the Rolex Arts Weekend on the 8 and 9 of February. This advertisement reflects the aspect of self-image which encompassestheaspectsofasocialcirclethatisspreadgloballyforminganetwork,whichisquintessentiallyamarkofbeingaworldrenownedbrandhavinganidentityofitsownwhichisextremelydistinctandclassy, and relationship which takesintoaccountthefactthatRolexisrenownedworldwideandisendorsedbycelebritiesandstalwartsfromallovertheworld.

The second advertisement shows the story of the man who had taken the deepest sea dive wearing a Rolex watch, back in the year 1960, to show the strength and longevity of Rolex watches. The US Navy Trieste vessel had reached a depth of 10,916 meters which is 10,800 feet into the ocean. The man was wearing a Rolex Deep Sea Special and when he had come out on to the surface, the watch was still perfectly working. This is reflective of the aspectofphysique which dealswithastrongbodyofthewatchesandclocks;whicharemadeofthebestqualitystainlesssteelprotectingtheitemfromanyformofdamage,andalsothesenseofcomfortthatitgivestotheweareralongwithasenseofstyleandsophistication.

The third advertisement shows that for over a period of more than even 40 years, the Rolex Awards have been supporting the individuals who have been pushing the boundaries to the cause of advancement of the human knowledge, to promote the well being and to cater to the protection of the environment in order to make the planet a place where life could sustain peacefully and at harmony. Through that particular programme, Rolex has  shown that with the help of the right amount of determination, the passion and the commitment, anybody can be capable of changing everything and anything. This is reflective of the aspectofculture which referstothebrandofferingthebestoftheSwissqualitywithahintofglobalcultureandincorporatedtoit,whichmakestherolexproductsquiteclassyandunique.RolexthustendstoshowthatSwisseleganceandcultureisextremelyversatileandcanbemadetosuittheglobalquestforfashion,qualityandclass.

Thus these are the aspects of the rolex brand prism which is relected in the advertisements (Krishna 2019).




3b) Has the management of Rolex brand embraced the anti-laws of luxury? Discuss and critique any FOUR relevant/irrelevant anti-laws. (10 marks)

As per the anti laws of marketing, the first and foremost law is to make the product beyond the reach of the customers. It is a common practice among the brands to offer products within the reach of the purchasing power of the customers so that they can buy the products and it can lead to an upsurge of the rate of sales and eventually shall be contributing to the increase in the level of profits for the firm. This strategy is followed by McDonalds for example which seeks to provide products that would be within the reach of all the customers and thus grab profits by increasing the rate of sales. This law is however not followed by Rolex as its products are highly priced and at the same time unique. As per the brand prism, aspectofreflectionupholdsthefactthatrolexisexpensivewhichmakesittheprerogativeofthefewhenceitisunique,withitsintriguing stylestatement. This shows that Rolex follows the principle of being exclusive and follows the anti luxury law of not providing cheap articles to its customers, rather it seeks to marketize its products by garnering the most lucrative chosen few clients and deriving the maximum benefit out of them by selling them the most exclusive products (Marchl 2019).

As per the history of the emergence of the concept of anti laws of luxury, Louis Vuitton has been the forerunner. Initially, the organization had begun operations only as a seller of trunks for carrying goods. However, with the turn of the world wars, the desire had risen to be able to sell its products overseas and grow from being a brand that derives profits only locally to gain profits from overseas locations. The first signs had been observed from the demands from the United States of America and that was how the operations from catering to just the European market had shifted to the world market, and to attract the uber-rich and not sell goods to commoners had developed. Thus as per this anti luxury law, the aim is to reduce the number of buyers and cater to only the loyal few who have immense wealth and give them a sense of self-actualization. Rolex follows this anti luxury law and is immanent in the aspects of physique, self-image, and personality. FollowingaspectsofPhysique,Personality,SelfImage,Culture,Relationship, a



3c) A number of analytical tools are derived from semiotics to understand brand identities. Discuss by using ONE of the following tools, how best it can be applied and used to analyse brand identity of Rolex (10 marks)

  • The brand hinge – levels of analysis or definition of the brand universe.
  • EST-ET Diagram – analysis of the adequacy of brand manifestations for brand identity
  • Semiotic square of consumption values








Khezri, Hiwa. "The Rolex online brand community: a netnographic study of Rolex members motivations for online engagement." PhD diss., 2019.

Sang, Pham Ngoc. "The impact of brand preference on consumer purchase intention in watch industry-Case study of Rolex in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam." PhD diss., International University-HCMC, 2018.

Marchl, Phillip-Sebastian. "The consistency of marketing in the target group approach of watch companies: A comparative analysis of Rolex and Swatch image advertisements through the decades." In Werbegeschichte (n), pp. 73-92. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2019.


Orazi, Davide C., Amanda Spry, Max N. Theilacker, and Jessica Vredenburg. "A multi-stakeholder IMC framework for networked brand identity." European Journal of Marketing (2017).

Marttila, Oona. "Communicating a Renewed Brand Identity." (2017).

Podaru, Dan-Niculae. "THE IMPORTANCE OF ICONICITY IN THE LUXURY WATCHES INDUSTRY." Revista Romana de Sociologie  30 (2019).


Uggla, Henrik. "The Price of Luxury." IUP Journal of Brand Management 14, no. 2 (2017).

Butgel Tunal?, Selen. "Study on the effect of use of luxury brand during the social identity projection of individuals." (2016).

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