Price Paradox in Understatement Luxury



When we talk about luxury product, “Price” and “Value” are the worlds to which we think first.

Factors so important in the customer mind that many times arrive to be the only driver in the identification of a luxury product.  Generally  consumers  have  the idea  that behind the high price there are products created with high cost raw materials and high quality production processes.

This concept is fully coherent with the mental approach of a customer buying a sophisticated Dolce&Gabbana lace-dress, or a fantastic crocodile leather handbag of Bottega Veneta.  Beyond the real values of the product and the potential mark-up for the company, the customer imagines to buy a product with an incredible physical value.




(Monica Bellucci in Little Red Dress made by Dolce&Gabbana)

But what about luxury customers with understatement style?  What is the link between price and value in the mind of a customer that decide to spend thousands of Euro for a total black simple cotton dress of stylist like Yamamoto or Rick Owens?



(Rick Owens Female Collection S/S ’15)

Analyzing the understatement luxury market emerges how  postmodern  consumers  put  more  emphasis  on  the symbolic and emotional values of a  product than on the physic one.  Physical value is replaced by feeling and emotions linked to the product.

For a customer that “Dress to express, not to impress” a product for which he feels something, a product able to represent his individual image or let him fell part of a tribe has no price.

What emerge from these considerations is that the statement made by the marketers Pine and Gilmore in “The Experience Economy” is still valid:  “when a person buys a service, he purchases  a  set  of  intangible  activities  carried  out  on  his  behalf.  But  when  he  buys  an experience,  he  pays  to  spend  time  enjoying  a  series  of  memorable  events  that  a  company  stages to engage him in a personal way”.


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