The Ultimate Luxury Brand Management Reading List.

This recommended reading list is for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge in the discipline of luxury brand management.

This is a concentrated list that exemplifies business models, marketing strategies, management policies, digital approaches, critical thinking and best practices within the extremely codified luxury sector.

As a UX professional working within the luxury sector, these books have influenced my perspective. Whether you are a brand manager, student, or an aspiring luxury professional, I hope you find this list valuable.

My Top Choices:

The Luxury Strategy: Break The Rules of Marketing To Build Luxury Brands. By Jean-Noel Kapferer & Vincent Bastien

This is considered by many working in luxury academia and brand management to be the foundational blueprint for understanding marketing strategies, managerial approaches, product management, and business structuring intrinsic to the luxury sector. HEC Paris’ Jean-Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien examine the fundamental differences between “premium”, “fashion” and “luxury” with great in-depth case studies of successful business models.

Luxury Online: Styles, Systems, Strategies by Uche Okonkwo

As the title suggests, Luxury Online focuses on how storied luxury brands can adapt to the digital age and enhance the luxury experience, while highlighting pitfalls to avoid. Although originally released in 2010, the vast majority of approaches for guiding luxury brands into the digital world remain highly relevant today.

The Management of Luxury: A Practitioner’s Handbook by Benjamin Berghaus, Gunter Muller-Stewens, and Sven Reincke

50 contributors from 11 countries and 23 top academic institutions working at the forefront of luxury management contribute unique insights into various topics ranging from brand strategy, business strategy, social responsibility, anti-counterfeiting, online management, and more. No stone is left unturned in this exhaustive resource of luxury management.

Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods — and How Companies Create Them. By Michaels Silverstein, Neil Fiske, and John Butman.

Trading Up explores the cultural forces behind the buying patterns of middle market Americans towards “new luxury” goods. Although Silverstein & Co use a bastardized definition of what “luxury” is, the book provides an interesting insight into the gains brands have made by appealing to middle market consumers. Companies who have successfully “traded up” to appeal to this new shift in consumer mentality include Coach, Starbucks, Callaway, Victoria’s Secret and Lexus, to name just a few.

Kapferer on Luxury: How Luxury Brands Can Grow Yet Remain Rare

By Jean-Noel Kapferer

How do you reconcile growth and rarity? In this book, HEC Paris’ Jean-Noel Kapferer addresses how luxury brands can position themselves to protect the intrinsic rarity that sells the “dream” of the brand’s story, while still continuing to grow (and keeping shareholders happy). This book mostly comprises of recent articles and original essays from Kapferer that address growth challenges within the luxury market.

Selling Luxury: Connect with Affluent Customers, Create Unique Experiences through Impeccable Service, and Close the Sale by Robin Lent & Genevieve Tour,

A great read for gaining a further understanding of building brand loyalty through exceeding client expectations through unforgettable selling strategies. Focusing on how you sell, rather than what you are selling, to High-Net-Worth-Individuals (HNWIs) and Ultra-High-Net-Worth-Individuals (UHNWIs) within a highly emotional sector such as luxury is the key to building trust and lasting consumer relationships.

Rethinking Luxury: How to Market Exclusive products in an Ever-Changing Environment. By Martin Wittig, Fabian Sommerrock, and Markus Albers.

A roadmap for the future of marketing to the rich and super-wealthy. Written by experts in the sector, this book combines broad strategic knowledge with probing sector research. It couples scientific research documenting the transformation with exclusive insider information. Case studies highlight what works now and what’s likely to continue working moving forward.

Luxury Essentials: Essential Insights and Strategies to Manage Luxury Products by Dr. Daniel Langer and Dr. Oliver P. Heil (Ph.D.)

Another great book on managing luxury brands. This book gives insights into the seemingly elusive concept of luxury and it does so using a compact and convenient format.

Interesting luxury (and high-fashion) related films:

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s

Bill Cunningham New York

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton

Lagerfeld Confidential

Dior and I

The September Issue

Yves Saint Laurent

Coco Before Chanel

More Useful reading:

Reading books is only a partial source of inspiration and learning. Frequently visiting these blogs and news platforms will ensure you stay connected to sources of great thought leadership within the luxury sector: