I grew up in 80’s & early 90’s when brands really hadn’t invaded Indian markets. It was just few brands with a very global appeal that had begun to get recognized and had become symbols of aspiration. Thanks to chic flick Hollywood movies and international shows, Louis Vuitton was one of those brands, which were a big aspiration since teens for me. In my initial struggle days at the beginning of my career, I often thought of when and where I will buy my first LV bag. For a woman it is like a milestone in life. We all know it’s the same print cut into different sizes and shapes but owning one LV still felt like I have reached a place in life. It’s like gold in India which is expensive but every Indian woman has at least one piece of gold jewelry.
But here comes the anti-climax. I moved to Singapore about a year back and decided to finally buy the LV bag. I was looking forward for the moment. But in my first month in Singapore itself I saw every second person in the bus, on the road, in office, in the pub carrying a LV bag. I don’t mean to be offensive but even the secretary in my office has an LV bag. It really doesn’t matter whether all of them were originals or not, the reality was that everyone could have one in Singapore. Now isn’t this an anti-climax because what I thought only the rare & few deserving women like me would have didn’t feel like the prize of the price anymore. LV isn’t cheaper here but somehow every woman has saved money to be able to get at least one LV bag, again just like gold in India. It suddenly made something extraordinary so ordinary. But this is more an Asia phenomenon. I read somewhere that LV makes more money in Asia than any other region. The queue outside the LV store at Orchard road explains it. What’s the kick if you have to stand in the queue even in spite of spending two thousand dollars. Now I no longer want to buy a LV bag as I have realized it’s a trap not worth it. LV marketing team I hope you realize the potential imagery issue and the need to fix it. You need to figure out a way to sell your volumes by still keeping your premium, luxury imagery alive, the image that was my teenage aspiration.
If my thoughts trigger a thought of your own, do leave a comment. I love reading them.