‘Luxure’ indulgence: Louis Philippe gets arty

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Shrikant Latkar, Vice President, Global Marketing, Inmobi

Premium Menswear brand Luxure Louis Philippe has associated with the photography gallery Tasveer to showcase the work of well known international photographers, as part of a forthcoming five city exhibition tour. The tour will start from Bangalore on the 24th of August and continue throughout the year in different cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Ahmadabad. The luxury brand is all set to strike a new pose for its niche TG. Pitch finds out the rationale behind the marketing intiative.

Explaining the reason behind the initiative, Samrat Som, Director, Marketing & Creative Business Head Footwear & Accessories, Louis Philippe says, “Since 2008, the business has been small and we have not advertised at all, it has now reached certain height which needs a wider reach and brand awareness. We did not advertise with the mass media to instead we associated with certain properties to reach our target audience, which are those who indulge in lifestyle, art appreciation and finer things in life. Photography as an art form comes close to what Luxure in its ethos believes. The whole line of clothing is created with the vision of the artist, whereas it is married with the technique and craft of a craftsman and in some way photography is alike.”

For the record Luxure is a premium line by Louis Philippe, which was launched in 2008. The company positions it as exclusive since all the fabrics produced are from Italy, and it’s crafted in a ‘special’ way. “These apparels are limited in number, we produce 80-100 pieces in total and are distributed exclusively in 20 of our stores out of the 120 stores that we have across the country. In terms of price point the shirts start from Rs 4,000 go up to Rs 10-12,000; and the suits start form Rs 25,000 and go up to Rs 75,000,” Som adds.

Samrat Som, Director, Marketing & Creative Business Head Footwear & Accessories, Louis Philippe

Samrat Som, Director, Marketing & Creative Business Head Footwear & Accessories, Louis Philippe

Painting a bigger canvas
It seems the brand is trying leveraging the event as a communication vehicle to reach out to its exclusive and niche consumer. Som tries to explain the connect between the brand and the exhibition by saying that Luxure is in the same space with the technology and craftsmanship that helps realise the vision of the brand like photography. “We wanted to reach out to a larger audience who is interested in larger living and finer aspects of lifestyle. This is a series of six exhibitions across five cities, the event will have Luxure products displayed along with the photographs being showcased. Tasveer will help us reach the customer base in their galleries across different cities during the exhibition,” he adds.

Luxure is also planning to tie up with certain magazines in terms of profiling these exhibitions. The brand till date has been publicised by word of mouth and eager customers who want to learn more about the product. According to the company, in the Rs 600 crore turnover of Louis Philippe, Luxure accounts for Rs 18 crore, which is less than five percent of the total brand’s market share.

Framing the audience
“These exhibitions are themselves a strong property which would attract people from a certain calibre, a certain space and a certain background. The whole idea is for them to know that Luxure exists and then come back to find out more about the product. When one chooses a brand one becomes one with the brand and the image that comes with the brand expresses the consumer, similar to the act of buying a product of art from an exhibition. Like a photograph connects to the customer a line of clothing also sometimes connects to the consumer barring the price. The value is sometimes beyond the physical parameter. This is the year where we want to talk about Luxure and make it known to our target group so we are not looking at mass media advertising but association with properties like Tasveer,” Som lastly says.

It is a niche product that connects with the niche art of photography. These exhibitions will showcase the work of eminent professionals like Raghu Rai, British photographer Derry Moore and Italian sculptor, performance artist and photographer Patrizia Maimouna Guerresi. A host of other prominent photographers will also be making their presence felt through their work. The Seventh Season will also showcase a curate show under the title ‘Magnum Ke Tasveer’, collaboration between Tasveer and Magnum Photos, a co-operative society of the world’s leading photographers. Apart from this, five leading photographers from Japan will present a group show Hikari that showcases contemporary Asian photography.

Prashant Mishra, Associate Professor IIM, Calcutta

Prashant Mishra, Associate Professor IIM, Calcutta

Can the move click with the right TG? Prashant Mishra, Professor Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta says that such brands always want to develop a certain alignment with their audience; events such as this are classy in taste and cater to the connoisseur type of people and not the general public. “The brand has the kind of appeal that connects with the genre of the event. The target group for this event are the people who celebrate the essence of photography which are the niche these days,” he adds.

Differentiated appeal
The Professor further adds, “A brand goes through this exercise for two reasons, they establish themselves as a brand that is in sync with its values, which helps connect with the TG who are hedonic in nature. On a calculative level it is a smarter ROI with a PR angle to it so that it can make a impressive impact on its TG. It differentiates them from those who put in millions for an ad space in magazines and other forms of media; this is much more subtle in nature. An exhibition is different from a page three party, products that are far more conspicuously consumed need to be consumed in an enhanced way therefore this exercise makes sense.”

He also says that the only risk factor that comes with this is that the event or the tie-up has to be chosen very wisely so that there is no brand disconnect. There should be a perfect alignment of the TG with the brand’s offerings or the brand philosophy.

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