Luxury for the Masses : A Study of the H&M Luxury Collaborations with Focus on the Images of the Luxury Designer Brands
A strong brand is important for all companies; however, it is imperative for the success of a luxury fashion house as the image is one of its core assets. As strategic alliances are increasing in popularity the effect they have on how customers look at the partner brands is both interesting for the general person, but also – and more importantly – vital knowledge for companies pondering such a strategic move. The major focus of this study is to answer the question of how luxury designers’ collaborations with high street retailer Hennes & Mauritz affect how consumers perceive the luxury designer brand’s image.Theories on both brand extensions and co-branding have been compared to both qualitative and quantitative research conducted for the purpose of this investigation. This comparison has been made by using a model depicting the relationships between the collaborating brands. Through both acquiring a broad scope using the survey and deeper thoughts through focus group interviews the authors were able to gain a more holistic view of how people regard the luxury designer brands. The factors mainly investigated were those of change in awareness and change in purchase behaviour or intention, as they would be indicative of how people felt toward the luxury designer brands.The result of the investigation showed that the general perception of the luxury designer brands after the collaborations was positive with consumers in all segments. The collaboration did not cause a significant backlash on the regular luxury consumers, as the majority of this consumer segment also stated that they were not bothered by the collaborations.The collaborations could be seen as successful for the luxury designer brands as they managed to garner a lot of attention from new consumer groups, whilst at the same time managing to retain their regular customers. The reason found for not having had a negative impact on the brand was the way in which the collaborations were performed. That the brands had chosen a suitable partner where the perceived fit was great; that the associations with the collaboration and the partner brand did not infringe on the associations with the luxury designer brand; and the time frame of the collaboration, all meant that the consumers generally did not lose confidence in the luxury designer brands.
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