The visit to Harrods with Dolce & Gabbana was my highlight of the unit. Not only meeting the amazing Harrods and D&G team which was so valuable for networking, the visit helped cement learnings in class about brand management and witness strategy in action. As someone with high street only background (H&M, ASOS, Whistles) what I did not know but now know (and also appreciate) is the importance of heritage in luxury. As the basis of what constitutes most luxury brands I had not valued heritage as part of Dolce and Gabbana; perhaps this was ignorance. I knew they were an Italian brand but seeing the installations at Harrods highlighted the true Italian heritage they encapsulate within their collection and heritage positioning strategy they implement.
From the southern Italian tiles to the traditional carts, it was clear the take over at Harrods was shaped by Stefano and Domenico’s cultural heritage which translates into their collections. This message was consistent across the collection and different areas especially the marketplace which oozed experiential consumer experience. Gaining true insights from Elodie, the Global Retail Merchandising Director at D&G, I learnt that D&G really source their DNA as a brand from their creators.
Kapferer and Bastein (2012) said ‘Luxury brands are powerful identities able to reassure and seduce by the dream they create. They propose a world of its own which consumers with to immerse themselves’ and it is safe to say I felt transported to their world. From the adverts in Italy, to the orange displays and the D&G pasta, I wanted to be a part of the dream they created.
(Photo’s taken of the traditional tiles and cart information at Harrods)
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Kapferer, J.-N. (2012) The New Strategic Brand Management : Creating and Sustaining Brand Equity Long Term. London: Kogan Page.