Luxury Branding Below the Radar
"Inconspicuous consumption"--elite consumers' affinity for discreet rather than traditionally branded luxuries--has become a global phenomenon. Work by researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London and elsewhere has identified two best practices that can help companies get out in front of the trend. Firms can redesign offerings to be less conspicuous; Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Tesla, and Audi, for example, have begun downsizing or even hiding their logos, while Tiffany has dropped the spelled-out brand name from its fashion jewelry line in favor of a simple "T." Companies can also rebrand around experience, artistry, or utility. For instance, Daimler still markets the Mercedes line in China but has also launched the subtler, all-electric Denza brand there; the hotel chain Jumeirah markets the unique qualities of each of its properties. This reprint contains three additional Idea Watch articles. "The Sorry State of Nonprofit Boards" is a visual presentation of survey results from nearly 1,000 nonprofit directors. Among the findings are that directors lack critical skills, boards lack formal processes, and upheaval is common. "What Your Firm Can Learn from Coworking Spaces" looks at new research showing that people thrive in shared office spaces, and why. "CEO Pay Can Drive Consumers' Decisions" describes experiments showing that people are more willing to buy from companies with CEO-to-worker pay ratios close to what they deem is fair.