CHAPTER 4BERNARD ARNAULT

ON THE MANAGEMENT OF CREATIVITY AND BRAND BUILDING

Nearly half of the luxury products in the world are bought by the Chinese. This includes things they purchase domestically and during trips abroad. This attests to the success of the “luxury for everyone” strategy adopted by LVMH, the world’s leading luxury group.

LVMH Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault is the third wealthiest man in the world. That is not an easy status to assume in France, where earning more than the average tends to raise suspicions.

I wish to talk about Arnault for three reasons. First, he has practically invented an industry, that of luxury. Second, it appears to me that no company is more competent than LVMH in managing intangible assets. Finally, he has created an organization that may survive all of the other enterprises mentioned in this book, given the longevity of luxury brands.

LVMH brings together the greatest number of prestige brands imaginable: Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Guerlain, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, Berluti, Chaumet, Krug, Bulgari, Fendi, Céline, Emilio Pucci, Kenzo, Loewe, Loro Piana, Rimowa, Fred, Hublot, Zenith, and TAG Heuer among others—and that’s without mentioning Le Bon Marché and Sephora. These brands have spent decades—if not centuries—forging their identities and reputations. They trace the full history of luxury. When Bernard Arnault acquired them, some of these brands were already the most prominent in their field. Others were sleeping ...

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