Evidence on Internet Communication Management Strategies for Luxury Brands

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GLOBAL JOURNAL OF BUSINESS RESEARCH ♦ VOLUME 5 ♦ NUMBER 5 ♦ 2011 EVIDENCE ON INTERNET COMMUNICATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR LUXURY BRANDS Angy Geerts, University of Mons Nathalie Veg-Sala, University of Le Mans ABSTRACT Luxury brands and the Internet communication media seem to be inconsistent at first sight. On the one hand, luxury brands have to maintain the control of their elitism and their image; on the other hand, Internet is defined as a mass media of communication that is basically not selective. However, some years ago, all the luxury brands started to set up their own websites and some of them have gone as far as opening online shops. Then, regarding these paradoxes and a literature review, the purpose of this article is to analyze how luxury brands can manage scarcity and the use of Internet. To answer this question, a structural semiotic methodology on luxury brands and their communication is used. The purpose is to bring about a better understanding of how luxury brands use Internet in their communication strategy and how this media may or may not fit into a luxury brand’s management of the values of rarity. The methodology analyses factors that can impact the success or the failure of Internet communication for luxury brands. The results show that Internet is not entirely incompatible with luxury. It all depends on how it is used. Internet can strengthen the core values of brands thanks to original and interactive applications. But sometimes if not enough attention is paid, Internet may dilute the brand values. So many precautions have to be taken to avoid the dilution of brand narratives and some managerial implications are developed in this article, especially concerning e-shopping. JEL: M31, M37 KEYWORDS: Brand management, Internet, Communication, Luxury, Semiotic analyses. INTRODUCTION rands are cultural imagery whose consumption is mainly

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