Living The Louis Philippe Lifestyle Cultural Studies Essay

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Louis Philippe, the leader in the Indian super-premium apparel market has a totally new and exciting consumer experience by offering a wide range of exclusive apparel and accessories for every occasion from luxury to formal, informal and party wear.

Louis Philippe is the biggest super premium brand with a large base of consumers. The consumers display strong loyalty to the brand and have been buying different categories of apparel and accessories of Louis Philippe. Today, based on consumer research, and the fast-growing demand for Louis Philippe garments from younger consumers, the brand has expanded its offering with exciting and special apparel and accessories ranges. The success of the IT Industry, the BPO industry and the overall growth in the economy in the country has created enormous purchasing power in the young.

Also, this is a consumer with multiple wardrobes. The consumer has a sport wardrobe for his morning jog, a work wear wardrobe, a semiformal wardrobe for an evening with friends and a party wardrobe for the wilder nights. In addition, he would love it if all of this were available in one brand which understands his taste and guarantees quality.

Louis Philippe with its multiple wardrobes now fulfils this requirement.

As a super premium brand, with international lineage, Louis Philippe is completely integrated into the international fashion cycle as it moves through the fashion capitals of the world.

For the summer of 2005, Louis Philippe launched the "Spirit of Italy" collection, which showcased the latest fashion colour - pink, which took menswear by a storm. Louis Philippe also presented to its consumer a unique summer look - pink shirts coordinated with white trousers.

For winter 2005, in line with the strong "retro" influence sweeping fashion, Louis Philippe unveiled the "Blue Notes" collection inspired by the jazz of the sixties and seventies and interpreted in modern and contemporary styling.

Flagship store at Linking Road

Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the Louis Philippe store at Linking Road, Mr. Vikram D Rao, Group Executive President, Madura Garments, said, "The new strategy is to cater to multiple wardrobe needs of this consumer and strengthen Louis Philippe's image as an international premium lifestyle brand." Towards this effort, Louis Philippe will have a luxury, formal, semi-formal, casual, party and a fashion forward line at the store at Linking Road. The latest flagship store is also it's largest - a breathtaking beautiful 4500 sq ft of space.

The evolution of retail in India has seen a few changes in the mindset of consumers. The discerning consumer today is asking for a complete brand experience in the form of exclusive stores. Louis Philippe has opened one flagship store every month in the last eight months. These stores have a unique retail identity emphasising the character of the brand in every element of the store. The uniqueness is expressed in the size of the store (averaging about 3000 square feet) and the layout, which focuses on co-ordination of merchandise (including accessories). The store is conceived as a gallery, where merchandise is showcased as work of art. All other elements - the music playing, the fragrance used and the sitting area has been chosen carefully to give customers an unique and world-class experience.

Louis Philippe has also launched its unique and exclusive made-to-measure suits and trousers. Louis Philippe customers can choose from a wide range of Italian fabrics and enjoy the luxury of a perfectly fitting and finely crafted factory made suits and trousers.

Establishing brand connect with the new consumer

The Louis Philippe campaign for winter has been shot at Paris. Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the Louis Philippe flagship store at Linking Road, Mr. Hemachandra Javeri, President, Madura Garments said, "The picture showcases the brand personality, which is that of a 'charismatic leader', and the luxury of his lifestyle."

The campaign goes beyond showcasing a picture to communicate the brand message; it offers a peek into the mind of the Louis Philippe man through an ingenious device: the mind map.

This device puts together some of the possibilities that can just happen to a Louis Philippe man in a given situation. The results are very interesting, whether the Louis Philippe man adds new businesses to his empire or strikes up some very interesting relationships.

Things you didn't know about Louis Philippe

1.

Louis Philippe created the super premium segment for the men's readymade garment category in India.

2.

The brand specifies the use of only Suvin, Egyptian or Pima cotton for fabrics used in its shirts.

3.

The Permapress range of shirts is the first 100 per cent wrinkle-free shirt made from Japanese fabrics. It retains a crisp, freshly-ironed look throughout the day.

4.

Permawhite 'the best white formal shirt' introduced taped seams to garments in India.

5.

Louis Philippe was accorded superbrand status in 2004.

6.

Its collections, whether Black & White (1996) or Gods & Kings (Festival season 2003) have set the standards for what the well-dressed Indian male should be seen in.

7.

The Louis Philippe Design Studio is totally integrated with the trends of premium men's fashion as it evolves in Paris and Milan, the fashion capitals of the world.

8.

Apart from various retail channels in India, Louis Philippe is present in the Middle East and SAARC countries.

Complete product range

Shirts

Louis Philippe uses fabrics from the best Italian mills

The shirts are made from the finest cotton fabrics from the best mills in India and abroad in fine counts of 80's going up to 120's. To ensure that the fabric retains its original color and lustre, Louis Philippe specifies the use of the finest cottons in the world. For its Gods & Kings collection, Louis Philippe imports superfine fabric made by the Italian mills Albini and Monti, arguably the makers of the best cotton fabric in the world.

The Louis Philippe Permapress shirt is an imported garment made in factories that cater to some of the most premium brands worldwide. The best of cotton fabrics are treated with liquid ammonia and resins and the fully made up garment is then baked to give Louis Philippe customers 'the best formal shirt'. The unique creaseless feature is such that even if the fabric is crushed, its 'memory' ensures it returns back to its original shape.

ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION

The first launch campaign positioned Louis Philippe as a 'signed designer wear'. The focus of this campaign was on promoting the brand's exclusiveness and the virtues of premium quality. The campaign highlighting 'The making of the perfect shirt' had a stellar impact on the target audience. The initial promotion sought to create an association between Louis Philippe the brand as an embroidered signature logo on the shirt label and the 'Crest' on the right cuff.

Louis Philippe's second-generation promotion aimed for a subtly altered position. The next campaign conveyed that those who wore Louis Philippe belonged to an exclusive club, The Upper Crest. Consumers were reminded that those who wore Louis Philippe belonged to the upper crust of society - thus very strongly reinforcing the premium and aspirational image of the brand. The embroidered 'Crest' was promoted as a visual mnemonic for the brand - succinctly encapsulating the brand positioning of premium, exclusive and having fine taste. Starkly simple, the campaign has run very successfully for over a decade.

Today, the iconic 'Crest', by itself, provides the wearer with the guarantee of being well dressed. Along with the promotional line 'The Upper Crest', it has successfully come to automatically connote the brand and its values to discerning and aware Indian consumers.

Since the brand is specifically targeted at a very premium consumer segment more akin to 'patrons' it has been using effective consumer relationship initiatives to make the communication more personalised. Using the latest CRM techniques and driven by strategies honed by information from the database of established consumers, Louis Philippe seeks to acquire new consumers and retain them in ways that reinforce the sense of exclusivity and distinction.

To this effect Louis Philippe uses campaigns that enable it to establish and affirm deeply personal bonds with people who use its products, especially through below-the-line promotions. Thus, the brand supports select and refined cultural activities, such as theatre festivals in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. It has successfully staged several premium Broadway musicals for an elite, and only-by-invitation audience.

Last autumn/winter Louis Philippe launched its new campaign 'Another Life'. Based on the realities deduced from an extensive and focussed research, the campaign culminates on a single thought - the exploration of a moment that is larger than life and surpasses all experiences hitherto experienced. The campaign triggers the consumers' most extravagant dreams, but is in sync with their ambition and behaviour. This feeling is captured in the two words 'Another Life' which became the theme for this extravagant campaign.

Important landmark

Louis Philippe reached an important milestone when it crossed the Rs. 175 crore mark (MRP sales) in the last fiscal. It has been a remarkable achievement - creating a super premium segment in the Indian market - in just a decade and a half.

There were a number of factors that contributed towards achieving this landmark:

* The chief driver for the brand is the tremendous emotional connect that it enjoys with the consumer due to the values it stands for and the values its symbol - the crest - stands for: fine taste and fine living.

* Louis Philippe has constantly ensured that for every occasion that the consumer wears a readymade garment, it has nothing but the best in its product offering. It has always stretched the price value equation in favour of the consumer and constantly upgraded him. This has led to a slew of innovative products that only the brand offers or ones in which it is the single largest dominant player.

* The brand has always been at the forefront of bringing the latest international trends and fashion to India. Whether it was Cubix in 1999, Riviera in 2002 or the Spirit of Italy in spring/summer 2005, Louis Philippe has been introducing the latest in fashion to the Indian consumer, in fabric design as well as styling.

* While it was launched as a shirt brand, Louis Philippe has quickly moved into a dominant positions in trousers and suits and is aggressively looking at the tee shirt and winter wear market. It also has a strong presence in accessories. Today it is a complete wardrobe brand and is on its way to becoming a lifestyle brand.

Connecting with the new consumer

The Louis Philippe campaign for winter has been shot at Paris. Speaking on the occasion of the launch of the Louis Philippe flagship store at Linking Road, Mr. Hemachandra Javeri, President, Madura Garments said, "The picture showcases the brand personality, which is that of a charismatic leader, and the luxury of his lifestyle."

The campaign goes beyond showcasing a picture to communicate the brand message; it offers a peek into the mind of the Louis Philippe man through an ingenious device: the mind map.

This device puts together some of the possibilities that can just happen to a Louis Philippe man in a given situation. The results are very interesting - whether the Louis Philippe man adds new businesses to his empire or strikes up some very interesting relationships.

Truly a brand for the arrived global gentleman

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