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Trading Up: The New American Luxuryby Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske and John Butman
"No longer just for super-rich blue bloods, the 'luxury' experience has become thoroughly middle-class, even prole (two words: 'Gucci T-shirt'). But is this good news or bad news? In the view of Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske, the authors of the depressingly hilarious and hilariously depressing Trading Up, it is good news. Particularly if you're the CEO of Bath & Body Works, which Fiske is, or the head of Victoria's Secret ('a $3.5 billion multichannel brand'), as is the book's preface writer." Sandra Tsing Loh, the Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
A fascinating look at why millions of consumers are "trading up" to premium goods, and how companies can profit from this phenomenon.
Middle-market consumers have more discretionary income than ever before and are willing to pay extra for "new luxury" goods and services — items that deliver higher quality, technical advantages, and superior performance to conventional products. Above all, consumers are looking for emotional engagement — they look to products to help them manage the stresses of everyday life, and to help them realize their aspirations. A new luxury good may be as simple as a shampoo ($9 from Aveda, versus $3 from Suave) that brings moments of comfort and sensual pleasure, or as complex as a car ($26,000 for a bottom-of-the-line Mercedes, versus $20,000 for a Pontiac) that delivers feelings of safety and excitement.
Clothing, cars, beer, coffee, kitchen appliances, lingerie, personal care, pet food, restaurants — in dozens of categories, new luxury goods occupy a sweet spot in the market, because they can sell in much higher unit volumes than "old luxury" goods, but command much higher profit margins than ordinary products. But new luxury leaders — such as Callaway Golf, Victoria's Secret, Panera Bread, Belvedere vodka, Whirlpool Duet, and Williams-Sonoma — create and market their goods very differently than do conventional companies. Trading Up explores what's driving this move to premium goods, tells the inside stories of many New Luxury companies and their leaders, and offers insights and methods that can help the reader take advantage of this remarkable phenomenon. The book is based on the authors' experience in helping clients create billions of dollars worth of New Luxury products as well as on exhaustive supporting research.
"Despite the book's slight technical flaws, including a high degree of repetitiveness, its insights into a highly lucrative market...make this a must read for anyone interested in practical economics." Publishers Weekly
The Boston Consulting Group is a $1 billion private company with 3,000 employees in fifty-six cities worldwide, and a leader in retail and consumer product strategy.
From Williams-Sonoma to Victoria's Secret, Trading Up explores what's driving the move to premium goods, tells the inside stories of many New Luxury companies and their leaders, and offers insights and methods that can help the reader take advantage of this remarkable phenomenon.
Trading up isn?t just for the wealthy anymore. These days no one is shocked when an administrative assistant buys silk pajamas at Victoria?s Secret. Or a young professional buys only Kendall-Jackson premium wines. Or a construction worker splurges on a $3,000 set of Callaway golf clubs.
In dozens of categories, these ?new luxury? brands now sell at huge premiums over conventional goods, and in much larger volumes than traditional ?old luxury? goods. Trading Up has become the definitive book about this growing trend.
First published to media acclaim in October 2003, Trading Up revealed how today's middle-class consumers are seeking higher levels of quality, taste, and aspiration than had ever been possible beforein their choices of cars and clothing, vodka and beer, golf clubs and dolls, and much more. The book identified a major opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovators, managers and marketers, in every category of consumer goods and services. Now Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske have thoroughly revised this BusinessWeek bestseller with new research and new insights into the still- growing phenomenon of trading up.
About the Author
Michael J. Silverstein is a senior vice president and global consumer and retail practice leader at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and the coauthor of Breaking Compromises.
Neil Fiske is a former vice president of BCG and is currently the president of Bath & Body Works.
John Butman is an established business author and journalist.
Table of Contents
Pt. 1 Trading Up to New Luxury
1 Trading Up to New Luxury: An Overview 3
2 The Spenders and Their Needs 23
3 The Creators and Their Goods 48
4 Where Goods and Emotions Intersect 72
Pt. 2 The Leaders
5 The World Is a Sexy Place 99
6 Eating As an Emotional Experience 115
7 Only the Best for Members of the Family 136
8 Inside the New American Home 150
9 Awakening the American Palate to Wine 178
10 The Old World in New Luxury Bottles 201
11 Demonstrably Superior and Pleasingly Different 217
12 A Cautionary Tale of an Old Luxury Brand 233
Pt. 3 Excelsior
13 The Opportunity 253
14 A Work Plan 263
15 A Call to Action 278
Pt. 4 The Back Story
Luxury: A Philosophical and Historical Context 285
About Our Sources 292
What Our Readers Are Saying