The Role of Heritage in Contemporary Global Luxury Branding

The Case of Richard Mille Watches

Tim Jackson

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781350989955.0007
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Luxury is a term that has traditionally been associated with rare and beautifully crafted products across multiple categories and sectors including fashion, leather goods, watches, jewelry, perfumes, beauty products, and cars. Cultural associations assigned to luxury brands also influence their identity and power. These are framed by a brand’s heritage. Luxury goods are widely regarded as gifts that can be passed across generations in part because of the legacy associated with a brand’s story. The brand manager therefore is also a “keeper of tradition.”

However, the world is changing, and a redefinition of luxury is taking place to meet the needs and wants of those millennials who now make up nearly half of all luxury consumers.

Launched in 2001 Richard Mille’s eponymous luxury watch brand entered a competitive market. Without an established brand heritage or any significant history, how could they compete against the established brands? This case study asks students to investigate and evaluate aspects of luxury brand management and to critically analyze the significance of heritage to luxury brands.

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