Luxury is all about luxe, the dazzle. And luxe is all about perception. What dazzles you may not dazzle me, and vice versa. So, there is no universal ‘Luxe Quotient’ or ‘Luxe Factor’, as I will like to name them. It all depends on the sample that you choose to determine the ‘Luxe Quotient’ or ‘Luxe Factor’ of a luxury brand. However, Luxe Quotient or LQ can effectively determine the relative scale of luxe between two luxury brands. So if we choose the same sample for two brands of watches say Rolex and Omega, ‘Luxe Quotient’ will tell you which is more dazzling to the chosen sample.
When you want to own a piece of luxury you are well aware of the premium that you will have to pay for the same. To someone who is price sensitive this will be a very difficult proposition, justifying the premium. So the best way to justify the premium charged is through the value for money route. So let us first look at the routes through which a luxury product can be a great value for money.
The premium is charged because by purchasing that product you will be a part of an elite and exclusive club, you will be part of the legacy of that brand. So you are also paying to be a part of the history, of the legendary brand story.
Then comes the experience. When you are paying a heavy premium for a luxury purchase you are paying for the experience. You walk into a luxury boutique, the way you are greeted with a smile and offered a special treatment from the word go, it is bound to make you feel good and special. The boutique manager will make you realize that you are almost on the verge of entering an exclusive and elite club with an amazing history and legacy -- it is just a purchase away. Then your senses, which are already feeling special, actually experiences the goods feel more special. For example, you are wearing the latest Omega watch that James Bond is sporting in the upcoming movie “Spectre” on your wrist and looking at the mirror, how can you not feel elated? You have already “bonded” with that timepiece. You just know this is the one. The boutique manager keeps pampering you, sometimes even with a glass of Champagne. So finally when you make the payment, it feels so justified and incidentally also “value for money”. You will revel in that Bond moment. (Read my column: Why ecommerce in luxury will fail)
However, above all this is the factor that actually draws you to make the purchase: the Luxe Quotient. It is this quotient that mesmerizes you, draws you towards the product. This factor determines how much the brand has been able to dazzle you. The Luxe Factor or simply put the Razzle-Dazzle factor. The story that is weaved around the brand, the legacy that is associated with the brand and the experiential gratification that is attached to the brand all contribute towards creating this luxe and increasing this “Luxe Quotient”.
This LQ is determines the extent to which you will be able to exert yourself to indulge in the luxury brand. The craving, the eagerness, the longing, the desire, all are captured here. So in order to compare two luxury brands we need to first take the same sample. And ask the same set of questions on a scale and determine the degree of longing and dazzle that the brand has vis-à-vis the other. This LQ will act as a measure of the dazzle that a brand story has been able to create.
At the end, luxe is all about perception. How much you will be dazzled is very personal and so there isn’t any universal degree of LQ or LF for any particular brand. It depends on the sample chosen, and so while comparing the sample is kept the same and the LQ determines which brand is more dazzling, more desired.
LQ is a unique measure for capturing longing and desire for a luxury brand. It has the ability to capture the relative dazzle factor of two or more comparable brands. It can also capture the desirability factor of the same brand across various customer segments of luxury -- Experientialists, Connoisseurs, Flaunters and Aesthetes. (Read my column: The Great Indian Luxury Consumer Decoded)
So we need to take samples from these four segments and gauge their desirability and LQ for the same brand and then arrive at a weighted average LQ for that particular brand. Similarly, we can have the same weighted average for luxury brands in the same category and upon comparison the LQs will reveal which brand has the highest Luxe Factor or LF.
Luxe Quotient, I believe is a great tool that brands across the globe must use to study the Luxe Factor or dazzle factor of their brand and then they can rework their brand story accordingly to reach their desired LQ or LF.