“Luxury has many different levels to it,” said John Idol, CEO of Michael Kors. Everyone has access to luxury these days, but it wasn’t always that way. Brands have tapped into an overlooked group which have led companies like Michael Kors to billion dollar brands. MillionaireMatch got the scoop on how Idol grew the company with just one item.
A key luxury item for both men and women is a quality watch. That’s why Michael Kors decided to introduce their line of watches that looked like quality with an affordable price tag. Idol first offered the MK watch at $125, but the quality wasn’t there. The result? No sales. After he went back to the drawing board, improved the quality, and slapped a new price tag of almost $300 the result was completely different. “Customers understand quality,” Idol said. Once they understood that, MK became one of the biggest watch retailers.
Idol, who has been the CEO for MK since 2003, offered key tips to building a luxury brand. “You have to be prepared today to embrace technology. Utilize it to help build your brand, and to expand your customer base,” he said. With social media and more people shopping online than going into a brick and mortar, it’s important to capture and keep your audience with the use of technology. “The behavioral shopping patterns of consumers are changing rapidly,” he said. “The consumer today, the wealthier consumer, are adept at shopping online. It’s a convenience of seeing a broader assortment of what you could have in house. You have the convenience of having things delivered in 24 or 48 hours. You need to be able to serve that customer in a completely different way,” he added.
Even with technology pushing out brand messages so quickly, it’s still important to not get off target. “You have to build a global brand, and you have to have a consistent image,” Idol said regarding MK’s consistent branding. Over the years audiences have watched a brand promote the jetsetter who loves to be stylish. They incorporate an exciting feeling for the newcomer who may be experiencing luxury for the first time. “Many people have never had the kind of money they have come into. The customer wants to show that they have luxury,” he explained. “Many customers in the emerging markets want to show their wealth off. That is one of the drivers of luxury,” Idol said.
For the entrepreneur creating the next luxury brand, there a few steps you can take. “If you are going to be successful in our business, or any business, you’ve got to work hard. You’ve got to dive for the ball,” Idol said about getting your foot in the door. If you are in college be sure to study abroad. Different climates and cultures speak to the fashion industry differently. Idol also said that brains aren’t the only thing you will need. “The smartest people who work for us are not the people who graduated at the top of their class. They are the ones who are the most interested. They are the ones who are most curious and ask the question ‘why?’. They are always wanting to know why, and aren’t afraid to work hard,” he said.
To see the latest fashion trend from this luxury brand, visit their site at www.michaelkors.com.