01/29/2014 09:26 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Build a Luxury Brand? Passion Is Still the Key


What does luxury really mean? How do you create a luxury brand? What does time tell us about luxury? Ketty Pucci-Sisti Maisonrouge's latest book, The Luxury Alchemist, is sure to appeal those who want to find the answers to these questions and take an insider's look at the premium market.

To be part of the luxury world is the goal of many entrepreneurs. How to access and conquer it are two of the reasons for reading The Luxury Alchemist. As Leonard Lauder explains, "this book is perfect for anyone wanting to know how to transform ideas into a successful and enduring brand".

Among the many tools described by Maisonrouge there is one that is the most basic of them all: passion. Passion is the fundamental pre-requisite to starting a luxury brand. "It's all about passion" Maisonrouge explains. "When you have true passion, you only want to create perfection". She recognizes that passion is a requisite for every industry, but "in the luxury field this passion cannot disappear because you don't sell a product to your clients -- you sell a dream. Without passion, it's difficult to share that dream".

Well-regarded firms like Hermès, Bulgari, Cartier, Lafite Rothschild, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vera Wang, Loro Piana, Reem Acra, Burberry, and J. Mendel are featured throughout "The Luxury Alchemist" with stories and fun anecdotes about how they achieved success. The second part of the book include case studies of brands like Savelli, and Virgin Galactic to showcase the strategies that successful businesses employ to stay on top.

Is this book realistic in today's world? Our economy might have suffered of a recent meltdown but this seems to have had little impact in the luxury market. According to the author "the field has been growing in double digits during the last few years, and overall fared well during the financial crisis". A recent study by The Boston Consulting Group published in WWD estimated that "the global luxury industry represented $1.405 trillion in revenue, 20 percent coming from apparel, leather goods, accessories, watches, jewelry, and cosmetics."

Chevalier de la Légion d'Honour, Ketty Pucci-Sisti Maisonrouge, is not a neophyte in the luxury field. She is the founder of KM & Co, specializing in innovation by assisting luxury firms and start-ups branding, financing and long-term strategies. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and has served as the U.S. Representative of the Comité Colbert, an organization that brings together the 75 most well-known French luxury brands.

The book, published by Assouline, was presented last night at an intimate gathering at La Maison du Chocolat. The selection of the venue, a luxurious French chocolatier boutique in the heart of New York's Madison Avenue, is not a mere coincidence.

Image Courtesy of Assouline