According to a recent study, we have understood that authenticity is the utmost key to most consumers’ purchasing decisions. So, nowadays, we cherish it more and naturally gravitate towards where we can have them. That’s why luxury brands seem to thrive these days. They over authenticity in several ways and invite us to buy into it. However, there are several luxury brands from which we can choose Prada, Hermes, and Louis Vuitton, which are only some of the big brand names that we have these days. As a result, consumers seem to put these brands at loggerheads to find the brand with the most luxurious approach. Today, we take Hermes vs Louis Vuitton and try to determine which one is more luxurious.
Hermès and Louis Vuitton boast an impressive reputation, quality craftsmanship, enduring styles, and other things that make up a luxury brand and items. However, the question on the mind of many consumers is; which brand speaks more about luxury? Undoubtedly, those looking for luxurious items can find products from both brands that will surely satisfy them. However, which brand item says more class and luxury? Read on to find out.
- A Brief Background on Louis Vuitton
- A Brief Background on Hermès
- Comparing the Brands: Hermes vs Louis Vuitton
- What Makes a Luxury Brand?
A Brief Background on Louis Vuitton
The story behind the Louis Vuitton brand is vast. However, some facts remain solid, one of which is that the first workshop opened in Paris, 1854. But, before opening the first workshop for the brand, Louis Vuitton—the founder—had worked for 17 years as a trunk maker. He began trunk making when he was only 16 years old and honed his craftsmanship and design skills so well when he opened the first workshop for the Louis Vuitton brand. Not long afterward, the brand found success and later opened an atelier in 1859, which also enjoyed so much success and still handles Louis Vuitton’s leather goods to date.
By 1896, the brand developed its recognizable Monogram canvas, a Georges Louis Vuitton’s idea—the founder’s son. To date, people use the Monogram across travel pieces, and it has become connected to a sense of scarcity and high quality—this combination is what we know as the nature of today’s luxury. Today, Louis Vuitton offers far beyond trunks and bags; we now have a variety of premium offerings such as footwear, clothing, small leather goods, etc., all carrying the Louis Vuitton brand logo.
A Brief Background on Hermès
Same with Louis Vuitton, Hermès is a high fashion luxury brand from France. It was established in 1837 in Paris and started with building harnesses. Thierry Hermès—the founder—provided bridles, saddles, and other leather equestrian supplies to European noblemen, which he did for quite a long time. Soon enough, his harness became known for durability and subtle style, which led to the establishment of a retail store. Charles-Émile Hermès—the founder’s son initiated the motion to relocate the workshop and start the retail store—a decision that turned out to be the basis for the brand’s growth across Europe.
For years, the brand continued to create a new offering as an addition to their saddles and harness collection. But, in 1920, the brand made its first leather and travel bags and soon made the first ready-to-wear item such as a gold jacket in 1925. Watches and jewelry-making followed afterward. In 1937, Hermès made its first silk scarf and tied it in 1949. The iconic Kelly bag was introduced to the market in 1935. To date, the brand continues to present various new creative, high quality, and top-notch ideas to spread across the globe. As a result, Hermès is one of the notable luxury brands in today’s world.
Comparing the Brands: Hermes vs Louis Vuitton
Authenticity is higher in the luxury market than in any business. Consumer trust is also a heritage together with super qualities such as craftsmanship. When these attributes combine, consumers naturally become willing to pay a premium to have access and the privilege of ownership. Hermès and Louis Vuitton seem to have paid the price in these areas; however, which brand offers it better?
Hermes vs Louis Vuitton: Branding
Louis Vuitton’s logo monogram speaks of more than a century old heritage—existing since 1896. So, consumers are willing to pay despite the high price commanded for any product carrying the LV logo. Those bags and other Louis Vuitton items have become the world’s biggest perpetrator and cravings for those who love the idea of a luxury lifestyle.
Hermès approaches its branding concept differently and does the opposite of what Louis Vuitton does in terms of branding. It carved a distinctive style, and by that, it has soon gained recognition to the cognoscenti. In our world of obsession with celebrities, the Hermès barns have earned more credit for their scarcity and high-quality, luxurious offerings.
Hermes vs Louis Vuitton: Marketing Strategy
Remember that scarcity is one of the ingredients that make for a luxury brand. Hermès seeks to enact this dimension, so it rejects the idea of leveraging fashion celebrities as a marketing strategy. Louis Vuitton, on the other hand, fully embraces the approach. For example, Louis Vuitton paid $8.5 million to Angelina Jolie to represent the brand in an advertisement campaign. While this strategy has worked for Louis Vuitton, Hermès has not failed to make a process with its own. So, celebrities may not get paid to wear Hermès products, but they may proudly own one or more of the brand’s products. For example, some reports say that Victoria Beckham has no less than $2 million worth of Hermès collection.
Hermes vs Louis Vuitton: Chain of Distribution
A careful distribution that leads to the exclusivity of a luxury brand is one of the hallmarks of authentic luxury. For Louis Vuitton, you will only find about 460 branded boutiques across the globe, and Hermès has only about 300. However, that’s where their similarities end. Louis Vuitton allows stores and luxury departments worldwide to distribute its product, while Hermès would not allow such. It limits the production and distribution of its product to core product ranges and channels. To date, Hermès maintains a waiting list of people who want to purchase one or two of its products. For example, the Birkin—one of its classic bags that cost from $7,000 to $300,000—requires you to be on the waiting list for two or more years before you can have one. This procedure goes for any of its limited-edition bags!
Which Is More Luxury?
Authenticity is in the core mix of Hermès brand; it is what it stands for. Though it commands luxury in its respect, Louis Vuitton does not measure up to that of Hermès. To be authentic, Hermès believes that the designation has to be earned and not claimed. The brand has held up to that status for long—continues to make the title with consumers seeking earnestly to have one or more of its products. On the other hand, Louis Vuitton claims the status and aims to be a force to reckon with in fashion as Hermès. Therefore, the brand is heavy on marketing but light on authenticity when compared with Hermès.
What Makes a Luxury Brand?
There are several concepts around the idea of a luxury brand and what makes a brand luxurious. That’s precisely why it’s difficult for many luxury brand enthusiasts to draw the dividing line between two or more brands. We easily choose a preference for reasons we may find difficult to articulate. However, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Let’s look at some of the features of luxury brands like Hermes and Louis Vuitton, but first, let’s get a proper definition of luxury.
What is Luxury?
It’s, no doubt, hard to define luxury. Ask an average enthusiast of luxury items to express what they think luxury entails, and you’ll hear varying definitions. However, some things will resonate in each description. They are the fact that a luxury item is; expensive but not overpriced; it is futuristic and, therefore, of high-quality and long-lasting. It’s unique and aesthetically pleasing. Rare but not difficult to access. It is elitist and yet service-minded. In general, luxury is the belief that rests upon elucidation!
Factors that determine luxury
The most popular idea of luxury is that it’s expensive. While price is an ingredient for luxury, it is the least important. A brand has to offer more to match the item’s price; otherwise, consumers will quickly dismiss it as overpriced.
Quality of Make
Luxury brands will tend to do more by offering quality. The product has to be of high-grade materials and have the ability to last longer than their competition. Consumers are willing to pay when they find that a product is the handiwork of top professionals with authentic craftsmanship that’s second to none.
Design and Aesthetic
The design of a luxury product should communicate its uniqueness and stature; when a brand can boost sophistication and unique aesthetics, customers long to identify with such a brand because these things speak. They are statements of identity and separation from everyday items.
While brands have to work on tangibility such as quality, design, and aesthetics to justify the price, one key ingredient that has to remain present is meaning. Quality and others can be quantified, but the purpose is the unquantifiable ingredient in the mix. Sometimes, or most times, the component fills the gap between an overpriced item and a luxury item. A luxury brand must give an enjoyable meaning to its customers—one that they can’t find elsewhere.
A product can be beautiful, well-made, and of high quality, yet considered very common because the brand makes its profit from accessibility. In other words, they are too familiar and easy to access; therefore, they are not considered luxury items. Rarity is the final component of a luxury product. When it’s difficult to access or own one, it is deemed to be luxurious.
When trying to find a conclusion for Hermes vs Louis Vuitton and determine which is more luxurious, it’s easy to decide if we subject the brand’s business models to these factors. Here is the conclusion you’ll most likely come to; Hermes is more luxurious as it ticks all the boxes for each element—especially rarity. However, Louis Vuitton is not a familiar brand; it’s also a high fashion luxury brand!