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European Business and Brand Building

Edited By Luciano Segreto, Hubert Bonin, Andrzej K. Kozminski and Carles Manera

A strong brand is a key factor in business success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Brands help to provide a better understanding of the corporate and commercial culture of different firms. A brand reveals the knowledge capital held by a company, but also often reflects the perception of the firm held by consumers and stake-holders.
The book explores the historical process of building some of the most famous brands among European businesses and examines the extent to which the brands have contributed to the image of the firms and their differentiation against competitors in the industry.

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CHAPTER 5 - A Reassessment of the Business History of the French Luxury Sector. The Emergence of a New Business Model and a Renewed Corporate Image (from the 1970s) 113 - Hubert Bonin

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113 CHAPTER 5 A Reassessment of the Business History of the French Luxury Sector The Emergence of a New Business Model and a Renewed Corporate Image (from the 1970s) Hubert BONIN Sciences Po Bordeaux – GRETHA-Bordeaux University France’s luxury sector has had a long history of alleged superiority and excellence, though challenged at times by various economic factors – changing circumstances, poor management and harsh competition. Its business history has thus been marked by a series of failures and bankruptcies as much as by success stories in Europe, through cycles of growth and decline. The July Monarchy and the Second Empire in the years 1830-1860 favoured the emergence of craftsmen who took advantage of new demand from the rising high bourgeois classes and the Imperial Court’s capitalistic and entrepreneurial spirit – woodcraft industry, silk trade in Lyon, bronze industry, etc. The development of industry, trade and banking created a favourable environment for a new generation of firms combining craftsmanship, industrial processes and exports, from the 1870s to the 1930s1 – in spite of the loss of the Russian market in 1918. Products made in Paris – “les articles de Paris” – gained leverage on high added value merchandise produced in France and often exported to Europe and the rest of the world. 1 R. Bienaimé, “La parfumerie française”, L’Illustration économique et financière, special issue, L’expansion commerciale, 26 January 1924, pp. 34-35, with articles on Houbigan, Roger & Gallet, Ed. Pinaud, P. Lubin, Rigaud, Piver and Lesquendieu (pp. 36-48). All these brands, except Roger & Gallet, were...

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