Meta-Luxury: Brands and the Culture of Excellence by Ricca Manfredi Robins Rebecca

By Ricca Manfredi Robins Rebecca

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Craftsmanship as a Driver of Choice To meta-luxury brands, craftsmanship is not simply a self-referred choice relating to the way of making things. Most importantly, it is a value creator in the marketplace. Craftsmanship drives demand and engenders loyalty, generating long-term economic value and making the business model sustainable. It fundamentally trades in-house efficiency for marketplace effectiveness. We often instinctively associate the concept ‘handmade’ with something that is precious.

History also has a sense of limitation to it, whereby it ultimately means sowing rather than reaping. This pillar implies that all choices are meant to find their place within the order of longer-term events. Consequently, any quick gains that may benefit the fiscally driven domain but endanger the long term will be carefully avoided. Finally, the notion of rarity is inherently descriptive of a clear understanding of presence, visibility and availability as necessary consequences – not levers. This may have commercial drawbacks in the short term, but it is a key value driver in the long run, safeguarding the desire that the brand creates.

Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri were apprentices of his nephew, Nicola Amati. ’ Calling these instruments works of art is amply justified. However, he notes, ‘they are not paintings. You can’t have them just sit there. An instrument is a living entity. It gets better in time if it gets played, and deteriorates if it is played badly or not played at all. Wood is a living material,’ he explains passionately. 20 Meta-luxury ‘Even the varnish is. Scrape it away for whatever reason, and it will quickly expand to cover the clearing.

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