In a recent episode of his podcast ‘WTF is with Nikhil Kamath,’ Zerodha co-founder Nikhil Kamath opened up about why he has chosen to abstain from purchasing ultra-luxury brands. The episode, aptly titled ‘WTF Goes into Building a Fashion, Beauty, or Home Brand?,’ delved into the intricate world of luxury marketing.
Kamath’s candid revelation was that ultra-luxury brands had steered him away due to what he perceives as arrogance in their marketing strategies. He expressed his thoughts on how these brands intentionally make customers jump through hoops, requiring them to build relationships or get on exclusive lists to access their products. According to Kamath, this isn’t because they can’t produce more items; instead, it’s a deliberate strategy that has proven successful for them.
“In the last 3-4 years, I have completely stopped buying from ultra luxury brands like Hermes and Louis Vuitton because I feel they play you. Their entire marketing strategy seems to be to offend and get some kind of a reaction out of you and then buy from them. The most offensive thing is to go to a shop where they are marking up a product one is to 1,000 times and then say you can’t buy this product until you build a relationship with us or get on a list or all of these hoops that you have to jump through,” Nikhil Kamath said.
He continued, “It is not because they can’t manufacture more of that…they can go make a million of these bags and stuff but that strategy of being arrogant has worked so well for them that I think people have to be cognizant of that.”
During the podcast, Kishore Biyani, founder of Future Group, joined the discussion. He highlighted the stark difference between his approach with Big Bazar and the ultra-luxury brands. Biyani elucidated that ‘greed’ is the reason behind Big Bazaar’s success, as products are offered at lower prices, while the ‘fear’ factor plays on the idea that these products may not be available later. These, he said, are the driving forces behind Big Bazaar’s appeal.
Drawing the line between Big Bazaar and ultra-luxury brands, Mr. Biyani noted that the former taps into greed and fear, while the latter are more concerned with appealing to ego and vanity.
This captivating episode lasted nearly 3.5 hours, offering insights into the journey of scaling a fashion, beauty, or home brand from ₹0 to ₹100 crores and beyond. The guests touched on various topics, including brand names, logos, community building, SEO, and marketplace strategies.