Cross-Gender Extension Potential of Luxury Brands: A Semiotic Analysis

13 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2018

See all articles by Nathalie Veg-Sala

Nathalie Veg-Sala

CEROS, Université Paris Nanterre

Elyette Roux

Institut d'Administration des Entreprises d'Aix-en-Provence

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

Faced with the need to constantly find new growth drivers, luxury brands increasingly use cross-gender extensions (extension from the female to the male market and vice versa). Because of the lack of research on this topic, the aim of this article is to analyse the potential for cross-gender extension. We adopt a long-term perspective by analysing the discourse being directly produced by brands. We use a structural semiotic approach to define brand narratives and contracts and their level of openness. Seven luxury brands have been studied: Audemars Piguet, Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Hugo Boss, Montblanc and Rolex. The results show that they do not all have the same legitimacy for extension from the male to female market and vice versa. Specifically, in the context of cross-gender extensions, rather than brand extension potential (to new product categories), the narratives related to contracts of determination (linked to characters, gender and state) can determine the success or the failure of cross-gender extensions. We find that brands anchored in open determination contracts, i.e. those whose values are desired by both sexes (men and women), will be extended more easily from one market to another.

Keywords: Cross-gender extensions, Luxury, Semiotics, Brand narratives and contracts, Openness

Suggested Citation

Veg-Sala, Nathalie and Roux, Elyette, Cross-Gender Extension Potential of Luxury Brands: A Semiotic Analysis (January 2018). Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 25, Issue 5, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3245124 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41262-018-0094-4

Nathalie Veg-Sala (Contact Author)

CEROS, Université Paris Nanterre ( email )

Elyette Roux

Institut d'Administration des Entreprises d'Aix-en-Provence ( email )

Clos Guiot Puyricard - CS 30063
Aix en Provence, Bouch du Rhone 13100
France

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