Emerging Competitive Strategies in the Global Luxury Industry in the Perspective of Sustainable Development: the Case of Kering Group


  • Enrica PAVIONE University of Insubria, Department of Economics
  • Roberta PEZZETTI University of Insubria, Department of Economics
  • Matteo DALL'AVA Freelance Journalist in fashion luxury


In the last years, many drivers should motivate luxury companies to engage in more sustainable practices. On the one hand, consumers seek new forms of luxury that shows respect for natural resources and human beings, yet standing by traditional factors such as quality, creativity, originality, craftsmanship and savoirfaire. The recent economic crisis has thrust the consumers towards the search for responsible luxury. In the new economic and competitive scenario, luxury brands would base their identity and image on a set of values through which they should be known and publicly judged by both clients and the market; sustainable development and corporate social responsibility strategies offer a particularly suitable platform to enrich the value-set of luxury brands. In this framework, the luxury industry is undergoing a process of self-analysis and redefinition of competitive strategies in the light of social responsibility and sustainable dimension. In order to create both financial and non-financial value, sustainable development needs to be incorporated in the core strategy of the firm and its core business. In this perspective, the paper provides an analysis of the main drivers that, in the luxury industry, are leading to a growing integration of social responsibility and sustainable development principles in the competitive strategies of luxury firms. In particular, the paper focuses on innovations emerging in the luxury industry, both at strategic and organizational levels, and provides an overview of new emerging innovative business models coherent with the principles of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The theoretical analysis is supported by presentation of the case of the French Group Kering, which represents a pioneering example in sustainable development applied to competitive strategies and leading brand management practices.


Allen, M.W., Walker, K.L., and Brady, R. (2012). Sustainability Discourse with a Supply Chain Relationship: Mapping Convergence and Divergence. Journal of Business Communication, 49(3), 210-236.

Aragon-Correa, J.A., and Sharma, S. (2003). A Contingent Resource-Based View of Proactive Environmental Strategy. Academy of Management Journal, 28(1), 71-88.

Banathy, H.B. (1996). Designing Social Systems in a Changing World. New York: Plenum Press.

Beverland, M. (2004). Uncovering “Theories-in-Use”: Building Luxury Wine Brands. European Journal of Marketing, 38(3/4), 446-466.

Ciornea, R. (2013). Drivers of consumer’s satisfaction with luxury fashion products and overall satisfaction’s impact on repurchase intention. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Marketing – from information to decision (pp.51-67). Cluj Napoca: Alma Mater Publishing House.

Boston Consulting Group (2014). True Luxury Global Consumer Insight. Boston: Boston Consulting Group.

Colombo, G., and Gazzola, P. (2015). Building CSR in the corporate strategy. In Brătianu, C., Zbuchea, A., Pînzaru, F., Vătămănescu, E.M., and Leon, R.D. (Eds). Strategica. International Academic Conference: Local Versus Global (pp.2332). Bucharest: Tritonic.

Corbellini, E., and Marafioti, E. (2013). La CSR nella moda. Strumento di marketing o elemento fondante della strategia d’impresa. Economia and Management, 3(1), 61-80.

Della Bella, C. (2002). Value-value companies nel settore del lusso. Cogenerazione di valore per azionisti, investitori e management. Milano: Egea.

Dubois, B., and Paternault, C. (1995). Observations: Understanding the World of International Luxury Brands. Journal of Advertising Research, 35(4), 69-76.

Dubois, B., and Czellar, S. (2002). Prestige Brands or Luxury Brands? An Exploratory Inquiry on Consumer Perceptions. Brand Management Track, HEC School of Management and University of Geneva.

Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532-550.

Frunzaru, V., and Popa, E.-M. (2014). Materialistic values, shopping, and life satisfaction. In Brătianu, C., Zbuchea, A., Pînzaru, F., and Vătămănescu, E.M. (Eds), Strategica 2014. Management, Finance and Ethics (pp.605-622). Bucharest: Tritonic.

Fuad-Luke, A. (2002). Slow Design: A Paradigm Shift in Design Philosophy? Retrieved from http://wenku.baidu.com/view/fa238e57f01dc281e43af004.html.

Friedman, M. (1970). The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase Its Profits. New York Time Magazine, 32(13), 32-33.

Giron, M.E. (2010). Inside Luxury. London: LID Publishing Ltd.. Guercini, S., and Ranfagni, S. (2012). Social and Green Sustainability and the Italian Mediterranean Fashion Brands. EUROMED Congress Marseille, 28-29 June.

Hennigs, N., Wiedmann, K.-P., and Klarmann, Ch. (2012). What is the value of luxury? A cross-cultural consumer perspective. Psychology & Marketing, 29(12), 1018-1034.

Hoffmann, J., and Coste-Maniere, I. (2012). Luxury Strategy in Action. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hong, P., Kwon, H., and Roh, J.J. (2009). Implementation of Strategic Green Orientation in Supply Chain. European Journal of Innovation Management, 12(4), 512-532.

Kapferer, J.N. (1997). Managing luxury brands. Journal of Brand Management, 4(4), 251-260.

Kapferer, J.N. (2006). The Two Business Cultures of Luxury Brands. In Schroeder, J.E., and Salzer-Mörling, M. (Eds.). Brand Culture (pp.67–76). New York: Routledge.

Janseen, C., Vanhamme, J., Lindgreen, A., and Levebvre, C. (2013). The Catch-22 of Responsible Luxury: Effects of Luxury Products Characteristics on Consumers’ Perception of fit with Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), 45-57.

Nielsen (2015). The Luxury Retail Landscape Report. Retrieved from http://www.nielsen.com/content /dam/corporate/us/en/reportsdownloads/2015-reports/luxury-retail-landscape-report-may-2015.pdf.

Ochkoskaya, M. (2015). Perception and Consumption of Global Luxury Brands in Russia and Romania: Comparative Cross-Cultural Aspects. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 3(2), 279-300.

Pavione, E., and Pezzetti, R. (2014). Emerging Competitive Strategies in the Luxury Sector: Exploitation of the Mass-Market Vs Refocusing on the High-End Segment. 17th Toulon-Verona (ICQSS) Conference, Excellence in Services, Liverpool, John Moores University, Liverpool 28-29 August 2014.

Pavione, E., and Pezzetti, R.(2015). Responsible and Sustainable Luxury in the Global Market: New Emerging Strategies in the Luxury Sector. In Brătianu, C., Zbuchea, A., Pînzaru, F., Vătămănescu, E.M., and Leon, R.D. (Eds). Strategica. International Academic Conference: Local Versus Global (pp.73-80). Bucharest: Tritonic.

Phau, I., and Prendergast, G. (2000). Consuming Luxury Brands. The Relevance of the “Rarity Principle. Journal of Brand Management, 8(2), 122-138.

Porter, M.E., and Kramer, M.R. (2002). The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy. Harvard Business Review, 80(12), 5-16.

Ricca, M., and Robins, R. (2012). Meta-luxury. Brands and the Culture for Excellence. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Ricchetti, M., and Frisa, M.L. (2011). Il bello e il buono. Le ragioni della moda sostenibile. Venezia: Marsilio Editori.

Saidi, S., Mohiuddin, M., Su, Z., and Chrysostome, E. (2010). Challenges and Strategies of French Luxury Goods Marketing in Advanced Emerging Countries: A Case Study of Chinese Luxury Consumers. In Benefits and Pitfalls of Relocating Businesses in Emerging and Developing. Retrieved from http://ssrn.com/abstract=1992753.

Sungsook, A., (2015). The Effect of Luxury Product Pricing on Consumers’s Perception about CSR Activities. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal; 19(3), 5-11.

Viale, G. (2010). La civiltà del riuso. Bari: Laterza.

Wiedmann, K.-P., Hennigs, N., and Siebels, A. (2012). Value-based segmentation of luxury consumption behavior. Psychology & Marketing, 26(7), 625-651.

Yin, R.K. (2013). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. London: SAGE Pubblication.




How to Cite

PAVIONE, E., PEZZETTI, R., & DALL’AVA, M. (2016). Emerging Competitive Strategies in the Global Luxury Industry in the Perspective of Sustainable Development: the Case of Kering Group. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 4(2), 241–261. Retrieved from https://www.managementdynamics.ro/index.php/journal/article/view/162