Innovation in Luxury Fashion Businesses as a Means for the Regional Development

Innovation in Luxury Fashion Businesses as a Means for the Regional Development

Elisa Giacosa (University of Turin, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9567-2.ch010
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The focus of this chapter is to provide scientific evidence to luxury fashion businesses for competing in a competitive global market, providing for further research opportunities of the innovation strategy. Thanks to a qualitative method, in this chapter it emerged that the innovation strategy may focus on different elements, such as products and processes according to the framework distinction. Even if the distinction between products and processes is not always clear-cut, it has several implications. In this chapter, the connection between the company and its territory permits the creation of some networks between several parties, producing a regional development: they could improve the competitiveness of the company, creating an increased advantage against its competitors.
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Considering the luxury sector as an élite phenomenon, the reference target is represented by an élite group of extra-rich people. Nevertheless, due to luxury democratization, companies operate in two different luxury levels: non-affordable luxury and affordable luxury.

This research fits into this area of study. It analyses how a strategy of innovation in terms of products and processes can offer a competitive advantage to large and medium-sized luxury fashion companies. In addition, it verifies the role of the innovation strategy as a means for the regional development, representing a competitive advantage for all the companies operating in this context.

The particular benefits offered by its content is represented by a business model that companies could be adopted in order to manage such strategies of innovation efficiently and effectively, also for the purpose of educating customers to appreciate more innovative products.

The treatise was conducted using qualitative approach. I observed multiple internationally-recognised luxury large and medium-sized companies, which are characterised by a highly innovative business approach that has been handed down from generation to generation.

The literature review brought to light a lack of analyses of innovation policies in large and medium-sized luxury sector, in order to identify the impact of the company innovation strategy on the regional development.

The chapter is structured as follows. The background paragraph focuses on the main researches about the context of the luxury business (core luxury business and no-core luxury business) and the different types of luxury (non-affordable luxury and affordable luxury), as this distinction is useful for better understanding the content of the research. In this context, the innovation strategy represents one of the most relevant topic, as the benefits for both the company competitive advantage and the regional development may be so strong. The main focus of the chapter is on some issues, controversies and problems of the innovation strategy, in terms of the company competitive advantage and the regional development. The future research directions and, lastly, the conclusions of the research permit to identity the contributions of this chapter.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Company Context: It is the context in which a company operates, that affects the company’s input–output logic and impacts on the consumption choices of individuals.

Luxury Sector: It is made up of a number of luxury companies that share one or more of the following criteria: the process of acquiring the productive factors; the process of manufacturing goods and services; and the process of distributing them.

Process Innovation: It is focused on the introduction of a new operating method, or improving an existing method in the production, commercial, administrative and managerial area, or generating a new way of using a production factor in order to increase efficiency in terms of cost, quality and service.

Product Innovation: It focuses on a new product or on improvement of the intrinsic qualities of an existing product, in which the consumer perceives a benefit in terms of greater utility compared with the existing products.

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