Disclaimer: These are all researched based findings from the internet, I am not revealing any company’s secrets. The information was gathered solely from news and their official websites, links are provided accordingly.
Last year, I wrote an article about how this 166-year- old brand still managed to attract younger generations, and I wrote…
They didn’t do any billboard advertisements, so how did they do it?
I like to think that their alternative to billboard ads is their window displays.
Take a look at the picture above, see that strange window display? It’s part of Louis Vuitton’s way to get the bypasser’s attention in a unique way.
Louis Vuitton has a history of having bizarre window displays in all their stores. It’s rare to find any human statues carrying their bags or wearing their outfits at their front displays, it’s always something strange and unique. And even if they do have those human statues displays, it’d be accompanied by something bizarre like a dinosaur skeleton (Yes, they actually did that). They have been doing this for a long time, and it’s actually part of their marketing strategy.
Here’s why they do it:
1) It’s Part Of Their History
Louis Vuitton is always about history, they never stray away from that core value in every aspect. The bags they sold explains it, the designs really go back to the origins of the company.
That’s why if you ever asked someone what’s the company has to offer, most people would say that they are classic. They always go back to their routes.
When Mr. Louis Vuitton first founded his store, the strategy wasn’t adopted yet until his grandchild was born, Mr. Gaston Louis Vuitton (1883–1970). He was the man who started the bizarre window displays for the company, and it worked quite well since today its method is still being adopted.
A little bit of knowledge about the man himself, Mr. Gaston Louis Vuitton was known as the aesthetic of the family, and quite a visionary as well. Most of the concept of traveling that is adopted in the bags came from him, basically, his interest in travel was implemented to the company to this day.
For example, say the travel stickers that are usually found on some of the Louis Vuitton bags, that was his idea. In the early 1920s, hotel stickers and postcards were part of the great travel souvenirs, and Mr. Gaston loved collecting those. So before Pokemon cards were a thing to collect, this was Mr. Gaston’s favorite thing to collect.
As for his window displays, that too was inspired by his interests in traveling.
“Let’s turn the street into a cheerful space. By our daily renewed efforts let’s draw the passer-by, let’s give him a reason to dawdle, to stroll!” — Mr. Gaston Louis Vuitton, 1925.
His passion for reinventing what it means to stroll around the streets changed how displays should be in the Louis Vuitton company.
According to the official website of Louis Vuitton, in those days, store windows displays need to be changed every so often. Since there must be many reinventions to do pretty much every week, he made the most of its display by combining his sophisticated ideas and his passion together, and voila, the birth of the bizarre displays that became one of the strengths of the company.
To this day, the company is still implementing Mr. Gaston’s ideas for their window displays. It’s a representation that they are respecting their history by keeping his ideas.
2) Differentiating Themselves From Competitors With Art
Mr. Gaston himself is considered a business and artistic man, that’s why he allowed this to happen. Although it’s not said whether this was his intention to differentiate the company from competitors, it did stand out very well.
The current CEO of LVMH, Mr. Bernard Arnault, once mentioned that he allowed the artists to take over the creative aspects:
“You don’t “manage” John Galliano, the wildly iconoclastic head of the House of Dior, just as no one could have “managed” Leonardo da Vinci or Frank Lloyd Wright.” — Bernard Arnault, 2020.
In other words, he doesn’t want to intervene with their creative strategy and vision the way Warner Bros did with their Justice League.
To be frank, I’m not certain how the Louis Vuitton Marketeers and artists discuss the window displays. Were the Marketeers in charge or the artists on the decisions for every reinvention? However, you can tell that creative minds are required to come up with this kind of idea for their window displays.
Most stores I pass by don’t use these kinds of artistic methods. Most will always have their products on display, nothing more, nothing less. You can see this a lot in malls, it’s either faceless statues or just the product itself upfront.
And then, there is Louis Vuitton and its bizarre displays with their products.
3) Grab Attention.
I once wrote how Mr. Trump is a marketing genius because he skillfully grabbed nearly every media’s attention all over the world with his words such as “Bomb the sh*t”, “Build a wall”, etc. He used this to grab the media’s attention, which in turn, gave him free marketing during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Louis Vuitton does the same thing, except with art (and no politics involved).
As I mentioned before, if you ever pass by fashion stores, especially high-end brands, most of their displays would always be faceless statues with bags hanging on their hands or wearing their clothes. That’s the typical display of most fashion stores.
And then, there is Louis Vuitton:
See this window display? The skeleton is so huge it seems that it may overshadow its own product, and there is only one bag hanging in its hand. And notice how they are combining their history with prehistoric animals, they are, once again, using history to market their products.
It seems that Louis Vuitton was trying to create a “WTF” reaction to the by passers to grab attention, and as you can see here, it worked a little too well to the point they snap pictures. I’m quite certain that they’ll share it on social media.
And if they do share it on social media, that’s how Louis Vuitton got free marketing from the bypassers thanks to their bizarre display.
This is how they grab attention.
There are so many high-end fashion brands in the world (though LVMH pretty much-bought half of them, namely Dior, Bulgari, and Marc Jacobs), one needs to know how to make themselves stand out. And Louis Vuitton took it to another level in the area of attention-grabbing through art.
Louis Vuitton still uses Mr. Gaston’s method of bizarre displays. You can pass by a Louis Vuitton store today and find that they are still using his methods.
It has been used since his reign and to this day, enabling the company to still preserve its history.
The reason behind it, based on my speculation, was to:
- Preserve history
- Grab attention
If there’s one thing that Louis Vuitton is good at, it is to push their art to the max until it reaches their marketing department. Hence, a clever method to not only differentiate their brand from other luxury brands but a genius way to immediately grab the attention of bypassers and represent their histories to them, thus keeping their core value fresh for generations to come.