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Why Luxury Brands Are Selling Novelty Items

23 December 2019

Branded Novelty Items – Hows, Whats and Whys

 

Hello Aluxers! We are sure many of you love indulging in novelty items and gifting them to your loved ones, well in today’s article we are going to take a closer look at the novelty items industry and try to explore,”why our favourite luxury brands are investing in this new category?”

 

It’s understand if you don’t want to read the so much after a long day which is why, here is a Youtube video that you can listen to while chilling.

For all the readers, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

What If?

What if you could buy a gift designed by your favourite luxury brand without a stretch? What if you could customize a luxury novelty item without paying an extra price for it? What if you could get a gift sold by your favourite luxury brand shipped to your address in less than 100$?

Well Aluxers from Burberry to Gucci, there are several Luxury brands that are investing in novelty, and before we explore what these brands are about to do with this newly introduced category, let’s get to the basics.

Introduction

Aluxers some of you might be wondering what do we exactly mean when we say novelty items, well we have got you covered. The term novelty refers to fancy additions that serve no particular functional requirements, but are appropriate as gifts or are often bought for their uniqueness.

In the luxury industry, novelty items are also popularly known as Tchotchke [Cha-ch-ka] a Yeddish term that means a trinket. Now, if you are still wondering why will anyone buy something that does not serve utility, we would like to tell you that the novelty items market is expected to grow by 16.33 Billion USD by 2023.

At present, Burberry teddy bears, Fendi key rings, alphabet bracelet charms are some of the most popular luxury novelty items sold worldwide.One might wonder what can these small items possibly contribute to world’s major luxury brands,so let us take a closer look at the bigger business they bring in.

Resource: Burberry’s Latest Banner Bag Sells for More Than $2,000

Small Goods Big Business

At present the novelty category is thriving and contributing to major sales for the famous luxury brands.Since the skill and craftsmanship required in making novelty items is far less as compared to the making of their merchandise counterparts, the novelty category contributes to greater profit margins.The world’s top 7 luxury brands have already entered the novelty segment and the category of small luxury goods is expected to grow to 7.5 billion USD by 2020.

Annually small leather goods contribute a major chunk for the luxury brands but in the last few years, trinkets carrying the brand’s DNA are performing very well in the small goods category.Trinkets like Burberry’s Thomas teddy bear which is completely crafted in England and printed with the brand’s signature checkered print is priced between $588 to $633, while Moschino is adapting to new needs of consumers and has launched kitsch phone covers priced less than 100$.

Renowned accessories designers like Anya Hindmarch have designed leather smiley stickers grossing sales of millions in just two fashion seasons, and brands like Fendi are adopting this trend for selling add ons with their leather hand bags. With majority of the novelty goods contributing to millions of dollars in business annually, they are helping to build loyalty in this new category, so let us try to understand what makes these novelty items so appealing to the consumers worldwide-

Why are People Buying Novelty?

On an average the average luxury consumers tend to spend less over others than what they spend on themselves and when it comes to gifting this trend becomes even more obvious. With occasions like Christmas and Valentines coming every year, many of the luxury consumers tend to purchase novelty for gifting purpose. The world’s top iconic luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Gucci launched a range of novelty items for gifting purpose in the christmas of 2018.

These novelty items included things like bracelet charms with the brands iconic logo or notebook with the brand’s signature monogram on it. All of these items had a selling price of less than 200 USD and were strategically priced near to the brand’s cheapest product which was a pair of socks in most of the cases.The french luxury brand Hermes took a less chosen path and launched a soap for men and women as a christmas gift with its iconic logo stamped on it, and interestingly the price point was 25 USD for women and 35 USD for men.

The opportunity of customization is one of the most sought after option when it comes to gifting, and with the advent of technology luxury brands today are offering a wide range of customized novelty items in the gifing segments. Burberry has candles with customized Mother’s day cards, while Hermes offers incense sticks that come with customized cards.

These novelty items are available round the year for various gifting occasions and are shipped for free by the ecommerce sites of the respective luxury brands. Aluxers you would be surprised to know that some of these items are available in less than 100 USD even if we include taxes, amazed right?

Aluxers any guesses which is the biggest luxury novelty market in the world after the US? Well interestingly its Japan, many luxury brands sell unique novelty items specially designed for their Japanese consumers, and we suggest you grab these unique gifts whenever you get a chance to explore this beautiful nation.

Well now if you are thinking that novelty items are only for gifting purposes we would like you to know that’s just one of the major reasons they are bought for. Although gifting market is growing every year, there are also many wannabe luxury consumers who cannot afford to stretch to buy a luxury apparel or handbag for themselves and settle down for a novelty item sold by their favourite luxury brand.

Well if you are willing to own a chanel haute couture dress you might have to splurge anything between 40,000$ to 80,000$, but a double mirror with a chanel logo on it will hardly cost you 35$. Thus novelty items act as an entry point for these wannabe Luxury consumers and help in creating brand awareness amongst their probable customer, but do they also diminish the brand value and exclusivity of luxury brands?

Resource: Let’s Talk About the Lacquered Bidocoro Luxury Toilet You Only See In Japan

Challenges and Threats

Luxury goods are known to have exorbitant price tags, and given the rich heritage they carry those price tags never stop their target customers from purchasing them. But the proliferation of low value novelty items can result in frowning patrons, since they may perceive it as a degradation of their favourite brand.

Exclusivity is synonymous with luxury and sale of novelty items by the luxury brands seriously threatens this key attribute. Now although the luxury brands are protected with patents and licences to control the use of their logos and styles, novelty items can be replicated far more easily as compared to their merchandise counterparts.

Also, the patrons can easily make out the difference between a mockup merchandise and the orignal skillfully crafted one, but how can they possible differentiate between an original trinket and a mockup one especially when even the parity between the price points is low.

The novelty items definitely offer great business opportunities for the high end luxury brands to increase their brand awareness and widen their customer base, but are their high end customers happy with that, well of course not.Perception plays an important role in the luxury branding market and high end customers may not perceive the idea of their sought after brands selling goods priced below 100$ in a good spirit.

Majority of the luxury brands have diversified their product range over the years to include fragrances and small leather goods that are priced lower as compared to their mainstream merchandise in order to keep their business running. But selling anything and everything starting from candle to a Haute couture dress may be perceived as a greater push by their aspirational patrons.

Conclusion

With gifting category growing stronger over the years one can definitely expect many brands entering the novelty segment, and who doesn’t want a piece of luxury if not the entire cake? With array of novelty items in an affordable price range luxury brands have definitely made gifting easier but we hope these brands take the right steps to maintain exclusivity of their goods and their aspirational brand value even in the novelty category.

Question

Aluxers we know we have a large international audience and would love to know what you think about the novelty items sold by the famous luxury brands? Are you someone who would buy them for yourself or your loved ones as gifts or do you believe they are totally worthless?