Professor Suzanne Godfrey has over 20 years of experience as a brand and communications expert
With at least a million newly minted millionaires ready to spend, spend, spend, it's no surprise that luxury brands are falling over themselves to win a place in the heart of the wealthy Chinese consumer.
Chinese University of Hong Kong has launched a new luxury brand management elective, in response to the rising demand for luxury goods and services in the region. The course will be offered as an elective within the Marketing concentration of the full-time MBA programme.
In 2012, global consulting firm Bain & Co. predicted that the global luxury goods market would grow 6 to 7 per cent, despite continuing economic turmoil. Their study showed that markets in the USA and Europe remained strong; India and Russia regained buoyancy; and that there was an increased focus by luxury brands on Central Asia, South-east Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The luxury market in China grew 18 to 20 per cent, with a shift from wholesale to direct-owned retail. The Chinese University of Hong Kong MBA has launched the Luxury Brand Management elective in response to these factors.
The course aims to give students an appreciation of the range of luxury products and services within the industry. They includes fashion, jewellery, fine wines and spirits, as well as travel and elite sports such as yachting and golf.
The course introduces students to the specific challenges of brand and image management, retail distribution and control of the channel, brand extensions and portfolio management. It will also explore counterfeiting and the black and grey markets, and the role of digital media in branding luxury goods and services.
In the video below, course leader Professor Godfrey explains that the course will look at the changes within the industry, and in consumer behaviour, with case studies drawn from around the world.
There will be opportunities for students to go on field trips and to engage directly with the local luxury industry. There will be plenty of guest speakers to lend industry insights.
Professor Godfrey realises the value of internships as a way of getting more permanent roles and has plans to help students gain work experience.
Prof. Godfrey has over 20 years of experience as a brand and communications expert. She has worked with multinational companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé and Danone. She also has extensive experience of launching and developing brands in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Europe. Prof.Godfrey previously Marketing Communications at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the US.