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"Legitimately Luxurious: The Importance of Authenticity to Luxury Brands", Business Horizons


In recent years, many mass-market firms have struggled, while luxury firms have enjoyed growing success. The polarization in incomes and growth in wealthy consumers has fueled new opportunities for luxury brands. In 2020, for example, the market capitalization of Ferrari surpassed that of Ford, maker of the F-150 pickup truck, the best-selling vehicle in the United States for many years. As firms pivot to embrace new opportunites in luxury, some have stumbled, failing to understand differences between mass and luxury markets. One very important difference, we suggest, is the importance of brand authenticity to luxury consumers. In this paper, we illustrate the importance of brand authenticity with the experience of two firms—Canada Goose and Shinola Detroit—as they seek to enter the luxury market. We explore how brand authenticity helps explain the success of one and struggle of the other. We conclude with a discussion of the lessons of these two brands for other firms seeking entering the luxury market.




Gregory Carpenter, Guy Goldstein

Date Published



Carpenter, Gregory, and Guy Goldstein. 2022. "Legitimately Luxurious: The Importance of Authenticity to Luxury Brands". Business Horizons.: 631-642.


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