Category Archives: Consumption

Jean Jacques Lebel speaking on the Universalization of L’Oréal.

L'Oreal and Universalization

L’Oreal and Universalization

Speaking as a guest of Professor Rajiv Lal at the Harvard Business School, Monsieur Jean Jacques Lebel, outlined the logic behind the universalization strategy that L’Oréal has been implementing throughout the French cosmetics firm. This policy aims to leverage the advantages of having a global brand and adapt them to emerging markets in order to give new consumers a product that they feel in relevant and adapted to their needs.  Continue reading

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Filed under Advanced Management Program, AMP, AMP Harvard, Business Schools, Communication, Consumer Behavior, Consumption, Corporate strategy, Harvard Business School, India, Innovation, Marketing, Strategy, USA

BOOK REVIEW: “The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education, and Work Organization” by Mats Alvesson (2013)

The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education, and Work OrganizationReview by Philip Warwick

Mats Alvesson’s latest work centres on the depiction of three contemporary conditions of modern western society:  grandiosity, illusion tricks and zero sum games; principle among these being grandiosity.  Alvesson argues that behind the seemingly impressive façades, there is little to show for consumption, economic growth, prosperity or mass higher education.  He ends the book with the rather downbeat conclusion… underlying the grandiose society’s illusion tricks is the triumph of emptiness.

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Filed under Book Review, Business Schools, Consumer Behavior, Consumption, Guest Authors, Higher Education, Leadership, Psychology, Sociology, Strategy

BOOK REVIEW: “Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know” by David A. Moss (2007)

Concise Guide to Macroeconomics: What Managers, Executives, and Students Need to Know“A Concise Guide to Macroeconomics” is an introduction to some of the main concepts and theories around the discipline.  It centers on three basic pillars: output, money, and expectations.  The book is essentially designed for managers and executives who may not be familiar with the main theories of macroeconomics.  David Moss uses considerable experience he has gained, teaching at Harvard Business School, and particularly on executive education programs, to bring some complex issues to the reader in a very simple way.

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Consumption, Economics, Finance, Strategy, USA

BOOK REVIEW: “The Art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar (2010)

The Art of ChoosingIn a magazine interview, Catherine Zeta-Jones, the Welsh actress and wife of Michael Douglas, describes one of her daily chores, which involve making choices. 

It is,” she said, “deciding whether to buy that beautiful little dress she had found while shopping in California, knowing full well that the shoes you need to go with it were in one of your homes in the Caribbean or Europe.”  

Pity the rich and famous!

We have more choices today than we have ever had in history and yet making countless decisions each day may be a burden rather than a pleasure.  In this excellent book, which brings in scientific research and personal examples, Dr. Sheena Iyengar, Professor at Columbia University, describes just why some of these choices are so difficult. 

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Filed under Book Review, Consumer Behavior, Consumption, Economics, India, Psychology, USA

BOOK REVIEW: “Trading Up: Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods–and How Companies Create Them” by Michael Silverstein & Neil Fiske (2008)

Cover PicIt’s been about 15 years now, since sociologists and marketers were amazed to discover a new phenomenon.  BMW is parked in front of our discount stores.  Why would somebody who pays fifty or sixty thousand pounds for a car want to save 50 cents on a liter of milk? The answer was, of course, that they were ‘trading up.’  An explanation of this can be found in this excellent book.  Trading up is what consumers are prepared to pay a premium price for certain products that they think bring more luxury.  It can be in many different areas, from Belvedere vodka or Boston Beer which costs 50% more than standard beers.  It can be in things like pub food or in the doll industry, with American Girl. 

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Filed under Book Review, Business, Consumer Behavior, Consumption, Entrepreneurship, Luxury, Society, USA