Stern Adds New Luxury Marketing MBA Program

Following the success of their "Luxury Launch" course last year, Luxury Marketing is NYU Stern's new MBA program.

RETRACTION – March 3, 11:38 p.m.

On March 2, 2016, Washington Square News published an article concerning Stern’s luxury marketing track that contained significant factual inaccuracies. The article in question stated that Stern had added a Luxury Marketing MBA program to its course offerings, a program which had begun last semester. However, WSN later learned that while Stern already had a luxury marketing specialization in its MBA program in place for several years, the school was not in fact planning to add an individual program for it. WSN has opted to retract the information presented in this article and sincerely regrets the error. The original article can be viewed below.

—Alex Bazeley, editor-in-chief

This semester, NYU’s Stern School of Business will be adding a new department to its MBA program: Luxury Marketing. An extension of the existing Marketing department, luxury marketing courses will provide graduate students with the perspective and skills required to succeed in the luxury sector.

Built around an existing introductory course, the new specialization includes classes like “Luxury Launch,” “Brand Strategy” and “Creativity.” These classes will focus on the luxury industry’s two selling points: brand image and strong customer relationships.

Traditionally seen in European business schools, luxury marketing departments have recently become more common in the United States. The Luxury Marketing program’s director, Thomai Serdari said business schools like Stern are leveraging their geographic location to create new opportunities for students in the luxury sector.

“A lot of European luxury firms have their headquarters in New York City and a few in New Jersey,” Serdari said. “It made perfect sense for Stern to create the Luxury Marketing specialization to address that need in the market.”

Serdari also said luxury can be found in markets other than fashion, expanding the luxury model to other industries.  

“When thinking of luxury one needs to think of luxury fashion, jewelry, accessories but also furniture, musical instruments or automobiles,” Serdari said. “Most of these firms are located in New York.”

Serdari also suggests that luxury marketing requires a different set of skills than traditional marketing does. Students need to understand creative strategy and how to use it to create a competitive advantage.

“In luxury marketing, one learns to think about a specific type of client who is very different from people who buy for cost effectiveness,” Serdari said. “Luxury customers are motivated by beauty, art or social status. It is therefore a much more emotionally driven commercial field and much more difficult to penetrate without the adequate training.”

Another element of the luxury marketing specialization is the opportunity for graduate students to study abroad. Russell Winer, an academic advisor for the program, highlighted this.

“Stern has a very large DBI (Doing Business In…) menu of country visit options, including trips to China, France and England,” Winer said. “These provide the opportunity for visits to Shanghai, Paris and London, which are huge luxury markets.”

Winer also outlined an ideal candidate for studying luxury marketing.

“Any student with an interest in consumer products and retailing would be interested in luxury, one of the largest consumer goods categories,” Winer said. “Students should expect to be able to take their general marketing knowledge gained from other marketing courses and apply it to the luxury industry.”

Undergraduate Stern students will also have a role in the development of the MBA program.

Currently, “Luxury Marketing” and “Advanced Luxury Marketing” are offered to undergraduates, with more courses in retail strategy, fashion strategy and merchandising to come. In the future, a luxury marketing degree may be available for undergraduate business students.

In the meantime, Stern students are enthusiastic about the curriculum developments. Freshman Umang Parikh appreciated the idea and is considering taking some of the classes.

“Being in New York, it makes sense that we offer a luxury marketing specialization,” Parikh said. “This will be another way that Stern can use its location to distinguish itself from other business schools.”

Email Thomas Peracchio at [email protected] 

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