Hermès is an old traditional family-owned business, whose core product was first leather industry for horse riding and then it diversified so that the brand now provides perfumes, hats, home furniture, clothes, and silk products ( like the famous “carré Hermès”, in The Devil wears Prada…).It is known for the very high quality of its products; the firm has progressively integrated the craftsmen that work for it, in order to ensure this reputation of excellence: the Kelly bag, named after Princess Grace Kelly, is completely hand-made. The silk available in every single Hermès ‘s store all over the world comes from a single manufactory near Lyon, which is a town historically known for its fine silk products. This feature enables the brand to avoid aggressive advertising, unlike PPR (another French brand that owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, etc) who highly count on marketing.
Hermès has always implemented a paradoxical strategy which could be summarize as follows: the less visible, the more valuable
As far as Retail value Proposition is concerned, I would say that Hermès ‘s strength consists in Selection and Experience; last year, the firm abandoned a product named “fourre-tout” –a sort of hold all- because it did not match the standards Hermes wants to embodies. As Experience is concerned, just enter a store and you will feel like entering an old aristocratic house, with wooden floor, fine porcelain on the wall, beautiful furniture… Coming into such a store makes you feel like being part of Hermès history : the firm sells you a part of the myth that helps it to stay alive: its French being!
This is is the last but not least strength of the brand :” France” has a very special sound abroad; it seems that France means Paris, which means elegance, love and luxury. This deeply entrenched cliché is one of the strongest comparative advantage of Hermès that enables the brand to stand when many firms stumble. The dream you can see in people’s eyes when they think about France is enshrined in a brand such as Hermès and ensures it most of its succes.