Great deal of 'Cake' isn't worth digesting

Since the 1980s, luxury has been redefined. What was once seen as luxury has become necessity. Think cell phones and Starbucks.

Since the 1980s, luxury has been redefined. What was once seen as luxury has become necessity. Think cell phones and Starbucks.

So Danziger tells us in this book. She cites case studies from Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, even a cosmetic surgeon. It's all highly informative, historically valuable, sometimes fascinating.

But some of the rest - the analysis of What All This Means - is iffy. Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, seeks to guide us toward making our brands more luxurious, to explain the luxury marketing "paradigm," to categorize consumer personalities. Here the problems begin.

All told, Cake reads like a long PowerPoint presentation. It goes on too long about how luxury is rooted in human desire, a craving for experience, emotion that goes beyond cash. The 11 "lessons" shared generally evoke more "ho hum" than "a ha."

Some marketers will find this book rewarding. For most of us, it's a luxury we can do without.

Title Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury To The Masses - As Well As The Classes

Author Pamela Danziger

Publisher Dearborn Trade (January 2005), 320 pages

Reviewed by Bob Brody, SVP/media specialist, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

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