Compared to other brands, Goyard is a well-kept secret among handbag connoisseurs. The French luggage maker, Goyard, was established in 1792 well before many of its luxury peers like Louis Vuitton (1854), Chanel (1909) and Gucci (1921). Despite its long history, Goyard has remained somewhat under the radar – and almost intentionally so. Goyard does not advertise and only has a handful of stores. Even though they may not have the same public name recognition as other big brands, Goyard has an elite, loyal following and people are still dying to buy their bags…but the question is why?
How has Goyard managed to garner so much success in the luxury world as a “silent” player? Let’s investigate some of the reasons…
Reason #1: Exclusivity and Heritage
From the beginning, Goyard has had a pool of very wealthy and even royal clientele. The French trunk maker specialized in producing luggage for the aristocracy in the 19th and 20th centuries. According to their website, many iconic names have toted Goyard including the Maharaja of Kapurthala, the Rockefellers, the Romanovs, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Karl Lagerfeld.
Although Goyard has the golden mark of approval from some of society’s most elite, Goyard has also earned a leading reputation for its impeccable quality. Goyard bags are made to last and usually have a very simple, sophisticated look to help highlight the signature monogram print. The Goyard Saint Louis tote is one of the brand’s most popular bags. Even here on PurseBop, after introducing our reference guide on the Goyard Saint Louis Tote, we’ve noticed a huge surge in Goyard interest as well.
Overall, Goyard isn’t too highly saturated in the market and greatly appeals to fashionistas looking for higher quality bags. Finding Goyard bags can be quiet the challenge though. Goyard products are exclusively available at Goyard boutiques. There are only two Maison Goyard stores in the US – in New York and San Francisco. Other boutique locations include Beverly Hills, Boston, Chicago, and Miami. At the flagship store in Paris, it is not uncommon to see a line of customers waiting outside since the store only accommodates a certain amount of people at time.
Reason #2: The Ad-Free Approach
In the tech age, many brands heavily push their online marketing campaigns and social media to promote their products. While the internet can be a useful tool, brands like Goyard seem to realize that big marketing and an online presence can cause more trouble than its worth (Read: Internet Causes Brand Fatigue for Handbag Companies). As reported by Business of Fashion, Goyard as a company “boasts a complete disregard for marketing or mass-production [and] doesn’t engage in any form of e-commerce.” Goyard does not advertise in any form – nothing print nor digital. Shoppers that become interested in Goyard usually discover the brand through word of mouth, their own research, or sightings from peers and celebrities.
Goyard’s lack of advertising is one of the reasons why brand remains relatively unknown, but this “invisibility” works to their advantage. Goyard is able to maintain its exclusivity by attracting consumers that will genuinely appreciate the products.
Reason #3: Small Business Model, Big Profits
Goyard has a rich history and a long chain of ownership. Despite some shifts in the company, Goyard still remains the last of its kind and hasn’t been bought out by a bigger luxury company such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton or Kering. LVMH manages other fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Givenchy, Dior and Celine among many more. Kering is the owner of Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Gucci, Saint Laurent and a few other luxury brands.
Over the years, Goyard has remained “within the family” and was passed down from father to son. In 1998, Jean-Michel Signoles, an avid Goyard collector, bought the company and helped re-invent Goyard with the help of his own two sons, Alex and Remi. Since then Signoles has grown the company slowly by pumping in capital, refurbishing the Paris Saint-Honore store, and opening more outlets in different parts of the world. His strategy has proven to be successful as filings from Paris’s Commercial Court show that revenues skyrocketed to €41.1 million in 2013, the latest available data on the company, from €1.14 million in 2000. Profits also increased to €12.8 million from €18,000 in this period.
Things for Goyard are so far, so good! Yet, this doesn’t mean that future success is guaranteed. As predicted by CEO of the Luxury Institute in New York, Milton Pedraza, Goyard may need a little help going forward:
“To reach a critical mass where it can survive and thrive on a larger scale, while remaining unique and exclusive, it will need the larger capital and know-how that larger groups can provide, as happened for Bottega Veneta with Kering, or Vuitton with LVMH.”
Since Goyard is such a popular brand in our community, PurseBop has extensively covered many of Goyard’s bags in our features and reference guides. Get familiar with the Goyard collection in the articles below…
So, maybe Goyard might have some competition…PurseBop learned a lot about Fauré Le Page Bags on her last trip to Paris. Read about how this monogram bag maker just might be Goyard’s biggest rival!
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Goyard has proven to be truly one of a kind so far, but can Goyard still thrive without significantly expanding its reach? Do you think other brands could emulate Goyard’s success by taking the same steps to maintain exclusivity?
Share your thoughts in the conversation on BopTalk and post all your Goyard related pictures!