“Fine craftsmanship” has been Hermès’ founding principle since 1837. Today, this dedication to quality continues to influence every decision—from its meticulous, handcrafted production process to a “slow-but-steady” sales approach that favors supply over demand. This ongoing commitment to exceptional craftsmanship is clearly paying off—Hermès’ brand value has increased an impressive 22 percent, and 2015 third-quarter sales were up 9.5 percent in Europe and 19.1 percent in Japan. It is Hermès’ timeless designs—still popular more than a century later—that allow the aspirational brand to maintain quality and integrity, while strengthening its relevance and resonance for new generations.
Hermès is a true house of heritage: expansive in reach and influence, but rooted in tradition and also human by nature. Its collections are made in a network of workshops across France by craftspeople trained over a number of years in the ways of Hermès’ savoir faire. The design and functionality of the object are paramount, and though Hermès could simply repurpose signature pieces, this house chooses to reinvent and refresh its designs in unique and inspiring ways.
While Hermès is serious about craftsmanship, its creations are intended to inspire a dreamy lightness—and its communications strategy follows suit. The current theme is “Flâneur Forever,” which inspires customers to engage in more playful ways with the company and look at the world through a slower, more thoughtful lens. The Wanderland exhibition that traveled through London and Paris was a fine example—Hermès offered a fresh and memorable experience for visitors by opening up its own heart and soul.
Hermès’ stock, like its brand value, has experienced significant growth, rising 125 percent over the past five years. Such growth demonstrates how a high-end heritage brand can be bold, relevant, innovative, and unequivocally itself—even 178 years after it was created.