What the Oktoberfest and Luxury have in common

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Every year from Mid-September until the first week-end of October Munich hosts the biggest festival worldwide. Over 7 Million visitors from the whole world squeeze through the 16 gigantic beer tents that can host over 3000 guests each.

I always recommend my international friends to experience this huge festival at least once in their life if you don’t come from the region. Without doubt, the Oktoberfest is famous for the huge amounts of beer served during the 2 weeks: over 1 billion liters!

Therefore, it might surprise when I say that there are lots of parallels between the biggest beer festival in the world and luxury.

1. Tradition

The most famous luxury brands can look back to a history of more than 100 years. Many of them emerged at the beginning of the 19th century, like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Cartier. Did you know that the creation of the Oktoberfest goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, precisely the year 1810. The idea of the Oktoberfest emerged after the royal wedding between Prince Regent Ludwig of Bavaria, the later King Ludwig I, and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. To organize an entertaining wedding they organized a horse race which took place at a huge meadow close to the center of Munich named after the bride. The people were so fond of this event that they claimed to keep it and expand it to a huge and fun festival. The Oktoberfest was born. Some of the original attractions are still maintained just as the traditional clothes that everyone is supposed to wear who joins the Oktoberfest: the Dirndl and Lederhosen.

 

2.     Iconic Brands 

Luxury brands have iconic codes, colors, easily recognizable through strong logos. At the Oktoberfest, the most iconic beer brands set up their own tents. Each tent is beautifully decorated with the symbols and in the color codes of each brand. The most famous one: Lowenbräu represented by the Bavarian Lion, held in blue, white and golden colors.

Therefore, it might surprise when I say that there are lots of parallels between the biggest beer festival in the world and luxury.

3.     Craftsmanship and heritage

Luxury brands put importance on craftsmanship and quality. Quality comes from the use of carefully selected raw materials. In the beer tradition, each year the best beer brands in Germany compete with each other for the gold medal in quality. Only the best can win, respecting the most severe standards in beer production. I am proud of my cousin who won the gold medals in almost all beer categories in Berlin with her over 400 year old beer brand Ustersbacher beer.

Therefore, it might surprise when I say that there are lots of parallels between the biggest beer festival in the world and luxury.

4.     VIP and high society

There is no secret that luxury brands are loved by influential people. They are very often the first to spread popularity of a brand in addition to the fact that they can afford to pay for the high prices. The Oktoberfest is a place to be seen due its huge media coverage: politicians, actors, journalists, sport stars … it’s the place to be. Some tents are particularly hype for high society like the Marstall. This year Arnold Schwarzenegger, Thomas Gottschalk, Boateng, Ralf Möller and many more found their way to the tent.

5.     Pleasure and experience

You don’t need to buy luxury but for many clients  luxury brands are associated with pleasure and experience. The Oktoberfest is big fun for old and young. Countless attractions, roller coasters, phantom houses, carrousels at all speeds and heights. This year, I came back again to Munich and enjoyed as much as my daughter and my dad. Simply great fun.

Special tip: if you want it more traditional, go to the Old Oktoberfest which offers attractions from the old days. Simply enjoy!

Dr. Michaela Merk – Expert and keynote speaker in luxury and brand management