There’s a general assumption when most people hear the word ‘luxury’ that is usually associated with the word ‘frivolous’. Indeed, most people have little knowledge of the fact that it is an industry worth over a trillion dollars and manages to maintain a steady annual growth percentage even during tough economic times.

The truth of the matter is that luxury targets and exploits our inner, most buried desire to own something that expresses and signifies a certain level of self-worth set upon by our very selves. It’s hard to suppress that inner teenager when a red Ferrari pulls up beside your Toyota Camry at a stoplight. That ‘what if’ moment is almost 100% inevitable.

At the beginning of our week-long exploration into the Luxury Management MBA Boot Camp, Professor Alessandro Brun conveyed this loud and clear; reminding us that perception is everything and value is what makes it. Our multi-ethnic, multifaceted and richly diverse collective of experiences allowed for each topic of discussion to become a learning opportunity. In particular, we explored the friendly/rivalry differences between luxury according to the French and according to the Italians through dynamic group work activities. Last but not least, wandering the high streets of Milan, in search of our very own luxury experiences, we learned first-hand what if felt like to hold luxury in our hands and subconsciously create our own perceived value.

We wrapped up the week presenting and sharing our feedback for the brands that we chose to ‘investigate’ using the tools we learned from all of our professors. The importance of brand image, value perception, brand alignment and what all that means in terms of revenue; any of which can be applied to several industries. From this perspective, one could also apply these principles to education and the programs we have all chosen for ourselves.

Personally, I found a lot of value not only in the course material, but also in the diverse environment in which I had the chance to discuss it. Value, though completely relative to one’s perception, is a very important element for any product whether an educational program or a Chanel bag. It really makes you think!