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Rethinking Prestige Branding Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

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Authors JP Kuehlwein and Wolfgang Schaefer will be sharing insights on how marketers should be "Rethinking Prestige Branding."

Based on their study of successful premium brands ranging from classic Luxury to modern Masstige, countless conversations with leaders of such brands and their latest, eponymous book.  In the ensuing discussion, Greg Furman will be asking the authors and a panel of distinguished brand owners and experts how they strive to create Ueber-Brands and what the Future of Luxury holds.  The panel members will include Mark Cielinski, Ian Ginsberg, Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd.


Why are Cirque Du Soleil or Grey Goose so successful despite breaking all the conventions of their categories? What does Gucci's approach to marketing have in common with Nespresso's? And why do some pay a little fortune for Renova toilet paper or Aesop detergent when those seem to have none of the "functional superiority" conventional marketers would seek to demonstrate?

These are some of the questions branding experts Wolfgang Schaefer and JP Kuehlwein researched over the past four years, talking to an uncounted number of practitioners, theoreticians and consumers alike and analyzing well over a hundred brand successes and failures in the premium-priced arena.

Their answer: Today, prestige is accrued in many more ways than it used to be. Its marketing rules are in flux and it is flourishing across all tiers and categories – from a $2 drink to multimillion dollar jewelry. Classic notions are shattered and reshuffled and prestige branding is being slowly but unmistakably redefined: Less traditional through pricing-up and celebrating yourself as rarified, but by evoking pride and aspiration through ideals and ideas wrapped in mythical storytelling; less classical by building exclusivity through restraint and scarcity, but in fusing these with inclusivity and ubiquity; and less marketing-manipulated but more truth-minded, living brand-specific convictions inside out rather than making-believe with thin veneers of gold-plating.
Welcome to the age of Ueber-Brands. An emerging breed of modern prestige brands which are above and beyond their competition not only in standing and making their price premium an afterthought, but in courage and conviction. Thriving on paradoxes, breaking with long-held traditions and inspiring us with commercialization strategies that set new standards and lead the way into a new kind of marketing for the new millennium.

A must for all interested in this field, "Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Ueber-Brands" is as entertaining as it is enlightening and educating – a standard in the making.
  • The most comprehensive guide on prestige and luxury brands to come out in years
  • Including well over a hundred examples, in-depth case studies and illustrations covering the most diverse industries, price points and brands from Apple and Aesop to Tate Modern and TOMS.
  • Examining many different brand-building strategies and summarizing the most important success factors in seven core principles
  • Providing insight into both the practical marketing of prestige brands and how consumers respond to them psychologically and emotionally
  • Helping you to understand how prestige brands seek to attract the media, analysts and consumers
"I rarely recommend a book, especially in marketing, as I believe Market Research is obsolete. However, I was fascinated by Kuehlwein and Schaefer’s approach, and I highly encourage you to read this book."

Dr. G. Clotaire Rapaille, Author of "The Culture Code" and CEO & Founder of Archetype Discoveries Worldwide

Also, FIT's CFMM graduate program recently completed extensive global research on "The Future of Luxury," including a study with Boston Consulting Group of luxury consumer values in the U.S., China and India, which will be discussed as part of the panel. For more information, please visit:

Rethinking Prestige Branding Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

about the speakers

Gwen Whiting and Lindsey J. Boyd


The Laundress

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Gwen Whiting
Gwen is at the helm of design, product development, and production at The Laundress. When it comes to finding new and innovative ways to improve laundering and home cleaning, she’s not afraid to roll up her beautifully pressed, stain-free sleeves and get her hands dirty.
Prior to founding The Laundress, Gwen worked at Ralph Lauren as a senior designer for the Ralph Lauren Home Collection, a position she held for five years. Previously, she worked in Women’s Wear Design and Polo Store Development, also at Ralph Lauren.

Lindsey J. Boyd
With her finger on the pulse of the retail industry, Lindsey serves as the resident sales and marketing expert for The Laundress. Over the years, she has forged a range of relationships with diverse sales partners throughout the world. Lindsey brings The Laundress experience to delighted customers near and far.
Before founding The Laundress, Lindsey was the manager of U.S. sales for Chanel Ready-to-Wear, where she trained and managed boutique and large wholesale accounts. Prior to her tenure at Chanel, Lindsey worked in product development and corporate sales for Brooks Brothers.

Gwen and Lindsey are both graduates of Cornell University’s Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design program.

Ian Ginsberg


C.O. Bigelow

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Ian Ginsberg, president of C.O. Bigelow, the oldest pharmacy in America, has kept the historic pharmacy tradition alive in today’s modern society. Ian’s history with C.O. Bigelow began when his grandfather bought the business in the late 1930s. 

After becoming a licensed pharmacist in 1985 and not being fully satisfied working in that capacity, Ian set out to create his own niche in the family business at C.O. Bigelow.
Year after year, Ian scours the globe to orchestrate a supreme collection of beauty imports such as Marvis toothpaste from Italy and La Crème Opalis from France. Luxury products like Les Fleurs de Bach to the Bath and Fragrance Collection from the Hotel Costes validate the C.O. Bigelow slogan,“If you can’t find it anywhere else, try Bigelow.” 

Hailed by WWD as “The Pharmacy Guru”

JP Kuehlwein

Executive Vice President

Frédéric Fekkai

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Jan-Patrick (JP) Kuehlwein is co-author of the book “Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Ueber-Brands” and Executive Vice President of Frédéric Fekkai, a New York-based prestige salon operator and hair care brand.  He is also an Outside Director of Smith & Norbu, a Hong Kong luxury optical frame maker. Previously, JP was Managing Director of Global Strategy & Innovation - Premium Consumer, spearheading Procter & Gamble's capability and business development in the premium brand space.  

A graduate of the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, Reims (France), Reutlingen University (Germany) and  Lancaster University (UK), JP is regularly involved in lecturing, consulting workshops and public speaking. He is a member of the Industry Advisory Board, Executive Mentor, and guest lecturer for the Master's Program in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City and a member of the CMO Council and the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) in Boston.

Mark Cieslinski



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Mark Cieslinski is the President of Moleskine America. He leads the growth of the Moleskine brand in the United States, Canada, and South America. Prior to joining Moleskine, Mark accumulated over 20 years of experience in consumer product strategy; as SVP of Sales at Help Remedies, Inc.; VP of Sales and Marketing at Mentholatum; and in various sales and management roles at General Mills. He holds a BA from SUNY Buffalo and an MBA from Canisius College. 

“The team at Moleskine America is dedicated to providing platforms and solutions that help our fans capture memories, ignite imagination and produce creative solutions. We want to be part of their journey and look forward to helping them write their story.”

Wolfgang Schaefer

Chief Strategic Officer


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Wolfgang Schaefer is co-author of the book “Rethinking Prestige Branding:  Secrets of the Ueber-Brands." He is Chief Strategic Officer at SelectNY, one of the world’s leading premium brand-building networks. Wolf has been building global brand strategies for over 20 years in Europe, the U.S. and the Asia Pacific for companies as diverse as PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, Coty and Nestle. His main expertise lies in prestige brands such as Davidoff, Chopard, Swarovski, and Lancaster amongst many others. Holding an MA from the University of the Arts Berlin, Wolf is co-located between NYC and Berlin and is a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences in the U.S. as well as Europe. 

Rethinking Prestige Branding Secrets of the Ueber-Brands

about the brands

Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd weren’t always international soap mavens, delighting fashionistas, value seekers, and environmentalists from New York to New Delhi. Many laundry cycles ago, they were young fashion enthusiasts, launching careers in one of the world’s best-dressed cities. As Lindsey and Gwen invested in building their wardrobes, they were confronted with the frustration of maintaining them: replacing prematurely worn items and paying painful dry-cleaning bills. As graduates from Cornell University’s Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design program, they saw an opportunity to advance the world of fabric care.

Our landmark pharmacy has been providing prescriptions, healing remedies, unique and unusual beauty products and hard-to-find pharmacy items since 1838.

C.O. Bigelow was initially founded by Dr. Galen Hunter. Originally called The Village Pharmacy Shop, it was bought and renamed by Clarence Otis Bigelow in 1880. Mr. Bigelow worked alongside Dr. Hunter before taking over the shop. 

Part of our unique legacy has been the passing of ownership from employer to employee. Since 1939, three generations of Ginsbergs have owned and operated the shop, passing from father to son to grandson.

For nearly two centuries, C.O. Bigelow has been providing customers with customized service and specialty products that truly make a difference in their lives. 

Today, as always, C.O. Bigelow transcends our expectations of a pharmacy—it is a place of discovery, conversation, learning, laughter and community. 

C.O. Bigelow lives on.

Fekkai - Decadently luxurious hair care products with a sexy French twist. Imagined by the iconic Frederic Fekkai, hair stylist celèbre and perfected in his fabulous salons from New York to St. Barth’s

Moleskine® encompasses a family of tools for creativity and productivity: notebooks, diaries, device covers, journals, digital apps, bags, writing instruments and reading accessories. They are the essential objects that we keep close as we navigate our physical lives and engage with our digital communities. They are the objects that identify us wherever we are in the world and invite us to imagine what will become the cultural heritage of tomorrow.

SelectNY is an independent advertising, branding, digital and content agency with 400 hyperdimensional thinkers and doers in 7 offices worldwide -- New York, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Paris, Geneva, Koblenz + Shanghai.

We deliver Magic with Logic™. With breeding in beauty and expertise in prestige, we elevate and turn around brands. We enhance prestige. Expand presence. Intensify relevance. Raise profile. And grow sales. To give brands status, storytelling, and success.

For over 20 years, SelectNY has partnered with the world’s most robust, multi-brand corporations, such as P&G, Coty and Amway, as well as premium brands including St. John, Swarovski and Roberto Cavalli.

Our unique approach to storytelling enables us to build brands by grounding them in substance and growing them in emotional, commercial, and cultural relevance.

SelectNY website: