You've probably heard of Moleskines – the fancy hardcover notebooks introduced in France in the 1980's. In recent years, they have become popular with artists, writers, and millennials.
Millennials? That isn't a typo. When Syntegra Capital bought a majority stake in Moleskine in 2006, some thought it was a risky investment because of the threat from digital technology.
Instead, as mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article, it has become trendy to carry both a Moleskine and an iPhone. The notebooks have been such a must-have that Syntegra, currently in the process of selling Moleskine, will end up enjoying a 19 fold return on their investment in just 10 years.
It probably isn't a co-incidence that, after buying Moleskine, Syntegra hired a new CEO from the luxury jewelry company Bulgari.
Syntegra succeeded because, just as an iPhone isn't just a phone, they considered a Moleskine to be a luxury item – not simply a commodity notebook.