Our society and many generations before us, have been stimulated by a desire to consume luxury products and services. From Indian silk garments to Egyptian gemstones to French chateaus, those who can afford them have long sought after luxury goods and services.
The definition of Luxury
As we have done at various points throughout history, everyone now is re-evaluating the definition of “luxury.” Hermès is one of the many “luxury” brands that avoid using the word “luxury” and instead emphasize quality, while others that place an emphasis on luxury frequently market “bling.”
While some people still view alligator bags and fur jackets as luxury things, others simply refer to them as cruel or nasty. Items created from rhino horn, ivory, and other materials produced from animals, as well as products made using child labor and other forms of slavery, are no longer acceptable as luxury goods. However, it is undeniable that exotic and morally-responsible bean-to-bar chocolate from “Haute chocolatiers” is valued as a small luxury in France and Japan.
A healthy planet is important, and the luxury industry will soon be showing the way. Most brands are currently working diligently to reinvent themselves.
Luxury conjures up images of things we want but don’t actually need. In actuality, having time, love, good health, and a healthy environment is a great luxury. These cannot be purchased, but then again, they might be seen as necessities rather than wants.
Our standards for what constitutes luxury include exceptional rarity, flawless craftsmanship, high levels of innovation, and refinement. It is typically anything or an event that is extraordinarily and unexpectedly lovely, memorable, and enjoyable. Underneath it all, we expanded our criteria to include the ideas of ethics, sustainability, authenticity, and meaningfulness.
Therefore, Luxury Branding develops the most hospitable brands in the world by developing, perfecting, and communicating this amazing and elusive desire. Using analytical thinking, business acumen, and creative genius to reveal luxury’s beautiful attributes to people who are encircled by it.
Luxury Branding enables ambitious brands, companies, and organizations to establish and communicate how they are unique, different, and better than their rivals: special for their wealthy clients.
How to Build a Strong Luxury Brand?
1. Use established brands as an example
When we look at those brands and their brand propositions we can say with certainty that they can be classified into three thematic groups: Time, Rarity, and Effort.
Time encompasses things like ancestry, genealogy, legacies, necessary aging processes, and the like. These marketing slogans related to “Time” convey ideas and attributes that need time to develop. In this case, brand awareness and value have demonstrated durability and the ability to endure throughout time. Users of the brand enjoy the benefit of being linked to a long, rich history. It’s not hard to choose a brand that has been successful in the market for so long. Consumers’ perceptions of the brand’s value and desire are elevated by these promises that must be acquired over time.
Many luxury brands also describe uniqueness, exclusivity, hard-to-imitate locations, and hard-to-find raw materials. These can be summarized under the overarching theme of ‘rarity’. Short supply is often the main reason brands are elevated to luxury status. As long as demand outstrips supply, prices will go up and not everyone who wants it will get it. Only a select few who can get it, get it. When such goods or services have great awareness, they may attract the attention of privileged users. For those who like such commitment, it will further increase the value of a luxury brand.
Brand promises such as craftsmanship, personalization, attention to detail, quality assurance, and other values that rely on skill acquisition, diligence, and diligence can be categorized as efforts. Consumers recognize and appreciate the effort involved in creating luxury products and services. This is an effort to personalize the experience on your brand or hone the skills and techniques necessary for such creation. In consumer perception, “effort” often leads directly to quality. Quality is often the main reason why we are willing to pay significantly more for luxury goods and services.
While we should be wary that these concepts have universal applications, there is clear agreement that many luxury brands share these three overarching attributes.
2. Create desire among consumers
Desire is driven by our need for change. We want things we can’t have, like the desire to see someone, to be with someone, to experience something. We love the feeling of desire. Desires motivate our actions. Desire is deeper than wants and needs, and more direct than love. Desire is a passionate emotion.
The beauty of luxury is that most of us are unable to experience or own the luxury that we desire. There should always be things you can’t get or are hard to source such as handmade yachts, cars, dresses, watches, handbags, glasses, and perfumes. It’s nice to wait for something to be made for us.
3. Take the following consumer behavior into account:
- A shift towards ethical / ‘sustainable’ luxury, including a strong pro-vegan or cruelty-free mentality, leads to an avoidance of animal-derived materials altogether.
- A greater appreciation of high-quality goods that last, versus fast fashion and other relatively waste-generating activities.
- Lab-grown diamonds and lab-grown “nature identical” animal skins are already in greater demand.
- Locally buying food, fashion, and anything else.
- There is a declining middle class in the west, increased social discontent, a strong anti-immigration attitude, and ultimately certain envy of riches and fury against luxury goods as a result of the Amazon effect, other digital disruptors, and the pandemic.
How can a luxury brand respond to these behaviors?
- Connect to platforms like WeChat, Tmall, Farfetch, and similar ones. Through Instagram alone, challenger businesses are growing into major players.
- With a shift toward luxurious living that is ethical and ecological, reconsider conventional viewpoints and ideologies.
- The circular economy has quickly gained momentum and materialized. Finally, “waste” is being viewed as a resource. Instead of burning unsold inventory, you should recycle it, sell it on the rental market, or dispose of it online under the pretext of “used items” rather than discounted inventory.
- Compared to automated goods and services, non-industrialized luxury goods and services offer more employment prospects.
Are You Ready To Start Your Luxury Branding Strategy?
To conclude, Luxury Branding is not easy. You’re targeting a very specific audience, asking them to make a significant investment into something that might not be a necessity. That means you cannot simply focus on product features.
If you want your audience to pay attention to your brand and leverage it, you have to embrace the concepts of positioning, storytelling, and exclusivity. Your brand has an incredible story, and I would like to help share it with the world. Contact me to see how we can tell your brand story via a well-thought-out branding strategy including – but not limited to – (web) design, content marketing, copywriting, and other digital marketing efforts.
Would you like more personal advice related to your specific situation, don’t hesitate to book a one-on-one branding strategy session. Feel free to contact me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by: Yustine Alvares
Personal & Business Branding Strategist, Business Mentor, and Multiple Business Owner