The luxe life: tips for making your mark as a luxury brand
Cracking the luxury market can be an intimidating step for new brands. Gloria Gammo has some tips for taking your brands to new heights in luxury.
The word ‘luxury’ comes complete with its own (Louis Vuitton-monogrammed) suite of connotations – from the covetable to the downright unattainable, luxury brands exist in a different echelon, and for many businesses, cracking the luxury market seems far out of reach.
While it takes on different forms for different people, there are common characteristics. Regardless of whether your brand provides a service, an experience, or a product, to really embody ‘luxury’ you must incorporate the winning trifecta of personalisation, exclusivity, and value recognition into everything that you do.
So where do you start? It’s all about knowing your market.
Do your research
Dive deep to identify your target consumer segment. Before we started My Proposal Co we had both spent more than 10 years working for luxury brands in travel and event management. We knew exactly how our customers liked to be treated, and what high notes to hit to ensure the experience wasn’t just enjoyable, but luxurious.
Working in your chosen industry for other luxury businesses helps give you an insight into where your luxury brand could carve out its niche. But it’s not enough just to identify your
market – when setting out to launch a luxury brand, it’s important to do your groundwork on why consumers are drawn to luxury in the first place.
A recent study identified four dimensions to the perception of luxury:
- financial (the value of the product expressed in dollars),
- functional (the quality, uniqueness and reliability of the product),
- individual (the customer’s personal orientation on consumption), and
- social (the idea of conspicuousness and prestige value to affect social standing).
To some consumers, social dimensions such as the popularity or exclusivity of the luxury brand might be the most important, signalling wealth and status among their peer groups. To others, luxury goods might serve as a financial investment and must meet their standards of superior quality. To others, luxury brand consumption might stem from hedonistic or materialistic motives that express their individual self.
What does this mean for you? To start, luxury brands should encompass their consumer’s values to justify a purchase. Understanding these value dimensions in the context of your own customers is key to implementing appropriate marketing strategies.
Once you’ve identified and understood your market segment, it’s time to implement your brand strategy and promotion techniques. These need to be clear and consistent from the outset, so your brand maintains its integrity and appeal.
Revel in the ritual
With the growing trend towards experiential luxury over pure product luxury, it’s key to create luxurious rituals around the consumption of your product, allowing customers to really experience your brand.
One example is Porsche, which innovated its delivery process by allowing customers to pick up their new car right off the assembly line in Germany – it’s personalised, exclusive, and tailored to appeal to the desires and interests of luxury vehicle consumers.
Inject some mystery
Prestige brands differ from mass brands in that they won’t compare themselves with competitors – rather they aim to elevate their own brand by communicating stories (often laced with mystery) to give the brand an air of myth. Think the enigmatic persona of Coco Chanel, still leveraged in Chanel’s marketing to this day. Create your own myths and legends, and use these in every touch point – from your products, to brick-and-mortar (or online) stores, to your marketing.
In a world where outsourcing and automation are words du jour, luxury brands do it differently. Luxury is about the personal, and quality control is paramount. It’s also crucial to have full control of distribution or delivery of your product or service: this is where the one-on-one service comes in.
Tania and I are on-hand for our clients 24/7 from day one, throughout the proposal planning, and on the actual day. Providing this support is all part of delivering a seamless experience.
Don’t advertise, communicate
Luxury brands communicate a story to build a dream, providing a covetable lifestyle that consumers wish to recreate. This communication can’t be measured by short-term sales increases – it’s a long game. It’s why we don’t do any outbound marketing at My Proposal Co. Instead, we focus on communicating the brand’s story, and our customers come to us.
Scrap the price tag
Brands need to understand that for clients, price is not the motivating factor. Instead, it’s about the four value dimensions mentioned above. When we set up our business we didn’t want price to be a factor – we don’t put prices on our website and there are no set packages or standard items on offer because we provide a tailored service.
Treasure the one-on-one
Treat every client as a VIP, develop direct, one-on-one relationships with your clients. For us, forging a genuine connection with our clients is crucial because it allows us to tailor their proposals to their personality. The real luxury isn’t in the diamonds and caviar, it’s being able to deliver a creative, one-of- a-kind experience. It’s all about nailing those luxurious details for a personalised, lavish experience.
Gloria Gammo is co-founder, My Proposal Co.
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