Ferrari’s high performance or Le Labo’s personalized perfume – here’s what makes a brand successful.
Most of the businessmen have come to know that experiences are crucial in brand management. But to most of our knowledge, designing consumer experiences springs from work relating to mass brands. However, luxury brands are a whole new concept, so their marketing and brand management also needs a very precise method. A thorough study of the market partnered with Pernod Richard mentions these 6 fields requiring attention to design and provide an authentic luxury experience.
Instead of simply counting on the brand values, luxury brands should promote beliefs to their luxury consumers. Being more specific and segmenting, beliefs last longer. Luxury brands should only focus on pleasing the customers whose beliefs go with them instead of pleasing all sorts of customers like mass brands.
Take Ferarri’s belief in high performance for example. Instead of advertising in mass media, the brand finds Formula 1 events a wise and better option to invest a significant amount in. To strengthen this belief in the customer’s mind, Ferrari is highlighting actions connected to its belief. Louis Vuitton sets another good example of beliefs in the arts. The brand partnered with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama among different collaborations to launch limited edition products. Regular brands prefer spreading their investments in a lot of pieces in mass markets to reach and please as many customers as possible. But luxury brands keep their branding and investments limited to certain beliefs of the brand, trying to create a targeted experience for the affluent customers.
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Be More Than A Logo
Instead of a single logo, a full set of visual icons pop up in the luxury consumers minds about a true luxury brand. The visual set can comprise of monograms, brand symbols, logos, colors, designs, and various concepts too. For instance, Bottega Veneta’s leather products don’t show any visible symbols or logo, instead weaved leather’s pattern of the products works as their identity. Again, thinking of Chanel, black and white, the number 5, the camellias, or a little black dress pops up to our eyes. Luxury brands should be selective about choosing their symbols and constantly repeat the use of those to iconify them.
Involve the customer in a ritual
Stopping at providing products only is not enough for luxury brands. They must go out of their comfort zones to serve the customers with more unique services or rituals. Anything as simple as attentive salespeople and prompt customer service would be good to start with, but to produce a consumption “ritual” for the customers to experience the brand they must think out of the box.
Perfume brand Le Labo is at the top of their game in this field. Leveraging the fact that the perfume’s quality deteriorates over time, they modified the purchasing method and started offering a unique buying experience for the consumers: each customer gets their hand-blended Le Labo perfume personally made right in front of them while purchasing. Then the glass decanter is labeled with the date the customers name printed on it. Customers must put the glass decant in the fridge to set for at least a week before using it. Following this ritual, buying Le Labo’s perfumes becomes an individual experience more than just buying an exclusive product. Porsche sets another classic example. Customers are allowed to pick up their new car straight from the assembly line in Germany; this makes the delivery process very creative and appealing to the luxury consumers.
The Store Is A temple
Luxury brands should pay attention to the checkout points to make sure there are constant upgrades and newness. Before, having a bland store was enough to sell their products, but that won’t work the same now. Luxury brands need to plan multifunctional, controlled spaces to have better brand experiences, and communicate brand beliefs. Tasteful consumers consider this type of stores a temple.
Prada is doing this just right. This high-end brand partnered with Dutch research studio AMO and famous architect Rem Koolhaas and started and unique project. The collaboration resulted in a wide-ranging project including special “epicenters” – set up a working laboratory in the store for customer’s experimental shopping experiences. Also, BMW in Munich is setting up a similar temple-like showroom for the consumers to “experience” the brand instead of a boring checkout.
Wrap Customers With Exclusivity
Every plain brand out there is targetting their customers and pushing their products down their throat. But the scene is not the same with luxury brands. Customers are supposed to be pulled toward the luxury brands for their guaranteed exclusivity. Many consumers would want to be a part of this group, but only the ones with strong brand beliefs should be selected.
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That’s why an artificial barrier or initiation rituals should be introduced for customers to get access. For a customer to buy a premium Apple product, they just pay the price without any precondition. But for customers to buy any Hermès “it” bags, they must have a long-term purchase history and an intimate bond to earn the opportunity. This approach gives the customers a vibe of being special, instead of discouraging them. Customers are rewarded this way for their loyalty.
Communicate Legends To Establish A Myth
Most of the regular brands get in competition with other brands and announce their advantages over them, but for luxury brands, they should work on establishing a myth by communicating the legends associated with it. Rolls Royce invites a few selected customers to their manufacturing company to visit and experience their mesmerizing production process personally.
Make sure to convey the myth indirectly and consistently in all the deliveries including products, stores, and marketing. Luxury brands persuade a level of mystery or connect with art to communicate myth in a sublime way to achieve it. Chanel involves it’s creator Coco Chanel to keep the myths dynamic and fresh. Consumers are fueled by these myths and are feeding the brands well to this day.