Marketing for a luxury brand is not the same as marketing for a mass consumer brand. Luxury brands have their own distinct personalities and exclusive natures meaning that traditional marketing – guerrilla tactics, consumer, mass communication – are exactly the opposite of what is needed.
From here, the main doubt for luxury brands is, do I launch into digital business?
And the answer to this question is undoubtedly: YES!
Even more so when you include Chanel’s recent story with online business, in 2016 they conceded and launched in this channel. Of course marketing and positioning in the luxury sector at high street level is already complicated, but the challenges in the digital channel will be far greater. The internet and its huge democratisation (a concept totally the opposite to the luxury sector) will be cruel, have opinions, and will confuse your brand if you don’t have a solid positioning.
Therefore, if you decide to launch yourself into the “matrix world” with your luxury brand, we give you from LuxStyle 5 keys to success that you should recognise:
- Reinforce and control your brand’s personality.
You should ensure your brand’s personality is consistent, both tangible and intangible values that make you unique and define you in the minds of consumers, have to be reinforced online. In terms of KeyWords, the pages where you are referred to and of course, the selected influencers will be critical. Many brands have lost their personality to the hands of netizens by not clearly defending their positioning.
- Exclusivity and reduced reach are key.
A luxury brand is not positioned as being better than the competition, like mass consumer brands, they don’t miss being present continuously and on all platforms. To be a truly unique brand is what is important. By definition, luxury is exclusive and should respond to the illusion of being only within the reach of the elite. Where do your clients navigate to when they access the internet? Where are they? Identify this and make communications with surgical precision. Remember that they are not going to buy from you through a promotion – it is your values, your positioning… your intangibles, those with which the client identifies with your brand and buys from you.
- Luxury is an experience of unique and aspirational buying.
In the luxury market, one doesn’t buy a product of the same style and above all they don’t wish to be treated like anyone else. In luxury stores, little glasses of champagne are offered to customers, visits to golf courses, they belong to a club that tastes of exclusivity… the customisation of the product is nearly as important as the buying experience. This should be maintained in the digital channel… what is going to be your digital “glass of champagne”? What is going to be your online selection of products? How are you going to deliver the purchased product to the customer? You are playing with your customer’s aspirations, you must surprise them with good usability and a digital experience, they will leave if they don’t perceive you as luxurious – please, don’t ask them to write product reviews for you online.
- The opportunities offered by the Online/Offline Mix.
The luxury market has a limit: it only sells to the elite, but it is the aspiration of the mass. Consumers of luxury goods want to be recognised and identified within this elite group of people that has access to exclusive products. For this, the internet is very effective, it is the only benefit that is obtained from a mass, democratised medium… but look! Leave it clear that they don’t have the reach or they will dispose of you.
Do you mean to say that I don’t want to sell to more people? NO, but this too is an opportunity, luxury brands with more visibility online have exclusive products in-store, promoted online, but they have identified in the more economical accessories gaps to sell to a client profile that has never entered their store, they don’t belong to the elite, but they are excited to buy this small accessory to have something from their fetish brand.
- If positioning is the king, image is the queen.
Reinforcing your brand’s unique personality and maintaining serious tones in communication is the main advice you can give to your copy, but if there’s anything you should be careful of and choose carefully, it is images. Luxury enters through eyes, the story that they have behind is important, but if it doesn’t appear luxurious, it isn’t. Give special care to your images, because you can’t support it with touch, which is the second most important sense at the moment of selling luxury.
Offering the best service to our clients is a limit at LuxStyle and because of this we are proud to announce our association with specialists in online positioning to develop the area of positioning of luxury products. Therefore, if you want to push positioning and reach the elite clients you don’t reach locally, call us and we will help you have the digital presence your luxury brand deserves.
LuxStyle Consulting is a Boutique Consultancy in Dublin Marbella & Madrid specialising in Strategy and Business in the Fashion and Luxury Industries
(Translated by Clare Hill)