There are many distinguishing marks of luxury brands. Usually, we associate them with expensive products, the highest quality, rich history, and superior service. They are brands that just make the customer feels special. It is the feeling of exclusiveness, uniqueness, and being better than others that makes people love premium brands so much.
Some might think that a high price and promotion in the right target group would be enough to create a premium brand. Nothing could be further from the truth! Creating an exclusive brand is like treading on fragile ice, we can always fall into the water and never leave. So how to create a coherent and credible strategy for a successful premium brand?
Here are the actual methods that the most successful luxury brands usually employ with success:
Limit the accessibility of your products
The perfect example of this is the luxury fashion brand Hermes, which products not only cost a lot. Customers have to be very patient to get them. The most persistent clients sometimes wait for them even a few months or years. Do you want some simpler examples? Okay, H&M launches with top designer's collections. Have you seen the shoppers’ queues lining up in streets all night? If you haven’t – google it now. The announcement of a limited line or collection with products from prestigious people makes the items harder to access. Clients take pleasure in finding themselves the lucky ones who can own rare, exclusive items. Well, unless they want to have it, not sell it…
Premium brands must choose sale places and advertising spots more carefully. If they start to appear in everyday places, they become too accessible to the masses, they lose their luxury image. Some exclusive brands not only don’t want to be accessible to the general public, but they deliberately refuse to be recognizable by “ordinary” people at all. They direct their marketing content and messages only to the chosen segment of potential clients. The rest don’t even know about their existence. This makes them so unique. The exoticism and mystery around them attract those who are able to pay for the products.
Create a personality
A brand’s personality is all the factors and elements that make the brand easy to identify with. It should facilitate contact and build an emotional bond between the client and the brand. It is about precisely selecting a potential buyer, strengthening his purchase decisions, and making the brand trustworthy. A brand’s personality must be consistent with its visual identity.
Symbols and associations with the brand should be also connected. Luxury brands more than the usual ones pay attention to messages they send to the world and what does that content means to their clients. They try to associate the brand only with the values they want to convey.
If you want to create an exclusive, premium brand, think about values you can convey and how to show them. All your future activities must be consistent.
Take some special care of customer experience
This is associated with a number of activities that improve the client’s relationship with your brand and products. It applies to every stage of contact with the brand. Customer experience is all the impressions he acquires in the context of our brand. Especially customer service. A luxury brand treats customers loyally and with big respect. It is not only about nice and friendly shopkeepers in the store, but also outstanding telephone or e-mail service, fast replies, and undemanding returns. All this affects how the client feels about your brand.
Customer experience is also packaging. Luxury brands pay extreme attention to how products are packed. Distinguishing packaging will go a long way towards enhancing your product's desirability among elite customers. Make an effort to design packaging that your clients will be able to show off as they leave your store. This also applies to online stores.
Have your own philosophy, history, and standards.
Most of the premium brands have a rich pedigree and unusual history, which is an inseparable element, a kind of mystical sheath around their name. Fans of these brands buy their products precisely because of their prestige, not quality or appearance. If you are not Coco Chanel, and you do not have a rich and unusual story, do not make it up, of course. However, highlight your philosophy and promote it to your target group.
Luxury brands always speak broadly about their unique design philosophies or amazing, newly discovered technologies they use. They always have this “something” that makes them outstanding. Do you know what I’m talking about?
This must be something that will make your brand stand out, something that no one else does. Remember to always stick to it. It can be imported flour and eggs from only a specific hen breed to create cakes. Emphasize it and make it stand out for your brand. People who love luxury brands look for such unusual elements that make them unusual. Immerse customers in your distinct brand philosophy and ethos.
Use the power of Public Relations
When it comes to exclusive products, Public Relations, and marketing cannot be skipped. They help to disseminate specific brand images and shape public opinion. PR allows continuous dialogue with the consumers, especially in the fashion or technology industries.
Advertising should not only cause the desire for a specific product but also strengthen and increase its value. All the media messages must be emotional and sensual to create a unique, magical reality associated with a premium brand. Let your marketing materials also emphasize the exclusive nature of your brand. Starting from high-quality business cards, for well-runned social media profiles, perfect photos in your online store, to proper video ads.
Design a coherent visual identity
Visual identification, i.e. a logo, brochure, signboard, or billboard, is often the first element that the recipients see. It is important to put a lot of work into your brand’s visual design. Analyze what the brand identity of any other Premium brand looks like and why they seem so luxurious. A huge impact on your brand’s personality has the colors and fonts used in the logo. Consistent, aesthetic, and minimalist logotypes work best for exclusive brands. Try to use black, white or gold. Of course, this is not the only true rule, but it has worked notably well with many Premium Brands.
The visual identity should not only be distinctive but also consistent with the values you refer to. When it comes to premium brands visual elements should be expressed in every product itself as well. It’s not just about using the logo as the central element (many people don’t like it). Try to think about creating one characteristic element that will be associated only with your brand - such as the red soles of Louboutin heels.
Your price is important but…
There is a good reason why I put the price factor at the very end of this article. For many people, the high price is one thing that makes the difference between luxurious and standard brands. Of course, it’s true and nothing strange - the goal of the premium brand is to reach an exclusive client, and if the price is low, the brand ceases to be luxurious. Customers subconsciously tend to determine a luxury product only when its price is high enough.
You shouldn’t make the potential customer be surprised by the low price. However, that’s tricky - it doesn’t mean that you have to falsely overstate your prices, especially if the quality doesn’t follow it. If you want to create an exclusive brand, you’re probably committed to the philosophy and the quality of your products, right? Show customers that the product is worth their money. Take advantage of the 6 previous tips and the price will clear up by itself. That’s why I put it at the end of this list.
Speaking of the price, there is one other thing that distinguishes the premium brands among others. Sales. They are totally different in the premium segment. Drastically low prices are replaced by small gifts, coupons, or extras. There are no big discounts on ends of line stock. Instead of that, give your client something extra to make him feel even more exclusive and awarded. Maybe some VIP invitation, free trial tests or some taste of new products would work for your niche?
A perfect exclusive premium brand is hard to establish and even harder to maintain and promote. Extremely high standards with every aspect of running your business are sometimes not enough. But if you make an effort and create a long-term, considered strategy, your brand becomes an industry name far away from the mainstream. And that effort really pays off in this market.