Updated: May 30
Author: Aicha Bakayoko
Date of Publication: 10/05/2023
Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Gucci, Valentino, Bugatti…. Who has ever thought about luxury brands and wanted to own one of their products? I think many have, including me! The luxury sector is a growing industry that many are attracted to and dream about, but don't have access to. Yet how do luxury brands succeed at it? What are their marketing strategies? Well, there are many marketing techniques used by luxury brands, but we are going to focus on the most important ones.
1. Heritage & Storytelling
Luxury brands have a strong heritage that often reflects a country's sense of self (France, Italy, USA…). Actually, it creates a sense of tradition and authenticity. For example, Wolsey underwear was worn by Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen on their race to the South Pole in 1911. This heritage makes them able to have a strong brand story, brand identity, and unique values that they share with the audience. Therefore, this is the key to a successful luxury brand. For instance, we can compare two famous brand identities : Tiffany & Co and Channel. Tiffany & Co is a symbol of romance and fairy tales, while Channel is a symbol of class and sophistication.
Speaking of luxury brands, we really need to forget about "positioning" as they are not comparative. For them, being distinctive and memorable is more important than positioning because they are dream builders. This is because they are not mass-market brands like Zara or premium brands like Hugo Boss.
3. Pricing & Quality
Even though luxury items are expensive with high quality, it doesn't make them flawless. In fact, a few imperfections in luxury products can add character and charm, making them more desirable than mass-produced goods. What’s more, if the product has flaws, it is the quality of the craftsmanship that makes customers buy it.
Moreover, luxury brands set their prices based on their unique offering and brand identity, rather than following industry trends or competitor pricing. They also increase prices over time to increase demand and reinforce the perception of exclusivity.
4. Customer Experience & Exclusivity
Protecting their clients from non-clients to maintain an atmosphere of exclusivity is a must for them. In fact, they can't treat non-customers the same way they treat their customers. However, this is not a reason for them not to communicate with the non-client audience.
This creation of exclusivity and rarity is to enhance a luxury brand's appeal. Therefore, they limit the availability or implement a waiting list to create exclusive collections and one-of-a-kind products. For example, Hermes requires you to be qualified by the brand before you can buy one of their bags. Moreover, they have always relied on exceptional shopping experiences to create a more intense connection with consumers. That's why many of them are opposed to making online shopping non-personalized and available to the masses.
Luxury brands hire topless male models, Burberry installs interactive technologies, and Alfred Dunhill pioneered a "gentlemen's club" brand house with cinema and spa.These
features give luxury brands the possibility to be respected, attract attention and raise their prices.
5. Advertising & Visual
Advertising in the luxury sector is meant to provide
visuals, not to sell products. So, instead of highlighting some features of their products, they use ads as a way to provide and demonstrate a pure visual. They often just portray an image or a concept of their brand value identity in their ads without showing the product features.
6. Content & Influencer Marketing
The main marketing goal of luxury brands is to create an emotional connection with the audience and build their brand story. As we said before, brand storytelling is so important, especially for both young and emerging populations. So in that aspect, digital
influencers play a big role in reinforcing communication, building trust and generating impressions. Content marketing and influencers will help the brands boost their community management.
Therefore, their relationship with their customers will be much better and long-lasting. For instance, Balmain and Cara Delevingne have built a long-term relationship. In fact, they have designed collections and generated Instagram content together. That captures consumers and communicates the house's attributes.
As we can understand, luxury brands have their own specific marketing strategies. However, nowadays, they tend to mix mass-market, premium, and luxury marketing strategies to stay in the market. Indeed, this new tendency is due to digitalization and changing consumer behavior forcing them to be more flexible.