Every business wants to be seen as luxury. It allows you to sell less items for more money, so it makes for a very attractive business model. But it’s tough to pull off. Instantly you’re met with the question of “Why should I pay more for this when I can get a cheaper one over there?”
The answer, though it’s not likely to go down well if you said it out loud, is branding. There are few fundamental differences between a cheap product and a luxury one, but the biggest is branding. Read on to find out how you can establish your business as a luxury brand.
Offer quality over quantity
The difference between your average product and a luxury product is quality. Cheaper products are mass-produced, cheaper services skrimp on the materials and try to get out of there as fast as possible, and people know that. The implicit message you are giving when your products and services are cheaper is that they are lower quality. In order to establish yourself as a luxury brand, you have to offer better.
But a lot of businesses take that as their starting off point. You want to create a luxury brand, so you look for a niche in the market that doesn’t have a luxury alternative. Something that says “special”. Think, limos over taxis. One is something everyone does. They tolerate the bad service, the cheaper materials, in this case a car, and the fact that everyone uses it for the lower price point. But if you were to show up to your own wedding in a taxi, you’d turn heads for the wrong reasons.
A luxury product is one that has been lovingly crafted, well made, and with quality materials, like a designer handbag. A luxury service is one that is given as a treat, with superior customer service, doing a thorough job, and at least giving the impression that they aren’t trying to get you out the door for the next one. The luxury industry is truly one where the customer comes first. It is not a get-rich-quick market, but a slow burn to success.
Sparkle polish your reputation
But, of course, if you’re on social media, you will have plenty of unsolicited reviews. This is why your products, services, and customer service must be up to par. Users are going to tell you if they don’t like your business, but they won’t stand for a luxury price point for items that aren’t up to par. Reviews are therefore particularly important to luxury brands. You can help this by getting involved in affiliate marketing, where influencers can review and shout out your products and services for a sponsorship. Or, for a more involved approach to building or repairing your reputation from the ground up, you can contact a PR agency for startups, to help you cultivate a reputation your company can be proud of.
Rework your visuals
Of course, if you’re going to market yourself as a luxury brand with a higher price point than competitors, you need to make it clear from the start that you are a luxury brand. That means you have to rework your branding. Your logo, your socials, your website, maybe even your name. 90% of what you are portraying as luxury is the visuals. You can tell people that you’re using the best materials, but other brands, like more playful brands making organic substitutes for products can also say that.
It might sound limiting, but the best way to convey in your branding that your items or services are luxurious is with the minimalist style. It says that you don’t have to try very hard. Your graphics should display solid neutral colours, high contrast, and simple designs. Slick and simple designs give the idea of luxury.
There is room for experimentation, however. If your style is more designer streetwear, like for energy drinks or canned alcoholics, your graphics should reflect that. If your point is ethically sourced items, you can convey that in a more playful manner, with bright colours and natural shapes. But if you’re looking for your products to be put in the same image as private jets, champagne flutes, and evening gowns, you can let your product speak for itself in the minimalist style.
While you’re revamping your visuals, consider turning your Instagram into a cohesive photo portfolio. Don’t allow it to fall into the image of a scrapbook made up of random images but hire a good photographer with a distinct style that will fill your Instagram like a portfolio.
Emphasise symbolic value
A big part of branding and the marketing campaign of a luxury brand is the symbolic value. All businesses are involved in this to some degree. It’s a staple of modern advertising, but it’s particularly important to luxury branding because there is a higher price involved. You need to tell audiences that they’re not buying a car, but they’re buying freedom. They’re not buying a bag; they’re buying a label that will impress others. They’re not buying perfume; they’re buying romance and confidence. Boil down your brand to a lifestyle that you can market to your demographic, rather than an item, and tell your audience that they can get that lifestyle with all of these items and services that you can offer.