People often ask me ‘how do I grow my luxury brand?'. Over the years I’ve given numerous different analogies to try and explain my methods, but one that keeps cropping up (and seems to be universally understood) is what I call:
The Luxury Brandwich!
Many agencies define their processes with a bunch of words starting all with the same letter - e.g. Discover, Define, Design, Develop, Deploy, etc - or: Product, Place, Price, Promotion, etc.
My process is much simpler and consists of three 'layers'...
1. Strategy (bottom slice)
Brand strategy is key to the success of a luxury brand (or any brand for that matter) and it’s all about creating a ‘brand’ rather than a ‘product’. What’s the difference? A product is something that performs a function and fulfils a customer’s NEEDS. A brand fulfils a customer’s WANTS. While a customer may NEED a product - they WANT a brand.
Why is an £8,000 Rolex 100 x the price of an £80 Sekonda? Are the materials 100 x more expensive? Hardly. People buy the Rolex because they WANT it. They buy into the ‘brand’. Whereas people who need a watch to tell the time (a product that fulfils a NEED) buy the Sekonda.
This strategic process involves things like: Competitor Analysis, Customer Profiling, Brand Positioning, Brand Values, Brand Personality, Points of Difference and Brand Essence. It’s like building strong foundations for a house.
2. Creative (filling)
The creative (sandwich filling) phase is also what I call the ‘Brand Asset’ phase. Basically creating assets that help define and promote the brand. The list of creative ‘ingredients’ can be extensive - hence why I’ve called it the filling, because you can cherry pick what you want. They can include: Naming, Storytelling, Logo, Brand Guidelines, Photography, Film, Packaging, Print, Website, Brochure, Display, Signage, Labelling, Office Decor, Stand Design, Direct Mail, etc.
For a luxury brand this stage is equally essential because the quality and craftsmanship of a luxury brand’s assets should be as good if not better than the product they produce or service they provide.
3. Marketing (top slice)
Once the brand had been defined and brand assets created to support the brand’s values and personality, the next phase is to tell the world about the brand. This is what I call the marketing phase (often called: Communications) and makes up the top layer of 'bread'.
As with phase 2 there are many ways of marketing a business. Here are some that are particularly relevant to luxury brands looking to attract high net worth individuals: Partnership (or Affinity) Marketing, Event Marketing, Digital Marketing, Print Advertising, Luxury PR and Referral Marketing.
All of these ‘layers’ are key to the success of a luxury brand. For example if the bottom layer is missing (strategy) then the sandwich will fall apart. If the filling is missing then the brand has no substance. And if the top layer is missing (better known as an open sandwich ;-) then no one will know about the brand.
Gluten free and vegetarian options also available ;-)