Is nepotism killing your luxury business?


I wrote a post on this recently and this issue came up again the other day, so I thought I’d expand on it here. I’ll just come out and just say it - Nepotism can kill a luxury brand. Dead.

  • ‘It’s ok, my best friend’s a website designer’

  • ‘My daughter’s doing brand strategy at uni, she can help’

  • ‘My Dad works for a printing company - let’s use him’

  • ‘My cousin worked for Laura Ashley in marketing’

  • ‘My wife’s friend’s Mum used to work in branding’

You get the picture!

I hear these kind of things so many times. And it's usually a massive red flag. Particularly in the case of a small luxury business that are looking to stand shoulder to shoulder with bigger, more established luxury brands. 

As a luxury brand, image is EVERYTHING and everything needs to be perfect: the product or service, the branding, the website, the printing, the strategy, the tone of voice, the positioning, etc, etc. 

Using family, close friends, or recommended friends of friends to work on your luxury brand is often a big problem.

The agency selection process will often go something like this...

Brand needs new website... CEO's brother's, friend's, cousin's best mate is a web developer / designer fresh out of college… CEO asks head of marketing to approach two more agencies to come in and pitch to balance things out... Agencies come in and pitch some great ideas... CEO gives work to brother's, friend's, cousin's best mate anyway!

The end result? Over 90% of the time - an absolute disaster!

Would you get a local car mechanic to work on your brand new £400k Ferrari? Hopefully not! Luxury branding and marketing need to be handled by luxury experts. There are nuances and tried-and-tested strategies that apply.

So in the future the alarm bells should start ringing if you hear: "I know someone!" - especially if it comes from above :-) 

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Andrew Lloyd