When you think about luxury products what types of images come to mind?
Is it a gorgeous woman with a lavish handbag?
A bearded executive driving a fast red sports car?
Or, is it simply a night out with champagne and filet mignon?
No matter what your mind conjures, it says a lot about the way that the luxury industry works.
So much of being a luxury brand is about the perception that your brand creates in others.
If you are striving to break into luxury as a company it’s important that you have a very strong idea of what image you are conveying to your clients and customers and what that says about you.
As you make the leap into the luxury market there are several things to consider as you navigate the journey. Your choices will define your brand, and ultimately help shape the way that your company is perceived.
How Will You Become Luxury?
Becoming a luxury company takes time and careful, strategic positioning. In other words, it’s not just something that you can do overnight. Instead, you need to really think strategically about the long-game and how you are going to build a brand with staying power for years to come.
Anyone can charge a premium price for theirs services, but can they demand more for their high-end prices?
Having a flagship product is one of the most expedient routes to getting people to connect your brand with higher prices.
Typically, you can’t just raise your prices on all of your products–that doesn’t always bode well with the consumer. However, what you can do instead is create a premium flagship product that is more expensive, (and better) than other products in the market.
This will attract a different type of customer.
A new influx of customers seeking a high-end product is important. However, after the word gets out, they will most likely want other high-end products.
This can be a great way to build momentum for a high-end product line.
Obviously, you will want to conduct a lot of research on the industry and the target customer before launching a new flagship product. But if you’ve got a new product on deck, you may want to think about making it more premium and thus catapulting your brand into luxury.
Redesigning Your Brand/Starting Over
This is easier, or harder depending on who you ask.
If you ask Blockbuster, they are likely to tell you that this is nearly impossible.
If you ask Netflix, on the other hand, they will tell you that while their service isn’t exactly luxury, it’s about as easy as pie to get everyone in the world streaming your services.
You just need to offer a better service combined with the right platform. Mailing dvds back and forth became old hat, quick. However, going online meant Netflix could outperform even the biggest TV networks.
That do-over may be one of the most successful in history, looking back in ten years.
Burberry is a famous brand that was able to recreate their products during a lull in performance.
Additionally, Apple is a brand that has to constantly evolve it’s product base in order to make sure that it is keeping up with trends, and the high price it pays just to manufacture it’s high-end iPhones.
Three Keys to Luxury Rebrands
1. Be Upfront and Bold About Improved Quality
If you are upgrading your old brand, you need to articulate that to your customers. When they see these upgrades, they won’t experience the sticker shock that goes with most price increases.
Also, explain how the fabric, materials, or other aspects of the quality have been upgraded to provide a better experience based on user feedback.
Lastly, let them know that you care. Offer them a coupon discount for being a valued customer, or allow them to upgrade for a limited time to the newer product at a discounted price.
Loyal customers is what will help you to make the shift to luxury more than any other single factor.
Rewarding their loyalty is a sure sign that a brand cares about them, and that type of incentivization is usually met with repeat business.
2. Be Unique
If you really want to make it in the luxury market, you need to do something new. Just like the classic red soled shoes of Louis Vuitton, or the classic crown of Rolex, you need something that helps you to stand apart. Especially, if people will be paying more after your rebranding.
Don’t just assume that your former customers will flock in droves to buy your new product. You need to corner the existing industry and make needed advancements.
3. Partner with another Luxury Partner to Make the Transition Easier
One of the easiest ways to get traction in the luxury market is to gain some credibility, by working with a preexisting luxury brand.
Apple, who dominates the tech space, teamed up with Hermes in order to offer a luxury Apple Watch. The partnership was able to reinvigorate both brands.
Think that you have to be a luxury brand in order to pull off something like this?
H&M the fast-fashion giant, paired with Balmain in order to launch a new product line and sold out to the frenzied tune of the trending hashtag #Balmania. Giving proof to the fact that you don’t have to be a high-priced brand in order to team up with a luxury giant.
Be bold, be upfront, and be strategic in order to break into the luxury market or revamp your brand!