Branding a luxury product and creating an effective marketing strategy for a luxury brand, involves a unique type of strategy; one that begins with an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of luxury products. The luxury goods industry is significant and not only has substantial market value, but is also an industry that has experienced significant growth over the last 10 years. Typically, there are four main categories within the luxury market: fashion, perfumes and cosmetics, wines and spirits and watches and jewelry; however, other categories, such as automobiles, have also recently found their way into this industry.

 

Characterizing Luxury Products

Defining what makes a product a ‘luxury product’ can sometimes be difficult, but there are a few key characteristics that can help give a brand or product a luxury label. When it comes to the physical, or functional, components of luxury products, typically these items or brands, can be identified by certain associations tied to the product’s characteristics. The average luxury brand is associated with three characteristics: high price tag, high quality and aesthetics. Typically, luxury brands or products will attempt to associate their brand name with these three associations and to show their target consumers that their brand encompasses these three features. The average luxury brand also has a clear brand identity and signature, places emphasis on product integrity, and offers their products at a premium price.

 

Criteria and Specifications of Luxury Brands

When it comes to defining a line or a brand as a ‘luxury brand,’ it needs to meet certain specifications. Typically a brand can only be defined as ‘luxury,’ within the market, if it evokes the three aforementioned associations within the mind of consumers. Most experts will also define a luxury brand as one that is not distorted by other external influences. This includes the marketing efforts of competitors. When a brand is truly a luxury brand, its image cannot be tarnished by others.

When a brand has emerged as a true luxury brand, it will be a true master of influencing the perceptions of consumers. For example, a Rolex watch will not suddenly stop being defined as a luxury watch brand, because of a marketing effort by Citizen, as Rolex is a true luxury brand. This is why no other luxury watch brands even attempt to discredit the quality of Rolex watches in their marketing campaigns.

 

Building The Luxury Brand Image

It is important to remember that not all luxury products are created equal, there are different levels of luxury brands, ranging from entry level to elite level niche brands. Different types or levels of luxury brand items need to be communicated in different manners. Typically, well crafted marketing communications are considered to be the key to building the image of a luxury brand. When it comes to creating communications for luxury brands, as opposed to standard or premium brands, different types of communications are needed. This typically includes celebrity endorsements, positive public relations and promotional events. By highlighting the main defining characteristics of the luxury brand during these promotional communications, a positive luxury image can be crafted and a strong brand identity can be promoted.

 

Roxanne Genier
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