Every brand conveys a message — and, the very best brands are targeted towards a specific consumer market. They know their audience and become almost familial with them. Collectively, we know and can feel strong brands – such as behind family-oriented companies like Oreo cookies, or luxury brands such as Burberry or the Ritz Carlton. Of course, these brands have built up their reputation and brand feel over the years with their products and their advertising.
When creating a brand that will attract luxury buyers, it’s important to look to other brands who have done it well, and learn from them. Across the board, these brands know their target customer and how to serve them in a way that feels like a five star experience. Here are some initial, foundational steps of creating a luxury brand.
1. Create A Customer Persona & Incorporate That Into Your Marketing
First, it’s not enough to say that your ideal customer is a ‘luxury’ or ‘high end’ buyer. Who are they, really? Creating a customer persona is one of the best steps you can take before creating an ad or building a marketing campaign. Jessica Lunk, wrote for Benchmark One, that this crafted persona should include a detailed understanding of the customer’s history (who are they, and where do they come from?), a ‘day in the life,’ and their biggest pain points.
Ideally, this should be done through interviews, so it’s not merely guesswork. Interviews are the best way to understand a customer’s challenges, especially when they’re not primarily apparent. Look for clues of ways in which you can make their lives easier and more convenient, or offer them the five star service that they’re looking for. Then, alter their customer personas into ‘characters’ for ad and marketing campaigns, using variations of their stated pain points to guide the narrative around your ads.
2. Add Luxury Amenities Or Features
Beyond your own value proposition and the marketing, how can you make your product or service experience as ‘luxury’ as possible? Again, ‘luxury’ means something different to everyone. For one, it might mean unparalleled convenience, whereas for another, it might mean unparalleled decadence. Opt to have a bit of both. An example: if you had a dog walking business that serves families in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, you could add in a luxury bandana or bagged assortment of dog treats every time you walk. It’s that ‘cherry on top’ that always lingers for customers.
For coming up with your own ‘features,’ think about the experience you wish you could have when you purchase a similar product or service. Royston G King of Master Scaling, noted that for his business, they provide luxury by being accessible. “We have a standard we always meet, otherwise we have failed: and that’s following up or being accessible within five minutes of a customer or prospect’s message,” he shared. “People don’t want to wait in today’s era. They want what they want when they want it, and if they don’t get it right then, they can go elsewhere.” He also uses this philosophy in sales messages and following up quickly. “We take an approach of being omnipresent, which shows the customer that we will always be there if they work with us,” he explained. Luxury can also be in the intangibles.
3. Collaborate With Other Brands That Appeal To The Same Market
If you’re just getting started in building your brand, sometimes the quickest route to a brand feel is through brand association. For example, Asprey, deemed a ‘luxury brand,’ partnered with the Ritz Carlton for their ‘purple water beauty amenities,’ which includes body lotions and shampoos within the hotel rooms. This elevates the Asprey brand to the brand the Ritz Carlton has established.
This can be done in a variety of ways. Victoria Kennedy, CEO of Atman Real Estate and top luxury real estate marketer, noted that collaborating on events or through networking has helped her. “In the real estate luxury buyer market, everything is your network. If you work with others who are building the same brand and bring people together for events and get-togethers, I’ve found that that’s a great way to mark your own brand, while also getting more exposure.” So, start to look for brands who may be open for collaborations. If you’re both appealing to the same target market, it may be a win-win for both parties.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Go For A High Price
Finally, remember that price conveys a message, too. A luxury brand with low priced items may be a unique value proposition, but it may also lead people to undervalue your product. Rather than trying to compete on price with other brands, compete on features and amenities. How do you go above and beyond for your customers? This stands out more than a low price does, at least for luxury buyers.
Ultimately, your brand is composed of the experiences you create for your customers.
read more at https://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/ by Stephanie Burns, Contributor