How to Build a Luxury Brand in 5 Steps

The global luxury brand market is worth more than $1 trillion a year. If you are looking to build a luxury brand, you must be wanting a piece of this pie. So, what are your most coveted luxury brands? If you are a lover of cars, maybe Lamborghini, Bentley or Rolls Royce; if you love fashion, probably Gucci, Prada, or Versace. Looking at these brands, you will quickly notice that there is a pattern to their success. Today, there is a lot of competition in the luxury market, and it’s vital that you stand out if you are looking to succeed.

There has never been a better time to build a luxury brand than this.

To get started, follow these steps on how to build a luxury brand.

1. Identify a niche segment

As you look to start a luxury brand, it is fundamental that you find a niche segment to explore. This niche segment should be lucrative enough and have enough opportunities for the brand to grow. The niche segment that you choose to settle for should have a big enough market that can afford what you are looking to sell. Despite luxury brands now being more accessible today than ever before, affluent customers are the foundation of their success. You should make sure that there are enough affluent customers in the niche that you are settling for.

The Value of Affluent Customers

It is affluent customers who are bound to give your brand the status value that it needs to thrive. You should keep in mind that in the luxury segment of the market, perceptions are very vital. If you can access the affluent customers, the rest of the market will definitely see your product as a luxury.

High-status associations of your brand’s offerings will help it build a name for itself on the market.

Provide Distinguishable Quality and Craftsmanship

One of the easily noticeable characteristics of luxury brands is the quality and craftsmanship of their offerings. As you work on identifying your niche, you should remember that you need items that are of top quality and craftsmanship to identify with the affluent customers.

Make sure that you can supply distinguishable and quality crafted items in the niche that you want to settle for.

The niche that you choose might be very lucrative, but you cannot provide outstanding offerings. If you are unable to match the expected standard of the extravagant clients, it will spell disaster to your brand.

Sustainability

The success of your luxury brand heavily depends on the sustainability of the niche that you settle for. As you look to find a niche for your luxury brand, you should make sure that it can sustain your business.

Don’t pick a tightly closed niche that can easily lead your brand to stagnation.

The global ultra-luxury designer clothing line for men, Giorgio Armani chose a tightly closed niche of mobile professionals as its target when it began. This tightly closed niche severely limited the brand’s growth over the years despite its success.

Thankfully, the luxury brand has realized this and is working on expanding its customer segment slightly.

2. Brand Positioning with High levels of differentiation

The Brand Experience

One of the most reliable ways through which you can differentiate your luxury brand in this highly competitive market is through customer experience. As you seek to build your brand, you should keep in mind that businesses in the luxury market rely on customer loyalty to prosper. Your brand experience should be curated towards upholding and solidifying the commitment of the customer to your brand.

The customer experience, whether online or in-store, should reflect the symbolic value of your brand.

Personalization

Personalization is also a unique feature in the customer experience that can help your luxury brand prosper. As you will be mostly dealing with affluent customers, you can take some time and curate their experience to match their personal preferences. This will go a long way in building brand loyalty, and it is possible both for an online or brick and mortar store.

The luxury car brand, Rolls Royce, has succeeded widely by taking advantage of personalization. All of their motor vehicles are ultra-luxurious, but as a client, you can go the extra mile of getting your personalized car. This customized car is made to primary fit your tastes and preferences. You can either request for this personalization online or visit their headquarters to get to do this with the help of an expert.

Through personalization, this brand has set itself apart from the other brands in the luxury car market.

Another luxury brand that has well taken of advantage of differentiation through customer experience to bring success to itself is Bang & Olufsen. This iconic Danish electronics and design brand is today regarded as one of the leaders in its market.

This differentiation has uplifted the brand’s symbolic value and resulted in more customers wanting to associate themselves with it to boost their social hierarchy.

3. Emphasizing the symbolic value

Luxury brands thrive on what people think about the brand. In most cases, apart from quality and craftsmanship, luxury items usually have no additional functional value from the other regular items. What stands out for most luxury brands is their symbolic value. It’s therefore vital for a luxury brand to emphasize on its symbolic value it is looking to succeed in the market.

The symbolic value of a luxury brand emanates from its social standing.

It is this symbolic value that is responsible for creating a market for the brand. In this era of social media, some luxury brands have embraced such platforms and especially Instagram to emphasize on their symbolic value.

Building a luxury brand on Instagram

What makes Instagram stand out from the other social media platforms is its visual focus, and when it comes to emphasizing the symbolic value of a brand, nothing is better than visual perception. Leveraging the power of Instagram to build you luxury brand can easily take you to the next level.

Here’s how to do it:

  • • Create content and post it consistently: It’s essential that you create content that is loyal to your niche and post it consistently. Original content is usually more enticing on this social media platform. Remember to match the details of your posts, such as color patterns, angles, and aspect ratios.
  • • Utilize a content calendar: For you to create a massive following for your luxury brand on Instagram, you need to utilize a content calendar. Plan strategically and post when you’re your content will have more visibility.
  • • Partner with influencers: Influencers play an essential role in building a brand on Instagram. As a luxury brand, you should reach out to influencers that will add value to your brand. They should be in line with the symbolic value of your brand. While on this, try to avoid individuals with huge numbers of followers but no engagements.
  • • Take advantage of hashtags: Hashtags are an Instagram feature which most brands on the platform fail to take advantage of despite its high potential. As a luxury brand, make sure that you use the relevant hashtags for your content whenever you post any. Two or three hashtags should be enough, don’t overdo it.
  • • Be consistent in your brand message: As a luxury brand, you should focus on your brand message. Only make quotes that go in line with what your brand stands for.
  • • Be engaging: People love following an engaging brand on Instagram. Take some time to like or reply to some of the comments on your posts. They may not be your clients yet, but someday they may be.

4. Create and reinforce exclusivity perceptions

As mentioned earlier, the symbolic value of your brand is what makes it desirable. To push the market desire for your brand even further, it’s crucial that you create and reinforce its exclusivity perceptions. Everybody wants to stand out from the crowd, and if the market perceives your brand as exclusive, it’s what they will go for to achieve this.

Embracing Brand Heritage

Every luxury brand has a unique story to tell. As a luxury brand, you can take advantage of your story and heritage to create and reinforce the exclusivity perceptions. Embracing this heritage will help your brand stand out as from the competition as the elite. This will also help the market connect to your brand.

Do not shy away from telling your rags to riches story.

Ralph Lauren is one brand that tells this story and epitomizes the American Dream. The brand has found a lot of success in the market by exclusively targeting the high achievers who relate with its heritage.

Sustaining the Brand’s Position

The perception of exclusivity for a brand can also enable it to persevere tough times, such as increased competition. It’s human nature to go for the most exclusive offering even in times of hardship like a recession. To effectively achieve this, you should take tactical actions that create a sense of exclusivity for the brand and also reinforces it.

5. Intransigent delivery on superior brand promise

Among the biggest challenges that luxury brands face is delivering on the brand’s promises consistently. Your brand can only be successful if it can be able to deliver on its superior brand promise intransigently. By doing this, your luxury brand will be able to earn the loyalty of your affluent customers.

You should know that delivering on the brand promise involves taking on multiple dimensions for a luxury brand.

Upholding Brand Identity

For a luxury brand, the temptation of satisfying the excess demand can be so huge.

Despite this, you should stick to upholding your brand identity as a luxurious. No matter how huge the demand is, remember that trying to cash in by meeting that demand may irreversibly damage your brand identity. Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton have managed to be as successful as they are by destroying any surplus merchandise that may dilute their brand equity.

Success is a journey

As you embark on building your luxury brand, you should keep in mind that success is a journey. In this journey, just like any other, you are bound to come across challenges. You should not let these challenges bring you down. Practice the tips mentioned above, and all will be well for your luxury brand.

Keep in mind that quality and craftsmanship are at the heart of every luxury brand. Your affluent clientele is willing to pay for this and so why not give them the best. Additionally, in this age, digital media and technology play a vital role in the success of any business.

Embracing digital media and technology can make a huge difference for your brand.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.