Raising your brand’s luxury appeal.

Luxury, while one of those words that means different things to different people, is one of the most commonly used words among today’s marketers. Many brands claim it, but not always justifiably.

Expectations have changed wildly. Where you once had to opt for the upper end of a brand’s spectrum to get certain appealing ‘extras’, many of these features are now standard equipment in lower end models as the ‘more for your money’ battle rages on.

Here’s a good example:

Ten years ago, Hyundai Genesis aired its first spot on the Super Bowl titled ‘Angry Bosses’. After winning North American Car of The Year honors, the brand touted the fact by showing the reactions of their more established luxury competitors (Lexus, BMW, etc) in the spot. In doing so, they began to position themselves as a viable, high value option to these long-standing ‘luxury’ nameplates. Disruption at its finest.

At MÉR Brand Solutions, we’ve helped several brands raise their luxury appeal and have distilled down a distinct process to help them do so. Here are the basics:

The Product Promise. It all starts here. If a product wants to claim a more luxurious rung on the brand ‘ladder’, they must first commit to having their product fulfill the promise of luxury. If it doesn’t walk the walk, no amount of marketing genius can help move that needle. In fact, it will have exactly the opposite effect.

Find your niche. Position your brand based on its unique attributes, or put a spin on it that creates distinction. If a segment doesn’t exist to express your product positioning, create one.

Images are everything. Playing at a higher level means investing in how you portray your product in still and motion imagery. Product photography and videography are the raw material of your brand’s outward appearance. Dress it for success.

Less is more. Design ads, websites, digital, and collateral at a higher level. This means everything from font choice to colors and use of white space. These things all send a message, and are all done with a purpose and intent.

Bring your A-game…at ALL touch points. Today’s buyer gravitates toward brands who understand them. Brands that do this right have learned that every THING and every ONE representing them needs to be GENUINELY on target. Buyers can smell a put-on, or phony pitch that is trying too hard. We’ve successfully counseled brands on how to do this effectively.

Be a luxury expert. No customer wants to waste money on inexperience–particularly those who expect more from a brand. Expertise is king. Certifications and credentials are a plus. Insist on impeccable product knowledge from everyone who is in touch with a prospect or customer.

It’s a recipe. All the elements we’ve touched on above need to be combined carefully…and the proportions will differ from brand to brand. Like any recipe, it will affect the flavor of the end result. Your best bet is to hire an experienced cook…and our kitchen is open.

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