We’re still in a very transformational stage when it comes to luxury branding. In other words, class is still in session for transforming companies.
Although this means that many organizations are in a state of confusion right now about how they can connect with and engage their target audience, it also means that there’s plenty of opportunities to experiment. To help you plan for an unpredictable future, here are some key lessons you can learn from luxury branding examples in the market today.
Luxury branding lesson 1: Embrace transparency (Chanel)
Chanel was recently named the most influential luxury brand on social media, outshining some other major companies like Marc Jacobs. There were many reasons that Chanel came out in the top spot. It maintained an air of exclusivity by only following its own sister brand on Instagram, and it embraced the power of influencer marketing.
However, one of the most important components in Chanel’s luxury branding strategy involved the use of video to enhance transparency and improve credibility. The organization regularly posts on YouTube with narrative-led content and feature films like the ‘Pursuit of Passion’ video with Gisele Bundchen. However, the organization also offers plenty of behind-the-scenes content, like its Inside Chanel series, intended to remind customers of the company’s long-standing vision and heritage in the luxury world.
Luxury branding lesson 2: Remember inclusivity (Louis Vuitton)
We mentioned above that the luxury of community is something that matters a great deal to today’s consumers. Creating a community in luxury branding is more complicated than it might seem – particularly in a world where identities are changing. Today’s most popular brands are those that can appeal to the broadest selection of customers possible, all while maintaining their own unique style.
For instance, Jaden Smith became as the new face for the Louis Vuitton womenswear collection in 2016. The actor/rapper appeared in numerous advertisements wearing skirts and other items initially described as “women’s” fashion. This bold move helped Louis Vuitton to create a more inclusive community for its customers, based on the growing trend of self-discovery among millennials who are no longer willing to be defined by restrictive models of gender and identity.
This is another example of how successful luxury branding today relies on understanding your audience and appealing to identities in a state of transformation.
Luxury branding lesson 3: Make a social statement (Blancpain)
Finally, today’s luxury branding initiatives need depth and emotion to be successful. This means that high-end companies need to stand for something important if they want to make a lasting impact on their target audience.
Studies have shown that the new generation of luxury consumers is increasingly aware of the social and environmental issues facing our planet. The luxury branding example above from Louis Vuitton is evidence of this. Standing for something is such an essential concept to millennials, that this new generation is even willing to pay more for the products and services they consider to be sustainable, environmentally friendly, or ethical.
Swiss luxury watch company Blancpain has built its identity not just off durable and stunning watches. The company has also dedicated itself to cleaning up the planet’s oceans, supporting scientific expeditions, and even sponsoring the Worldwide Ocean Summit.
To help customers feel like they’re investing in something important, the luxury house even introduced a limited-edition version of its watch in 2014. The proceeds of the sales went to charity, while each buyer received a membership to the Blancpain Ocean Commitment circle, which included invitations to private events about Ocean issues.