An aspect that is especially prevalent within the fashion industry regards luxury companies relying too much on their heritage. Now the value of brand heritage can be extremely important. Prestige, especially when it comes to a luxury fashion brand, can have a significant contributing factor to a consumer when looking to buy a premium product. However, it can also something which holds your company back from continued growth.
What are Luxury Brands?
Luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Hermes have long depended on their legacy as a means to display their value and worth to potential customers. Now, this can be successful as it gives the feeling of exclusivity to their products and adds authenticity and weight to their brand name.
However, the market is constantly changing and what once worked previously may not to lead to success in the future which all leads you to some very important questions in regards to your future marketing campaigns. Firstly, what makes a luxury brand successful? What is brand protection? And why is brand heritage so important for younger generations when they have very different priorities to your traditional clientele?
The Challenges of Creating Digital Content for Luxury Brands
One of the biggest challenges facing luxury brands is becoming and staying relevant to a new generation of clients. Consumers under 35 will account for a huge proportion of the luxury goods market in the coming years and what the heritage of your brand is less important to them than the majority of their other values. Relying on your heritage alone will not be enough to attract an increasingly younger and diverse clientele.
In 2020, successful luxury brands will need to reinvent themselves by taking inspiration from the values and global culture of Millennials and Generation Z. Previously, luxury brands could rely on the strength of their name alone to drive conversions however utilising digital content and capabilities is now essential as a way to protect brand heritage. Younger generations around the world want engaging, interactive content that emphasises quality and uniqueness from companies and this is no different when it relates to luxury brands. If they do not feel engaged across multiple platforms, they will not consider your products, no matter how much heritage you might have accrued over the years. As a result of this shifting dynamic, the luxury brands who are seeing continued successes are the ones who manage to combine traditional craftsmanship and their luxury feel and interweave it with modern innovations.
How Luxury Consumers Digitally Engage With Their Luxury Brands of Choice
The answer to the question, What is a luxury consumer? is changing. In today’s world, the people purchasing high fashion clothing and bespoke watches is no longer limited to old money types, instead, they are younger, global and more diverse than ever before.
The challenge now is to optimise tools such as social media and digital integration without completely compromising your prestigious luxury heritage. Being successful in the digital realm and engaging with consumers can’t be done by simply associating your brand heritage with a new form of technology. Younger generations are incredibly digitally savvy and will quickly notice if your approach is lacking in authenticity.
Today, online experience is inseparable from the customer journey. One report predicts that online luxury sales will more than triple by 2025, with nearly a fifth of all personal luxury goods sales taking place online. The message is ringing out loud and clear to the luxury brands of the world: If you’re behind on your digital front, your behind on every aspect of your business.
5 Luxury Brands Nailing Their Brand Positioning Strategies
It can be a difficult juggling act to pull off. Especially in regards to the question, How do you brand a luxury brand in a modern, innovative way whilst still being able to maintain that perception of heritage that has taken you decades to build? Well, here’s a couple of examples of luxury brands who managed to balance these factors perfectly:
- Moncler – Moncler has seen great success by replacing its seasonal designer partnerships with monthly guest collaborations. Each collaboration includes a collection presented at a popup event and is accompanied by editorial-style digital content blending their successful history of designer clothing with the kind of landscape-shifting social events that will shape luxury in the future.
This approach on both digital and social fronts is seemingly built specifically for the Instagram generation. With this, Moncler have focused on creating connections with their audience and offer engaging experiences that see customers as more than just clicks and likes to promote both in-person and digital loyalty.
- Louis Vuitton – Arguably a brand with more heritage and prestige than any other, Louis Vuitton prove that incorporating the history of your brand can greatly influence a user’s perception. The younger generations want as much information as you can give them, so Louis Vuitton obliged. In regards to their products, you can find out when, where and how a product is made as the importance of sustainability in retail is vital in order to engage with young global consumers.
However, the luxury clothing brand took this one step further to emphasise their unique heritage and developed “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez,” a free 15-room exhibition featuring iconic pieces and a complete outline of the brand’s entire history. The exhibition ran in Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and New York, whilst in 2018 the exhibition moved to Shanghai where it included additional pieces with a particular connection to China.
Bvlgari – Brands are striving to offer guests immersive experiences marked by their own unique company traits and Bvlgari’s Hotel collection is arguably the most innovative and inventive way of doing this. Their luxury hotels feature a contemporary blend of Italian and local styles and such a wholescale approach to consumer well-being can help luxury brands build stronger relationships with clients as people. With users increasingly valuing experiences over material goods, this approach is Bvlgari offering the ultimate brand experience.
- Mercedes-Benz – Online platforms can also be used to provide luxury clients with the means to customise their own products: something Mercedes-Benz were one of the first to do. With their ‘Configurator’ function, they allow customers to build their own car online and choose the most intricate aspects of their product. Therefore consumers feel more invested in the product they are purchasing as they have been involved in the process from beginning to end as they look for their dream car. With this approach, Mercedes-Benz is able to bring the convenience and personal nature of visiting a dealership to their digital channels.
- Gucci – Going against the traditional stuffy nature associated with high fashion, Gucci were an early adopter of the meme culture. The reason for this is that it aligned themselves to the way younger consumers communicate and interact through social media making them seem instantly more relatable. Recently, they commissioned a series of memes to promote a new watch line with the accompanying hashtag #TFW (that feeling when) and it outperformed all their prior marketing content. Not only did it communicate directly with their target audience in a unique yet understandable way, but they were also able to present their enormous brand heritage in an inherently accessible style.
5 Tips That Protect Any Luxury Brand Heritage
All this can seem like a huge amount of information to digest but here are 5 simple tips that you can easily enact to ensure that your brand heritage becomes accessible while keeping the luxury nature of your company intact:
- Offer experiences alongside products as they are just as valuable to consumers as they build trust in your products and brand
- Be where your consumers are in terms of social media and online profiles to remain accessible and relatable by creating content they want to share. All of this makes them converting a more likely factor
- Personalise the entire process so people feel invested in what they are buying and respected by the company they are interacting with
- Promote your values in regards to company culture, ethos and champion sustainability and diversity
- Understand your new clientele and avoid alienating customers through being culturally unaware and insensitive
Protecting your luxury brand heritage is still essential to your company successes. Ignoring the traits of exclusivity could, in turn, mean losing your brand’s ultimate identity that has taken decades to build. However, there is no denying that these brands need to adapt with the changing times and embrace the evolving marketplace. By reframing and reformatting the concept of heritage into displaying brand values and creating engaging, innovative content for the modern world you can offer accessible luxury whilst still remaining inherently exclusive. If done sincerely and authentically, this can combine your successful, luxurious past with a strong sales future.