Updated: Nov 19, 2021
You need to grow to make yourself even more indispensable, by steadily increasing, expanding and professionalizing your repertoire of specialties into areas beyond your industry. The more specialties you have, the more of your time you’ll be able to devote to high-impact value adding — working in your wheelhouse — and the less time you will spend doing things that are not your job. Remember, work that is not restricted is where most of the new opportunities for expanding your expertise are hiding. When it comes to expanding your repertoire of specialties, be systematic.
Humans are on a constant quest for excellence. If it can’t be found within ourselves, then we look to other things to represent it. This is what a luxury brand is all about: receiving an item or service of exceptional quality transfers this trait to us, and marks us (rightly or wrongly) as one deserving of excellence. It is this feeling of increased self-worth that a brand must cater to if it is to climb the slippery slope to achieving luxury status. There are a number of methods a brand can accomplish this, and the most successful luxury brands usually employ a combination of these, if not all.
The Striation of Business
This is perhaps one of the key defining features of a luxury brand. There has to be a marked difference between the ideal consumers and team of a luxury brand and those of a competing, lower-class brand. This difference can be social, monetary, or otherwise. The luxury brand’s or alluring people become the product to the general public, but they need to put in a lot more work/expense/investment for them to obtain one. It is this exclusivity that makes the brand so desirable—both to customers and to the public.
But then you may not want the public to know about your brand. Instead, you might only cater to a select few individuals, and not advertise your services to the general public because your goods are too complex or high quality to mass-produce. In this case, the esoteric nature of your products would be what attracts customers, and the exclusive nature of even knowing about your products or access, let alone owning one if its valuable goods. It gives customers the thrill of being with the “in” crowd, and drives up the value of your brand because of its rarity.
Become The Standard
Most luxury brands set their products apart by adhering to their own design philosophies, and eschewing the conventions of their peers or those set by the general public. This can lead to products that are either over-engineered or highly stylized, but in a manner that is unique to the brand. It is this uniqueness that becomes a prime attractor for customers who want to set themselves apart from people who use similar products.
The Allure of Luxury Is It
If the quality/pricing/image gap between a luxury brand’s product and its competitors is not big enough, an aspiring luxury brand might be able to focus on the customer experience as its main differentiator. This includes every aspect of a customer interaction with the brand.
Sales. Customers may be selected from a vetted list of candidates, similar to the point above. This highly targeted sales tactic gives the appearance of elitism and exclusivity. You could also express this by setting expectations, creating interviews, and saying NO.
Marketing. Your marketing materials have to communicate the exclusive nature of your brand, through both their design and content. High quality brochures, business cards, and videos, for example, will help give an impression of worth.
Appearance. Every aspect of the brand should communicate luxury, especially the appearance and communication. Distinctiveness will go a long way towards enhancing your desirability among elite customers, and make it even more of a prize for the general public. Design content that customers will want to immulate and be a part of.
Superior Customer Service. Your followers/customers wants to be treated like royalty, and a good luxury brand should indulge them. Every aspect of interaction should be pleasant and enjoyable. This could be anything from extremely polite conversation, to knowledge of the industry and product... or a combination of them all.
If you’re trying to establish your luxury brand’s symbolic value, look for a specific trait of your product or company that you can build up. Highlight it in your marketing material and promote its effect on your product or process.
Protect the Brand - In order to be taken seriously as a luxury brand, you have to protect your image. You’ll have to protect it from both external and internal threats.
Imitation by competitors is one example of an external threat. As you establish unique designs or innovative technology applications, other companies may decide to copy your work. If the design is blatant enough, you may have to confront them and take the matter to court. Piracy and counterfeiting is a concern as well, because these directly affect sales of your product. And the glut of low-quality counterfeit items may end up diluting your brand and putting it in a bad light.
Luxury Brand is Difficult to Establish, and Even More Difficult to Maintain. You have to hold yourself to extremely high standards and be consistent with every aspect of your business. This is why it is important to hire help! You need to create brand standards and processes to ensure this level of excellence is maintained.