If you have a business idea, but you know that you aren’t aiming to sell to the every-person market, you’re looking to hit the luxury market – this is for you.
One of the most exciting things about the most luxurious brands is that they have a range of cheaper products. These more affordable products are more accessible to a broader market but don’t hold the same weight as the high-ticket items.
Some luxury brands have long-standing names, and it is history that sets them apart – but modern luxury brands don’t need history on their side.
Start-ups that are aiming to crack the luxury market have a wide range of tools at their disposal to make sure that they are the only brand you want.
So how do you do it? How do you take any product or service and turn it into a luxury item?
Photo by Nico Jacobs on Unsplash
If you are selling to everyone, then you are effectively the opposite of luxury. While there can be luxury brands for the masses, true luxury feels inaccessible to many.
Luxury brands do so well to target a specific niche that they know can afford their products. It’s not always about the product either. It is the ability to say you have the item.
From bags to cars, it is about symbolic value. Of course, the product needs to perform, or the value will significantly decline over time, and it will no longer be covered.
To dig deep into your niche, you need to highlight products that affluent individuals value.
The quickest way to make something exclusive to a single market is to ensure that the price point is high.
Not a single stitch, clasp, or service packages should be anything less than exceptional. When you sell to a luxury affording audience, they expect quality for their money.
Mass production does often lead to flaws in the product, and therefore a reduction in the quality. It is your job to make sure that your manufacturing methods are incredible.
Quality control will be at the heart of the operation.
When we buy something in a regular price bracket, we aren’t so surprised when it’s not a luxurious experience from start to finish.
However, when you are dealing in luxury niche items, the moment someone becomes aware of your brand, through to delivery and unboxing, it should feel incredible.
You will also need to make some firm decisions when it comes to unsold – out of season merchandise. There are high-end luxury brands that destroy all of their goods that are surplus or out of season.
Louis Vuitton is an example of this. Rather than dilute the brand, they never go on sale, and they never have surplus stock that filters down to outlets.
While there are some lower-priced LV items, they still hold a symbolic value.
Your brand experience needs to start with your website and marketing. Flawless marketing videos using sleek innovative methods from an animation studio can put your brand on the map as modern and fun but still targeting the affluent market.
Not like the others
Your brand is like everyone else; it isn’t exclusive or deserving of that nightly coveted niche market.
Luxury brands stand apart from other offerings on the market, and that is in any industry. You no longer compete with them when you don’t put your products and services in the same category as the more readily available and lower-priced markets.
One of the significant differentiators between brands is their features and the power associated with owning the item.
Quiet luxury has always been in fashion. Quiet luxury is the expensive type of luxury but rarely has the symbol of their brand on them. Only other owners know how costly or limited the items are, and it becomes almost like a secret club. Typically the styles are classic, the prices are high (for most people), but the quality is incredible.
The materials used for high-end brands are of incredible quality. The design is typically sleeker, and more people have focused on creating a final product, unlike millions of other brands on the market.
Rare – but there
Touching on quiet luxury above is something that is within the realms of the rare but there exclusivity.
One of the fastest ways to create exclusivity is that the product has a limited run, unattainable price (or no pricing on the website), country exclusive, and any other barriers to obtaining the item.
A great example of bags that are constantly sold out is the black-owned brand Telfar. Telfar is in the middle price bracket, and yet every drop they have – sells out. Their tagline is Not for you – For Everyone, and yet they are challenging to get.
A prime example of using exclusivity to increase sales, and the item is there challenging and within reach for many at a reasonable price point – but never available.
When it comes to catering for affluent clients with a big budget and a specific taste, then from the moment you conceive the product. You are looking to present a service or product that isn’t set out to compete in the market – instead has its market and is not concerned with competition.
Unlike many markets, the luxury market doesn't always place its purchase decision at the price point. While it comes into play – it isn’t the deciding factor. Financial extravagance offers something much more interesting: exclusive items, access to designers to commission work from, and investments.
Luxury items in fashion and jewelry often hold their value, and unlike technology and some cars, they increase in value when kept in good condition. Luxury items aren’t just coveted for their initial use; many bags sold by Chanel soon after sold out resurfaced many years later with a higher price tag.
And, one of the most important things is, as you launch your luxury brand, always keep in mind that digital art (NFTs) and digital fashion are making a big splash – and those two are aimed at a luxury market, with clients looking to make investments.
We have talked about the barriers that can be placed to almost prevent people from buying the product. But barriers somehow make the product more enticing – of course, because FOMO is a serious thing.
But when you have plenty of cash and a location isn’t difficult to get to – then you can bring your audience to you instead.
We know that everything is online, and you can order anything you want at any time. But what if you follow in the footsteps of some high-end brands and just made an online purchase, something that isn’t possible?
Online purchase for expensive items isn’t something that has always been possible. But now, you can purchase a car and have it delivered without ever sitting in it.
High-end brands like Chanel believe that their clients deserve a complete shopping experience, which can only happen when people enter their stores. Although their perfume, skincare, and smaller items are available online via multiple retailers.
Celine offers a limited selection online; for anything more than perfume, you have to go in-store too.
The limited off from Celine is their broader consumer product being widely available online, and their higher-end, more premium items have a location barrier.
Photo by Nico Jacobs on Unsplash
The final offering should be the most unique of all – a service that is only accessible without a price tag and undoubtedly hands-on. Producing whatever it is you do, completely bespoke.
Facilitating the most personalized requests worked into the product of service and creating something that will only work for the buyer is a skill.
Perhaps, say you make handbags, you have a rare cut of leather available – this can be kept in the private collection, only available to a bespoke design.
Tailoring your services makes them even more interesting because once one person has something unique, the demand for the dame product arises. Of course, you can’t replicate that – but you can offer them the same services to create something unique.
If your website is anything less than sleek and perfect, then it isn’t worth having. The customer experience needs to begin from the moment that your name appears in the search engine results.
Everything about your website should be functioning, sleek, easy to navigate, and straightforward, Making use of white space, choosing the right font, and carefully selecting which images make the grade and which don’t.
Every tiny detail will be magnified and scrutinized when it comes to people who have a lot of cash to spend and what the best that money can afford.
Of course, to be exclusive, perhaps your focus is on being so exclusive that even money can’t buy your products.
Consider the legacy that the Hermes Birkin bag has – no one knows how long the waiting list was to buy directly – you are free to arrange an appointment with your nearest store, but there is a strict list about who can and who cannot buy a Birkin bag. You’ll also be on the waiting list for it to be made.
So when it comes to selling your products to a luxury market, the efforts are worth it in the end – but how you build your business from the ground up is vital.