We are one of the leading luxury consulting firms not only in London, but around the world. Over the years, we have worked on a variety of luxury campaigns and helped household names build their brand and adapt to the modern corporate landscape. Here are some of the things that a luxury brand consultant like Crum can help you do..
What does a luxury brand consultant do?
Let’s say that you are looking to purchase a bag, one of those bags is $100 and the other is $1,000. The quality of those bags is visibly different, the more expensive bag is created using higher quality, more desirable materials. But the materials don’t equate to a 10x higher priced product. So this leads to the question, what makes the intrinsic value of the higher priced bag so much more?
A luxury brand consultant firm (such as ourselves) will research your sector, competition, market segments and make a blueprint that if followed correctly will lead to the development of an aspiring luxury brand or current brand that is looking to rebrand or bolster their name even more. Working with a luxury brand consultant can be essential for organizations who’s identity is built on being a high-end name. It is easy for corporations to fall into the trap of increasing prices of items without strengthening the brand itself and eventually this can lead to brands becoming seen as dated, out of touch and no longer what consumers want to align themselves with.
Build an image
The answer lies within the image of the brand. With all luxury goods, you are buying more than a product, you are investing into the brand and the lifestyle that luxury brands are synonymous with. The $100 bag arguably doesn’t have the branding aspects that the more expensive bag does, regardless of what materials it is constructed from. Luxury brands that sell higher-end products spend considerable amounts on building this image and even after millions in campaigning, forming a brand that is considered “luxury” takes time in itself.
It is not enough for a brand to make high-quality products, be mentioned in a few magazines and then be classed as a luxury-brand. The messaging behind the organization, the story and the ethos is what brings life to an otherwise corporate identity. We delve into what sparked the idea for a brand to be made and give it an edge that makes people interested in it and resonate with the messaging. This doesn’t mean the thought process behind a brand has to be relatable, but it does need to be desirable.
Another way in which we work with clients in order to build an ‘image’ is to partner with celebrities who are respected in their industry, such as actors and actresses, sportspeople, musicians and artists. This can be an effective way at building an image that people are attracted to.
For brands that are looking to cement their name in the minds of west-end shoppers, this is easier said than done. At Crum, we work with many luxury brands in various sectors to provide them with brand consulting. Although luxury doesn’t always mean the same thing to everyone. Market segmentation involves us identifying who your target customer is and building a profile of their shopping habits, lifestyle choices and what influences them to purchase luxury goods. Starting a brand and listing product prices doesn’t make those products be seen automatically as luxury items, they are just expensive.
To make an item go from expensive to luxury in the eyes of the people who you are targeting the products to, you must first understand what other products that they value and what resonates with them. Market segmentation entails grouping potential consumers by age, gender, income, spending habits and more. This is easier said than done and collecting this data can be difficult to say the least.. unless you are a consulting firm that has expertise in doing so. Once this data has been collected, interpreting it and finding patterns may also be tricky. The touch-points that occur before a person purchase a luxury good is slightly different to that of every-day products. For many, buying a luxury item such as a handbag or vehicle comes after years of savings, deliberation and research. Each one of these touch-points that a person comes across must reinforce the brands image and solidify the perception of being worth the price-tag attached to it.
Touch-points is the phrase that we use to describe when a person comes into contact with branding assets for a brand or product. Advertising touch-points can include a product being seen in a movie or tv-show (product placement), having the designer or organization win a prestigious award of be recognized in a well-known publication are just two ways luxury brands build notoriety. However, we use an approach that makes it much easier for luxury brands to build this image.
Every time you come across someone wearing a luxury item, driving a luxury car or posting an image in a luxury resort.. it should work as advertising. At Crum, we look to integrate luxury brands into contextual sources, such as props in movies. A good example of this form of luxury advertising can be noted in the Netflix show ‘Emily in Paris‘. The historic setting and luxury environment is utilized by French fashion house, Chanel, who’s products can be seen throughout the show. This is advertising that viewers won’t consciously identify, but subconsciously link the Channel brand with the lifestyle portrayed in the show.
For some context I will be using the example of luxury resort advertising and what it means to be strategic when it comes to luxury brand advertising. It can be difficult for resorts, hotels and restaurants to build the image of being a luxury-destination.. unless they have a Michelin star, renowned chef or a long-lasting brand name. This means the way we approach advertising location-based brands is slightly different than items and products. To fulfill our requirements as a luxury brand consultant, we look at incorporating the locations into mixed-media sources. This means using client locations as film-sets and in editorial publications. Not all advertising achieves the same outcome and not all impressions are good. The main focus of our strategic advertising team is to hand-select which mediums best represent clients image and where it will sit aligned with brands of the same caliber.
Brand positioning is a basic business concept, high quality, low quality, high price and low price.. but this slightly more complex when it comes to luxury brands. The quality of the products that luxury brands produce are almost always of the highest nature, which means there is more to think of. When you go into a high-end store, you are likely to be met with consumer items that range from affordable to the average consumer (priced between $500-$5000), all the way to the other end of the scale, which is where super-high end products sit. These super high-end products are the Bugatti Chiron’s, Hermes Birkin bags and Richard Mille tourbillons of the world.
Finding the sweet spot where luxury goods fit best is essential to their success in the market. It would be bad for revenue and longevity if brands overprice items that are target toward the lower-end of the luxury sector. This is the same if the most luxury items such as hyper-cars were underpriced, their perceived value would decrease.
Consumer strategy identifies customer needs, behavior and the way in which brands engage with consumers. We construct consumer strategy blueprints after various levels of research are carried out and is one of the most important things we do as a luxury brand consultant. We provide an all-round consumer strategy report that details includes a detailed profile of a consumer and where exactly your brand fits into their lives. This is something that is imperative when looking to strive in the digital era, as targeting is arguably the most important of any branding strategy and digital campaign.
If you are looking to work with Crum and need consulting for your luxury brand, then contact us for a consultation to find out how we can work with your organization. Also, check out our other consulting services.