The events of recent months have changed everything.
Consumer mindset has shifted, supply chains have been disrupted, and the market as a whole is a very different place.
Fast fashion and next day delivery were taken away for a time, and as consumers learned to be more patient, it became about what really matters. Now the words on everyone’s lips are sustainable, handcrafted, artisan.
With more shops and businesses set to reopen in the coming weeks, how should luxury brands respond?
Shoppers are turning towards products that are manufactured with skill, using high quality materials and ethical supply chains. They want to protect the environment by buying less ‘stuff’, instead turning towards considered purchases that are made to last.
In other words, the market is becoming more aspirational.
In the past, luxury products have often been desired as status symbols representing expense and indulgence. Now though, luxury and premium brands are appreciated for their quality and longevity. Timeless style, superior raw materials, provenance and craftsmanship are the new watchwords.
Consumers may have become more careful with their spending, but rather than downgrading quality to attain a lower price, they have realised the value in investment pieces. A coat or a handbag is a signature item to be treasured, not discarded after a season.
The market is becoming more discerning, broadening the target audience of the premium luxury sector. It’s an audience that is ready to listen.
Luxury brands have a unique opportunity. This is the moment to educate the consumer, encouraging them to choose a product that will last. Enduring over expendable. Tap into the emotion behind the consumer choices.
Aspirational brands need to appeal to aspiration. But how?
Adjust your messaging
In recent weeks, consumers have had more time to investigate the story behind a brand and its products. They are more knowledgeable about ingredients of consumable goods such as luxury foods, beauty, or homewares and know the kind of products that they want to invest in. For example, many consumers are moving away from cheap, synthetic candles and towards sustainable, natural alternatives such as soy wax and essential oils.
Make it easy for consumers to understand your credentials by putting your sustainable sourcing, recyclable packaging, or philanthropic work at the forefront of your marketing campaigns.
A premium brand must act in a premium way. Some premium and luxury businesses make the mistake of discounting when times are hard, but deep discounting will only ever devalue a brand, and should be avoided.
Instead, use other methods to attract and recruit a new wave of consumers, inspiring loyalty with the quality of your service. Incentivising offers should always add value, not reduce spend. Try a 4 for 3 offer, or a gift with purchase.
Be confident and steadfast. Always look to increase the average order value, rather than decrease the price of a product.
Reward your Customers
Encourage spending through VIP clubs and loyalty schemes that make customers feel unique and special. The best customers can be rewarded with invites to exclusive events such as launch parties and shopping evenings. Rewarding with vouchers is a good way to attract further purchases.
The more special the consumer experience feels, the more you increase brand desirability and loyalty. This makes a strong customer base from which to grow your business sustainably.
As I wrote in my previous post, the right marketing is more important than ever as companies navigate the current crisis and make decisions for the coming months. The possibility of a recession is looming large, and some brands may be tempted to cut spending on marketing. It is a well-known fact that those brands who invested in marketing during the recession of the 1920s are those luxury brands that still exist today.
That’s right: your marketing decisions today could set you on course for success for the next century.
Seize the Moment
Now is the time to focus on all aspects of your marketing strategy.
If your business does not have an inhouse marketing director, Coleman Hammond’s Consultancy Service will put your brand in a strong position to survive the difficult times ahead. Just a few days each month of my expert insight and direction will keep you ahead of the game. Set up a free discovery call now to find out how I can help your business navigate to success. (link)