The Language of Luxury – Words your brand should be using.

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One of the most important ways that a brand communicates is through written content. Wherever your brand is speaking to your target customer, on a website, e-newsletter, blog post or across social media, language will be involved. But how should a luxury brand create written content that reflects its products? How can they be sure to write copy and include keywords that resonate with a high-end audience?

Play on the Luxury Experience

A premium luxury brand is set apart from other businesses because everything is in tune. The entire experience, from browsing and shopping, to purchasing and owning a product, is in harmony. From the lighting in a boutique or the photography on a website, everything, including the language used to speak to their audience, is an expression of the brand. The words must connect with the target customer.

Price does not Drive Purchase

The most important thing to remember when describing a premium luxury product is that price is not the driver. The target customer is looking for a feeling, an experience, a set of benefits. Not a race to the bottom. They may be looking for a solution, or a set of values. What they are not looking for is a low-priced bargain. Of course, that’s not to say that a customer won’t enjoy the occasional sale or special offer, but price is not the motivator.

Quality, Without Saying “Quality”

Although customers of premium and luxury brands appreciate good quality, it is rarely appropriate to use the term; brands that feel the need to profess quality rarely have it.

The same can be said for ‘luxury’. Instead, brands should build an impression through their communication. For example, a dress may be elegant, sophisticated, the fabric may be rich or sumptuous. If that same dress were described as “quality”, it would seem much less so.

Chanel uses words such as precious, richness, mysterious. The words feel luxurious to read. They are descriptive and evocative. By contrast, Rolls Royce uses authority in their language, with bespoke, sleek. Both brands draw on the emotions to sell their brand and their product.

Food brands often evoke a sense of nostalgia. They tug at the heartstrings with memories of baking with your mum or a beloved grandparent. Food brands use descriptions of scents and flavours to conjure the emotions and show their audience how it feels to enjoy a product. You may be familiar with the expression “sell the sizzle, not the sausage”? That’s just what food brands do.

How to Create your Brand Words

To create your brand words, brainstorm a list of 50 words that describe your brand. Narrow them down until you have only three words remaining. These brand words should be at the heart of everything you do. Use the same exercise to find words to use in your communications, but refine until you have a broader collection of words and phrases.

Consistency is essential, so distribute these descriptive words to everyone in your company. Your digital marketing team should use the same language as your customer service team, your PR specialists and even your HR and accounting departments.

With harmony across customer contact points and within your business, your audience feels comfortable and reassured when they read your communications. Conversely, the wrong language can feel jarring, and will be a barrier to sales.

When writing product descriptions, these should be elevated beyond the functional to sell the feel of the fabric of a dress or the plushness of the feathers in a cushion. It’s about design, not just function. An online customer can’t experience a product until after they’ve bought it, so show them how owning it will feel.

Carry out thorough keyword and hashtag research to discover what customers are searching and what other brands are using. Follow influencers and luxury magazines, check out online magazines such as SHEER LUXE, look at quality newspapers, adverts for luxury brands, or have a look at the Great British Brands feature of Country and Townhouse for inspiration.

We’ve put together some ideas to help you start:

Words that luxury brands could consider:

  • Finest
  • Treasured
  • Elegant
  • Stylish
  • Rich
  • Exclusive
  • High End
  • Unveil
  • Discover
  • Craft
  • Expert
  • Your retail team are “In-Store Experts”

Words that luxury brands should avoid:

  • Cheap
  • Top Quality
  • Value for money
  • Economy
  • Reasonable
  • Small
  • Modest
  • Your retail team are “Sales Assistants”

Your customer may become aware of your brand through a variety of sources, so make sure they feel at home when they find you. Ensure your language is unique to your brand, but fits within the premium luxury world.

Should Luxury Brands use the word “Luxury”?

Luxury should be a given for a luxury brand. Let the rest of your story, language and visuals speak of luxury without mentioning it directly.

Instead, talk to your audience about provenance, heritage, craftsmanship, and materials to put your brand in the premium luxury bracket. Heritage, sustainable values and British style all lend sophistication to your brand. The wrong language won’t speak to the right audience, but will alienate the target customer, and sales will decrease.

If you need to get the marketing right for your brand, Coleman Hammond offers a full consultancy service. Get in touch to find out how we can help. We speak the right language.

Kerry x

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