Quick information: Is Gucci a luxury brand or a premium brand? Honestly! I was also confused back then but will get back to this question as we proceed towards the blog.
Speaking of luxury brands, some brands might pop up in our minds! And many people differentiate luxury brands by PRICE, but is it correct? And also what makes luxury brands so special and irreplaceable? Are there any rules for being a luxury brand? And what is the difference between luxury, premium, and fashion strategy? Aren’t these so many questions that make our minds buzzed? I know, so let’s see:
In this blog I will introduce Luxury Marketing Strategy and a general guide to differentiate brands by Brand positioning and the information is based on a book called The Luxury Strategy, written by Scholars that are Internationally recognized thought leaders on brand and luxury management
According to the question I asked in the beginning, are there any special laws or rules of being a luxury brand? Yes, there is!
There are some laws of marketing in luxury and is called ANTI – LAWS OF MARKETING, there are 24 of them.
However, everything can not be applied to the current situations now what we observe from what the luxury big names are doing, for example, LV or LOUIS VUITTON the brand is playing on the edge of laws, For either style or collaboration with streetwear brands, But if they are one of the pioneers of luxury brands, What can we say? Maybe they are redefining the meaning of Luxury!
Luxury brands are DREAM BUILDERS. In comparison to premium brands although they are also in higher-level positioning they tend to leak information of some FUNCTIONS in their MARKETING STRATEGY. Premium Strategy is about to pay more get more. Functionality is key because it enables consumers to benchmark and compares with different functionalities and brands. The best example of a premium brand is HUGO BOSS. Hugo Boss’s brand strategy is divided into 2 sub-brands namely HUGO and BOSS. Hugo is young and millennial, while BOSS IS MORE mature and premium.
Well, must say plenty of brands set their brand strategy in between luxury and premium Strategy. Sometimes it is not easy to differentiate, also although luxury products are expensive with high quality, they are not flawless, Let’s take the example of Watches. There are two sorts of watches which are mechanic & Quartz. The Biggest flaw of mechanic watches is that it’s not as accurate as quartz watches, so why do people still buy mechanical watches? People buy it because of its CRAFTMANSHIP.
Speaking of advertising, the role of advertising in the luxury context is not to sell. Mainly they usually provide or demonstrate a pure visual instead of emphasizing some functionalities of the products.
Take the Cartier ad, for instance, you can see
there’s only one panther with a classic Carrier box. This is obvious that they are not trying to sell any products because there is no impact of the product in the ad rather they showcase just an image representing the Cartier Spirit. So what’s the aim of advertising in luxury?
The aim is to build brand awareness of course and also keep reminding consumers that this is the dream you are chasing for!
Luxury customers are usually educated customers. They are ready to pay more…, but, getting much more, Luxury sets the price but the price does not set luxury. And this is the reason why people misunderstand expensive products are luxury goods. It depends on the brand’s positioning and strategy. In luxury when an imagined price is higher than the actual price, it creates value. Normally if we do not have an idea of the price range for luxury brands we might guess it in a higher price level than its actual price, and this is the endeavor that luxury brands are doing to make us feel the products are valuable.
Let’s just say if you have experience buying luxury goods, you might notice that the price will be raised by a certain percentage every year. By doing so, luxury brands are also creating even more value for the products.
The luxury strategy is mainly about value creation, namely building up dreams. And dreams have a dimension of non-accessibility yet remaining at a close distance. Hence it’s important to create an approachable dream. At some stage we notice that luxury brands are independent of the market They are working in their way,” DON’T FOLLOW ANYONE” is exactly the motto of luxury brands, the brand itself is everything.
And now let’s recall what are Don’ts: Don’t test, Don’t look for consensus, do not look after group synergies. and some interesting don’ts work against the market i.e. Don’t pamper your customer’s wishes and don’t reply to rising demand. Luxury brands need to lead the market and consumer, not the other way around. Since luxury brands put themselves in the center chances are high that celebrities might outshine the brand in the ad.
when we think about luxury brands like Prada, Tods, Bottega Venetta, they are from Italy. It might be easier for us to connect the country origin of the brands, so now we can understand that why luxury brands are not leaving their origin because it is really important for them.
Let us see the connection between art and luxury, which is very close, luxury brands prefer to be the curator of taste they seek to be creative, bold, and different. Hence it’s the decision to stay away from popular art instead, they gravitate towards art that suggests timelessness such as classical art.
Luxury brands need someone “ENTHUSIAST” who shares wholeheartedly with their values, well although luxury brands like an enthusiast, they tend to lower the accessibility, LET ME TELL you a story, that it’s not easy to purchase some of the luxury goods. Take HERMES as an example you need to be qualified by the brand until you can buy the bags from Hermes because the customer, luxury brands wants are those who understand the brand.
Luxury has two value facets – luxury for oneself and luxury for others. So in my opinion, not every brand follows purely luxury, premium, or fashion strategy, normally, they try to combine these strategies by sticking to a core strategy. I think that digitalization and change of consumer behavior forced the brands to be more flexible.
SO, LET’S GO BACK TO THE UNANSWERED QUESTION AND THEN CONCLUDE MY BLOG: Is Gucci a luxury brand or a premium brand?
Since the inauguration of the new creative director of Gucci – Alessandro Michele, the brand is heading towards a luxury strategy.