Opening a luxury brand is one of the hardest things that you can do in the brand creation space. My secret luxury brand playbook breaks down all the components that make up a luxury brand, including where the difficulties are and how to have them all work in harmony to get to a success level:
If you missed the tips I dropped in my TikTok short, you can catch them below or keep scrolling to read the expanded version.
Let’s do this.
Secret #1: Up The Quality
The single, most discerning, and most important thing for any luxury brand is going to be quality. No matter what, if the actual quality of the user experience isn’t there, people just aren’t going to pay the premium it takes to be able to execute luxury at a high level.
Take La Mer, for example. This is a go-to product for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and used daily in his skincare routine.
While it’s possible he’s been paid handsomely to say so, it goes without saying that one of the world’s most iconic faces wouldn’t put anything of doubtful quality on his heavily-insured body!
Aesop is a great example. I’m not going to pay $40 for just any soap, but I’ll pay that for Aesop.
Secret #2: Create A Trend
The extra margin that brands get from selling it at a higher price point helps them trend-set. That means:
- put money into R&D (research and development)
- put time into campaigns
- put money into distribution and getting their products out to the world
What luxury brand playbook would be complete without fashion icons? Louis Vuitton’s a perfect example of how to use the extra margin to chase or create trends.
They’ve been a top brand in the world for so long, so it’s no wonder they continuously invest in trendsetting, perfecting their craft, and improving or adding to their extensive product line-up across existing operations.
Secret #3: Collaborate On It
LV is also well-known for collaborating with industry icons like the late Virgil Abloh and new creative directors and involvers in the brand to make it popular and keep it trending.
But you can’t just chase trends; You also have to develop things that are timeless, that people will use again and again until it becomes recognizable as a luxury brand.
Secret #4: Make It Timeless
Cartier is my favorite luxury watch brand. The Cartier worn by Jake Gyllenhall here is an absolutely timeless wristwatch, and a brand that never lost its cool by doing something completely out of whack with trends at the time. Whether 20 years ago or 100 years from now, Cartier hot the sweet spot with this one.
Secret #5: Make It Desirable
Desirability is another one, if people don’t actually want it and want to have it, its not going to be a luxury brand. Its just going to sit there on the shelf.
Secret #6: Relative Retail and Resale Value
Which leads us to retail value. Luxury brands always have to be able to keep up with the least of relatively close-to-market resale value to show that the desire exists for their products. This lets customers know they’re making an investment, not just buying another product off the shelf.
There’s a lot of high quality interesting brands that you can purchase but you’re not going to be able to resell it on another market. Luxury customers look at almost everything they buy as something they can resell at the same rate or higher later on.
Secret #7: Tell The Story
There’s also a degree of lore and storytelling inside each luxury brand, both in the previously published narrative and the narrative that’s been written currently.
A perfect example of this is La Mer’s mythical background story also goes a long way in the marketing division and part of what’s helped position the brand to be such an exclusive luxury powerhouse inside the cosmetics and skin-care space.
Secret #8: Longevity is key
One of the hardest things to process for new entrepreneurs in the luxury space is that building a luxury brand takes time. Longevity is huge… You can have a really cool brand for 5 or 10 years, but luxury is built over decades.
If you’re not thinking of your brand from a decades-long stand point, then you’re not building for the true luxury experience.
Secret #9: Be Exclusive
Brands like Telfar have done a great job at matching some old democratization and exclusivity in the things that they’ve released so they’re more approachable, but overall… Your luxury brand needs to have something that people want to do, see, be known for, yet not just anyone can own that exclusivity.
Catch the Builders.Build podcast with my best friends, Colin and James, to discover more about our individual TikTok perspectives and entrepreneurial journeys across brands, products, websites, and more.
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