The global luxury brand market is big business, with its value today exceeding £1 trillion annually – and despite the pandemic that has dominated the past two years, that number has continued to grow. At a time when more of us are launching new business endeavours than ever before, it has never been more important to get a handle on what it takes to be a success – and brand marketing is the key.
From luxury car manufacturers like Bentley, Rolls Royce and Ferrari, to designer brands like Gucci, Fendi and Chloe, if there’s one thing all of these esteemed names have in common, it’s excellent brand marketing, and being able to carve out an image and brand story that resonates with your target customer is essential if you’re looking to turn some impressive profits in your first year of operation.
Crafting the kind of reputation that makes for a highly sought-after brand doesn’t happen overnight, and it takes time to win the trust and respect of customers. But by presenting your brand in the right way from the outset and focusing on growing awareness in the first instance, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
Here, we take a look at some essential branding tips for new luxury start-ups to ensure your products or services quickly become the most coveted – and that your brand gets everyone talking, for all the right reasons.
Create a memorable brand logo
The best luxury brands are instantly recognisable, but that doesn’t mean going all out with colour and shape or getting over-excited when it comes to creating your logo. While every good luxury brand should have one, simplicity is the key to presenting yourself as a high-end offering – and simple yet stylish typography and monochrome or muted tones will ensure you create the right impression. While once upon a time, pictorial logos were all the rage, those days have long gone, and luxury brands should avoid them at all costs if they want to come across as tasteful and exclusive – which is exactly what every high-end offering should be.
There are several key elements to consider when having your logo designed. Monograms are an easy way to ensure your brand is perceived as having status from the beginning, so consider a logo which comprises one or two overlapping initials rather than spelling out its name in full. Brands like Gucci and Louis Vuitton are great examples of how to do this well. Minimalism is key, so take inspiration from the likes of Burberry and Dolce and Gabbana, which have both opted for flat, block typographic logos. There’s no need for drop shadows or other special effects when you’re a luxury brand, because the name alone should speak for itself.
Design the perfect business card
Your logo will feature across all of your marketing materials – from your website and social media channels, to your business cards – and should look cohesive across all of them. While much of your target audience will likely come across your brand online, there will be instances where face-to-face meetings are essential for building your entity and making connections, so it’s essential to have an impactful business card you can hand to important people at conferences, events and meetings to ensure you and your senior team are remembered.
Traditionally, business cards come in a rectangular shape, but increasingly, we’re seeing modern twists on this, with brands opting for interesting or unusual shapes that represent what they do. For example, a company that produces honey might opt for a business card in the shape of a honey pot. However, when it comes to luxury brands, simplicity will always win out, so keep to the expected format and ensure a minimalistic layout to avoid overwhelm. An effective business card for a luxury brand should feature your logo, brand name and the name and job title of the carrier, along with some basic contact details like their phone number and email address.
With such a limited amount of space, it’s important to use it well, and to do that you’ll want to keep to the holy grail of luxury brand marketing: minimalism. Have your chosen designer create a name card mockup so you can see what it will look like before having it printed in large volumes, as this will allow you to make any necessary tweaks beforehand.
Leverage your social media channels to tell your brand story
While your website acts as your virtual shop front, your ideal customer will be unlikely to find it on their own. Your social media channels are responsible for expanding on your brand story, as well as reaching and building relationships with potential customers – before ultimately directing them to your website to make a purchase.
Each of your social media channels should feature your logo as your profile image, and a short, identical brand description so that your target audience always knows what to expect and can quickly gain clarity on your brand and what it’s about.
Instagram is a particularly important channel for luxury brands to leverage, as its visual focus makes it the perfect platform through which to emphasize the symbolic value of a brand. It will also enable you to create a visual of the lifestyle that comes with your brand, which is important because this is what persuades many customers to buy.
Embrace your brand’s heritage
Every luxury brand has a unique story to tell, and doing so is a powerful way of reinforcing the exclusive perceptions of your offering. Embracing your brand’s heritage will ensure that it stands out from the crowd and help your target market to connect to your brand, so playing on this can be a powerful marketing tool.
Take inspiration from the likes of Ralph Lauren, which has continued to tell an enthralling ‘rags to riches’ story since its inception, successfully epitomising the American Dream and appealing to high-achieving customers who can relate to starting from the bottom and rising to the top.