Everybody knows that there is an inevitable point or two during a shopping trip with me when they will hear the exasperated exclamation “Of course!” after I’ve proven for the umpteenth time my unintentional yet consistent ability to select high quality items and consequently, more expensive items than I should ever be given the option to buy. It’s a gift and a curse but it’s more than that too.
The gift is that it’s not simply about me walking over to the Gucci display and pulling the $400 rabbit earmuffs out of my not-so-magical hat. My gift is not about labels and modern packaging, it’s about genuine feel. And I’d further make a case that your business can and should work on the perfect feel before you dedicate capital resources to traditional branding methods. You cannot compete with Gucci’s deep pockets and feel can be a difficult concept if you’re not selling something tangible but you can focus on building the feel of your business through less-expensive social branding efforts (*SBE) and by considering luxury business cornerstones (*LBC). Here are a few:
SBE A couple of years ago Jimmy Choo made a galloping effort to engage with their followers using the Foursquare platform by organizing a treasure hunt in London. Foursquare is great small platform for something like a scavenger hunt and a fantastic way to get your followers/audience involved. We all want to feel like we are part of something -a team, a cause, a community. How else can you explain thousands of people chasing down some of the most uncomfortable shoes in the world….on foot?
LBC Superior customer service is almost always part of what defines a luxury brand. Giving excellent service to your customers in exchange for their hard earned dollars should always be a priority. Quick tip: Think of the last great meal you had or hotel you visited and list the reasons you feel you had a great experience. You know where this is going. I’ll bet there’s at least one thing on the list you can put into practice in your business.
SBE According to Digiday, even luxury brands are using the popularity of video content to move away from traditional branding methods like television advertising. Viral videos are changing the industry because funny and irreverent feels good and feeling good sells. Fast Company has some tips on how to get in the game. Quick tip: Consider Instagram or Vine for quickie videos on: limited time offers, how-tos, and new product teasers.
LBC Whether you’ve got a team behind you or you’re on your own – the attitude, product knowledge and overall presentation of the product or service plays an important role in the purchase of any item. You have to understand that your consumer wants to feel like 1) they can trust you 2) they’ve made a decision based on logic and 3) that they’re being taken care of. You can apply this to your business by making absolutely sure you know your target audience and have a way to communicate with them in what they feel is a meaningful way.
LBC Luxury brands ALWAYS have a story to tell and the stories become interwoven with the brand’s mystique and allure. Though you can’t honestly narrate tales of how you revived and expanded your dead brother’s fashion empire like Donatella, you no doubt have a story to tell about your business even if it’s only elevator pitch length. A perfectly crafted backstory or mission is one of the most effective ways to control the feel of your business. Science can back me up on this.