How to design and market a true luxury brand experience

Creating a top-end global luxury brand requires a very specific set of actions in order to build the desired image and consumer emotion, reports the ‘IMM Journal of Strategic Marketing’ in its latest issue.

The magazine quotes a study by the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Germany, which identified several key things brands need to focus on in order to design and market a true luxury experience.
ESMT says luxury brands should advocate beliefs to customers rather than simply rely on brand values. Beliefs go further; they’re more specific and, consequently, more segmenting. Unlike mass brands, luxury brands should not strive to please everyone, only those customers whose beliefs align with their own. A good example of this is Ferrari’s belief in high performance. The brand rarely advertises in mass media, but it invests significant amounts in Formula One events.

When consumers think of a true luxury brand, they’re likely to think of a whole set of visual icons, rather than one single logo. With the Chanel brand you’ll think of black and white, the number five, pearls or a little black dress. Luxury brands should actively choose their symbols and iconify them through constant repetition.

Luxury brands must pay extra special attention to the way they sell and innovate at the point of purchase. Before, it was enough for luxury brands to use brick-and-mortar stores to sell their products, but they must now aim to design controlled spaces that create brand experiences and communicate brand beliefs. BMW World in Munich is an example of a temple-like showroom, where consumers can experience the brand rather than simply buy the product.