British luxury brands have to adapt to a new global climate while also protecting their brand identity. Here’s what you need to know about marketing a luxury brand.
The global luxury market is huge. And with predicted sales nearing $400 billion by 2020, it’s only going to get bigger. The future is particularly bright for European luxury, with sales predicted to grow between 7-9%.
HERITAGE OR HAS BEEN?
Several of Britain’s oldest brands have existed for centuries like Burberry, which was founded in 1856. Thanks to its heritage, British luxury is often associated with style, elegance, innovation and creativity. So it’s no surprise that many brands make “Made in Britain” labels a core part of their identity.
However, different audiences may perceive British brands differently. For instance, the majority of British respondents see British products as expensive, while a smaller group sees “Made in Britain” as old-fashioned. On the other hand, Americans are more likely to associate Britishness with stylishness than their UK counterparts.
Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider your audience when presenting localized content and think about the best way to position yourself.
According to The Kadence Luxury Index 2018, quality is the number-one indication of luxury. Fortunately, Britishness is closely associated with quality. But you need to account for more than just one global perception of Britishness.
In general, emerging markets like South Korea and Poland value the “Made in Britain” label because of its quality and prestige. However, Russian customers are more interested in the product itself, not where it comes from. So wherever you are marketing in the world, be prepared to dial your Britishness up or down as needed.
NEW MARKET FACES
Chinese consumers are big luxury spenders and currently represent around one-third of the market. But they’re starting to take pride in buying from new Asian fashion brands, which poses a threat to established Western counterparts.
Thus, when thinking how to market a luxury brand to Asian shoppers, consider collaborating with Chinese brands as part of your brand’s long-term strategy.
The rising influence of digital is perhaps the biggest change to hit the luxury market. Digital channels influence 6 out of 10 luxury sales. And by 2020, eCommerce could make up 12% of the market.
However, digital growth presents challenges for luxury brand identities. While luxury prides itself on exclusivity and scarcity, the internet has an audience that values shared information, which makes exclusivity difficult.
Brands also need to consider the best way to promote themselves online. When it comes to eCommerce, marketplaces like Amazon already allow brands to open customized stores on their site to reflect their brand identity. This preserves brand image, while also building a presence on widely accessed sites.
You can also tell your story on your own website, tying in luxury, digital and British elements. For example, Burberry has leveraged its site as an invitation to participate in British style, while remaining open to varied perspectives on Britishness, such as being expensive, high quality and stylish, without diluting its luxury brand voice and image.
HOW TO MARKET A LUXURY BRAND EXPERIENCE
Social media has shifted the way people think about shopping. 78% of millennials would now rather spend money on an experience than on a desirable product. This certainly impacts social media engagement.
This trend should actively inform your strategy on how to market a luxury brand. You’re no longer just selling products – you’re selling your brand story, complete with the experiences and emotions. Your social media channels, website and stores should all reflect this.
So, what’s the secret to success for British brands in a changing luxury landscape? Create a compelling brand story that customers can buy into. That way, you’ll create fans who will not only buy from you repeatedly, but who will champion your cause to their friends and social media circles.