How to Humanize Your High-End Brand

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Connecting with consumers is key to success

For a luxury brand to succeed in the market, it used to be enough to just be… luxurious. True luxe consumers would naturally trust the premium brand while aspirational consumers would save up to purchase coveted items. Yet in the age of social media, consumers at all price points seek more from brands. It’s not enough to be posh. High-end home brands must also find ways to humanize their presentation to stay connected with consumers. Here are proven ways to do just that.

Many luxury brands focus on being exclusive, to the detriment of having a real, human face welcoming consumers. After all, when you’re touting a watch or car as the privilege of an exclusive, affluent few, you’re naturally elevating material success over social connection.

To turn this around, focus on developing a brand personality. Post on social media, write blogs, or talk in product advertisements in this personality. A little bit of humor can be appropriate for luxury brands, as it may make them appear self-aware of their high-end status. Additionally, developing a personality will give brands a natural opportunity to tell their story and showcase what makes them unique.

Luxury brands often tell their story using a narrative of tradition, elitism, eccentricity, or sensuality. Hermes emphasizes the history and timeless classic nature of their brand, while brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci look to their emergence as modern status symbols when telling stories.

Automaker Tesla has found a great way to share their eco-friendly personality by highlighting their customers’ stories on their webpage. Tesla knows that many consumers aspire to own an electric car, even if they cannot afford it. By sharing customer stories, Tesla hopes to encourage these shoppers, who want to purchase high-end brands, that people “just like them” can buy the desired product, enjoy it, and have their life transformed by it. After all, isn’t that the premise of buying a luxury brand?

Don’t overlook social. High-end brands may be tempted to skip sites like Instagram or Pinterest because so many people using those sites aren’t the affluent consumer the brands are targeting. Yet it is important for discoverability and to attract new luxury consumers to maintain a presence on those sites.

A study from Blackstone Digital Agency indicated that 75 percent of luxury shoppers are active on social media, so by being on these channels, premium brands will interact with their customer base. This naturally humanizes the company. Luxury brands making an impact on social media include Cartier. The jeweler posts less frequently than other brands but takes the time to make sure that every piece of content is on point. Videos showing celebrity brand ambassadors also work well to boost the buzz on social, as Chanel found out.

As you shift your high-end home brand’s voice to sound more human, you will attract interest from consumers who are new to the brand. By welcoming the newcomers while retaining loyal supporters, your brand can thrive.

Chris Ray

Chris Ray is founding editor of Upward Home, an online resource for marketers of high-end home brands.
Find more information from Chris on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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