Do you have a flair for luxury? If you’re an expert in all things high-end, you might be ready to own your own luxury business. But how do you get started? Luxury focuses on strong branding and knowing your customer. The luxury start-up needs to quickly enter its niche market and prove its worth to the target audience. Here’s how you can launch a luxury start-up in five simple steps.
Make Your Story The Focus Of Your Branding
The concept of luxury has gone through several changes over the years. The average age for a luxury goods buyer is between 25-35 years old. Luxury brands like Dior are appealing to this demographic by releasing hoodies and sweatshirts with their logo on them. What makes this grey Dior hoodie visibly different to an unbranded one? The Dior logo. Customer loyalty and trust is fostered around the success of the brand.
The success of a luxury start-up is based around the strength of the branding. Your branding needs to demonstrate the eliteness of the product from the get-go, showing credibility and high-end to the customer. The key to your brand is the backstory, the hidden depth and culture of the brand. The customer hasn’t come across your brand before. However, after reading about the history of the brand, they discover that you have over 30 years experience in luxury goods. Your company is new, but the experience, culture and knowledge of the company is very much established.
The customer needs to trust you, the founder of the company, when it first begins. Write about your life, and tie it into your branding story. What was your background in luxury and high-end, how did you elevate yourself? What makes you stand out as a business? The customer needs to foster trust in you, and therefore your product, immediately before they make that first purchase.
Invest In Outside Expertise Where Possible
You could be a luxury goods aficionado but be lacking in marketing expertise. High-end products rely exclusively on successful marketing campaigns. If you need some help, invest in an outsourced marketing department. Get your outsourced marketing department to work with you on SEO, copywriting, market research, PR, campaign management and even website design. Investing in outside help ensures that your product has the best possible success rate from the outset.
Outsourcing to experts also means that you don’t just gain one consultant, but an entire expert team. The cost of an outsourced team is often for one flat rate and the fraction of the cost of an employee. You’ll gain a Marketing Director without paying them an annual salary. The same outsourcing expertise is available with managed IT services. If you need some IT support, for one monthly fee you’ll gain an entire IT department to monitor your business security. When starting a luxury brand from scratch, these investments in outside expertise will save you costs in the long run.
Customize Your Customer Experience
In the past, purchasing luxury goods meant getting tailor made and bespoke items unique to the customer. Even though now production is largely in a mass-produced environment, that doesn’t mean that your customer can’t create some custom-made elements. Involve them in the design process through your online journey. Think of Absolut Vodka’s custom-made bottles, or Louis Vuitton’s tailored design pieces.
Customization is the key to delivering on both a luxury product and a high-end service. Your client wants to feel like they’re treating themselves, and having a say in the outcome of the product is a vital part of the purchasing journey. Making this service easy to use on your website will also increase their engagement with your online services.
Make Your Brand Exclusive
Nothing declares luxury more proudly than limited availability. In the luxury car market, one-off car designs go for over $28 million – think Rolls Royce. Creating fewer items of a higher quality and uniqueness might be risky, but does communicate a bespoke product that clients are more likely to identify as luxury.
Your brand can communicate exclusivity in other ways too. Hold a unique and memorable marketing campaign as your first public event, or personalize your sales brochures with a particular fragrance or design quality. Create a luxury purchasing experience that provides the customer with something before they’ve purchased with you. Communicate that the personalized experience will continue during their purchasing journey.
Your Online Presence Is Everything
None of the above matters if you don’t have a decent website or social media presence. Your online presence is everything. The visual experience of your users is integral to whether they buy from you. Social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest are an excellent outlet for luxury brands. They allow customers to visually see the aspirational item they’re thinking about purchasing.
In fact, 90% of participants in a UK study revealed that luxury brands delivered a less positive online experience compared to mainstream competitors. So creating a high quality online experience will immediately elevate you above the competition. Focus not just on the visuals but the user experience and functionality. Focus on keeping short loading times, easy navigation and ultimately, on making it as easy as possible for customers to purchase the item they want. One of the key pillars of luxury goods is the level of service. A straightforward website is an integral part of the service you need to deliver to the customer.
A key element of your service is also engaging with your customers on social media. Conveying expertise and high-end in your language will help develop the voice of your brand while providing added-value for customers. Keep the quality of your content and responses high, and avoid typos or poor quality photos on social media.
You’re Ready To Launch
You’ve got a luxury product and are ready to launch it. Your backstory is proudly integrated into the branding and website. Do you need help? Then invest in some marketing specialists, or any outsourced consultants where you’re lacking in expertise. Add some exclusivity through allowing customers to design their products, launching for a limited time, or adding something different to your marketing materials.
Finally, many luxury brands neglect their website. None of the above matters as a luxury start-up if your online presence is poor. Focus on getting your visuals out there while maintaining an easy to use site, and watch your customers come to you.