People are drawn to the luxury industry for different motives. The traditional luxury ambassadors hold on to the ephemeral feelings driven by the narratives touching on superiority and pride. Then again, the experience hunters are seeking personal connections in the brand’s promise to unleash their dreams. Last but not least, the hip netizens who are fuelling the luxury space are powered by stories and the purpose of the brand. They have leaped over from “what I have” attitude to the sphere of “Being.” More and more, the mindset is about “who I truly am” & “what I stand for.” They want to be rewarded by the legacy, the qualitative experience and most importantly the echo of self-identity.
With this mindset, the brand promise matters more than ever. From everyday luxury such as Starbucks to super premium brand SilverSea Cruise line or ultra high-end brands such as Graff, desires are stimulated by the strength, the reputation and the feelings tied up to the brand promise. Once developed and channeled into multimedia storytelling, the narrative must resonate with the personal branding of the luxury aficionados whether the futurists, rebels, individuality seekers or vanity driven groups. It should evoke an identity aligned with self-perception and aspiration of the customers.
Starbucks brand promise: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Recounting the brand promise is more than touching off swagger or reality-distortion but skillfully emulating personal achievements, memories, and traits. A compelling narrative taps into the subconscious reveals the not so perfect identities and connects with weird fantasies with no judgment. Interpretation of brand promise through unexpected whimsical campaigns to the unassuming rebellious image is all about keeping it “real.”
Here are some suggestions on how to bring your luxury brand promise to life and connect with the expressions of identities:
- Observe many types of consumption to adapt the content. The how and where your audience garners and shares their personal information.
- Feature desirable qualities even so with an honest portrayal of human behaviours and circumstances. Tiffany, the premier jeweller, designed the window displays of its 5th Avenue, in tribute to New York’s graffiti culture while adding a gutsy attitude insinuating that things can happen in real life.
- Illustrate the concept of “who I am” and “what I stand for.” Luxury fitness brand Equinox voice not only a healthy luxury lifestyle but what gives meaning to life and what succinctly defines their customers.
- Create stories that forge emotional connections and exhibit meaningful outcomes. Rolex “tell a story campaign” features excellence, history, perfection and keeps us engaged by relaying it’s ambassadors experiences and testimonials. Oscar-winning director James Cameron in a press release about the brand’s Academy Awards sponsorship said “A Rolex is not only a beautiful watch and a masterpiece of engineering, it’s very tough. It’s a watch that you can take into any environment and which can stand up to the pressure. So, what you’re saying subliminally to the audience is: that character can take the pressure, too; he or she has what it takes.”
- Define the characteristics of your brand and align them with your storytelling. The unapologetic authenticity in the brand’s narrative is appealing and strengthens bonding between the brand and it’s customers. Tom Ford’s Limited Edition F*cking Fabulous fragrance branding, is a perfect example of blunt authenticity of the brand and Tom Ford’s edgy spirit.
Leveraging narrative to construct and associate values to the self-concept of the consumers needs to meet the expectations, perceptions and most importantly it must be consistent with your brand promise.