A recent study showed that 2020 luxury goods sales reached $247 billion worldwide. This massive number displays the rising popularity of luxury products, many of which are based in the fashion world.
Brand image is an especially important factor in luxury businesses, particularly in fashion. Having an image that reads more favorably to fashion consumers will help you stand out in this ever-expanding market. Among the innumerable brand image strategies out there, three overarching ones in particular will help you create a competitive position as a luxury fashion brand of choice. Read on to learn which those are.
Luxury Brand Strategy 1: Research Your Niche of Fashion Customers, Competitors, and Retailers
Luxury brands have a very niche audience and it is essential to fully understand them before going any further into product development, marketing, or sales. Begin your research by:
Identifying key audiences - Prior to launching your business, it is important to understand who your audience is. This comes first when you formulate your business model and can evolve through your business’ lifetime. Creating a buyer persona after conducting online research and using tools like surveys is a good way to go about this. For luxury brands, recent studies show that the target audiences range from age 25 to 44. More importantly, these customers are upper-middle-class and above (earning a minimum of $106,827 annually), and can afford products sold at a premium price point. People in this group tend to have the disposable income needed to buy products from luxury brands.
Determining detailed business goals - Once you have established who your audience is, it is time to figure out what your goals are. Building a brand image is only worth your time if you have a clear understanding of your short-term and long-term goals. Your goals will shape how you build your brand image. Luxury fashion brands can shoot for goals such as increasing sales in a particular category of fashion apparel and improving consumer perception of product quality.
Developing brand persona & creating guidelines for messaging - After you have determined your audiences and business goals, then begin the phase of creating your brand’s persona. Your brand persona should highlight the major qualities that make your products unique and as a result, your messaging will focus on and convey these differentiators. When the focus is on luxury, it is important to use messaging that shows that your brand has exclusivity and is of premium quality.
Luxury Brand Strategy 2: Create a Best in Class Fashion Brand Identity
Creating the look and feel of your fashion brand involves breaking every aspect down step by step. For luxury brands, you want to create a high-class feeling of quality and exclusivity. Here are the key factors that need to be considered to convey a successful luxury brand image:
Aesthetic - In the fashion world, your aesthetic is more important than it can be for other types of companies. The color scheme, logo, and how you present your main products will convey a certain tone. You will use this tone of voice to communicate with your customers and guide your brand personality. For luxury brands, darker tones and simpler designs dominate the visual conversation. Aspen True is an example of a brand that utilizes a simple color scheme and design with its logo. The aesthetic is clean, neat, and utilizes darker colors.
Values - Fashion companies typically have values that differentiate them. Luxury fashion brands in particular emphasize the quality of their products and why they are worth the higher purchase price point. Similar to its aesthetic, Aspen True also showcases the values of high-quality products and emphasizes making consumers feel good about themselves by wearing their luxury brand.
Unique Selling Point - The fashion industry can be very competitive, regardless of what your main products are, so it is important to find out what makes you different. These differentiators can include features, benefits, and unique products. A brand that does this well is Black Orchid Denim, which often highlights its use of premium materials.
Luxury Brand Strategy 3: Solidify Your Luxury Brand Presence with Comprehensive and Competent Online Practices
Once you’ve fully developed your brand image, solidify it with a robust online presence. Online shopping activity has already increased dramatically in the last year, and this trend is likely to continue. The following are channels you can use to illustrate your luxury brand image to your audience:
Social media and content marketing - Regularly sharing social media posts and creating fresh website content allows you to demonstrate your fashion industry expertise and feed into your overall online brand image. It is important to create all of these deliverables in accordance with SEO best practices. The content you create and put online should focus on topics that your target audience wants to read, watch, and see, so it is important that the research stage from earlier is fully carried out and topics trending with that audience are also identified and brainstormed. Aspen True and Black Orchid both have good examples of clear website design. Two additional examples of these include companies like Annie + Otis and Love Token, which showcase simple yet effective website designs that showcase their most influential products.
Email marketing - Communicating your brand image through regular contact with your email list is a good way to keep your most loyal followers up to date.
PR and Awards - Gaining recognition is something that will happen for businesses down the line, but as you receive positive attention for your products and work, be sure to showcase it in your outreach. For luxury brands, these awards can help make your business look more credible and position your label as a leader in your product category.
Strengthening a brand image can be an ongoing process for luxury fashion businesses. The three steps listed above are good practices to follow in the early stages of your business. However, reevaluating the performance of these strategies now and then will help keep your brand image clear, unique, and easy for your customers to understand and champion.
Yash Bansal is a marketing professional with a passion for writing content. He grew up near Houston, Texas. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and managing his blog, Yash Bansal Reviews, and hosting his podcast, Cinema Convos.