The Story of Luxury
There’s nothing quite like a good story. Whether weaving a tall tale or structuring a compelling narrative, the ability to tell a captivating story has been and continues to be among the most valued of skills. Just look at the recently-wrapped Olympics. What do all the athletes that we collectively pulled for have in common? A great story. Without question, when it comes to marketing, the story is key.
So what is there to say about storytelling? What insights could possibly be shared about something so familiar? Stories evolve just as cultures do. Looking at the underlying themes of current brand stories affords insight to overall marketing trends at work. The luxury industry, a market often considered to be void of trend-driven activity, has demonstrated some clear thematic elements that continue to arise. Without further ado, here are your top-three luxury brand story trends.
Ever a favorite among luxury brands, heritage stories leverage the level of excellence and quality that only comes with years of practice. While some of the world’s most prominent fixtures in the luxury industry adopt the heritage theme, it has become an increasingly complex foundation upon which to build a brand identity. Heritage is no longer passive. Once relegated to an “established” date under a logo and a brief summary in complementary literature, a brand’s history must now be actively told. Perhaps no luxury brand has embraced the juxtaposition of old stories on new platforms more than Burberry. The brand’s 150+ year history is featured prominently on its Facebook Timeline and serves to develop a rich brand story through social media.
Few things say luxury quite like superior craftsmanship. It is, at least in theory, the foundation of a luxury good or service. One would think, with all the attention craftsmanship garners, it would be a go-to pillar for establishing a successful luxury brand story. In reality, the effective execution of a craftsmanship-based campaign requires a careful balancing act appropriate for only some. Why? Craftsmanship is risky. It gives a glimpse behind the curtain. When it comes to best practices, watch brands continue to set the standard for craftsmanship messaging in the luxury industry. YouTube acts as a popular platform for brand, such as Chopard, to tell their story in a uniquely visual way.
On one hand you have heritage and craftsmanship, two complementary qualities that hinge on experience. On the other hand you have innovation. While an undeniable quality of some of the most recognizable brands, innovation often takes a backseat to tradition in the luxury industry. Some brands, however, have adopted innovation as a thematic cornerstone for their luxury brand story without abandoning the all-important traditional elements. It would by easy to cite a high-end automaker as a luxury innovation leader, but, there are some less obvious and equally compelling examples to showcase. Take Four Seasons for instance. The brand may not embody innovation in the traditional sense, but it certainly remains ahead of the curve with its willingness to adopt new digital strategies into the mix.
In reality, no luxury brand story remains thematically siloed. Successful brands, be they new to the scene or centuries in the making, adopt elements of heritage, craftsmanship, and innovation into their messaging. The lessons learned from some of the standout storytellers mentioned above can be applied beyond just the luxury industry. I mean, who doesn’t like a good story.