Decoding Luxury Branding: Lessons From 8 Luxury Brands

Some purchases are purely for practical reasons. They are to fulfill a need or to solve a problem. In contrast, there are others that are for a feeling of exclusivity, prestige, and a sense of belonging. This is the domain of luxury branding, where conventional marketing tactics go out the window. 

After all, luxury goes beyond mere functionality. It’s not about offering solutions to problems but rather about cultivating strong emotional connections and crafting exclusive experiences. Furthermore, the line between posh and tacky can be subjective. This makes luxury branding a complex and sometimes intimidating territory. 

Let’s try to change that, shall we? Let’s crack the code of luxury branding by dissecting the strategies of iconic brands that have mastered the art. 

So, are you ready for a crash course in luxury branding? Let’s go! 

The Current State of Luxury Branding: A Few Quick Facts 

Before we talk about effective luxury branding strategies, let’s talk about a few quick facts to understand the current state of luxury brand marketing. About how the digital era has changed the way things work for luxury brands and how they tackle their ever-changing audience expectations. 

  • The luxury market is going digital with online sales expected to account for a whopping 15.4% of the total revenue by 2024. This highlights the growing importance of a robust online presence for luxury brands.
  • Based on a study by Deloitte, about 90% of luxury consumers shop through their smartphones. Therefore, mobile optimization is a necessity for luxury brand marketing. 
  • Nearly 60% of affluent young adults (aged 18-39) around the world follow luxury brands on social media. This means that luxury brands cannot ignore social media any longer. 
  • Moreover, by 2025, Millennials and Gen Z are projected to drive 45% of luxury sales. Consequently, luxury brands need to adapt their marketing strategies to resonate with these younger generations. 
  • This also means that luxury brands need to focus on digital channels and social media platforms that strike the right chord with these younger audiences, like TikTok. 

Armed with these insights, let’s now talk about crafting winning strategies for the modern luxury landscape.

Luxury Branding: 8 Strategies Inspired by Famous Luxury Brands 

Creating a luxury brand takes years of dedicated efforts in creating a timeless design and dependable quality that people grow to love and trust. It is about creating a brand that feels exclusive thus fostering a desire to belong. A lot goes into achieving all this. Let’s talk about a few effective strategies adopted by well-known luxury brands in various industries.  

1. Craft a brand identity that represents your exclusivity 

Have you ever come across a luxury brand with a poorly-designed logo? Or one with run-of-the-mill packaging? Probably not, because a strong brand identity is a non-negotiable element in luxury branding. 

For instance, let’s consider the De Beers brand – one of the most well-recognized names in the diamond jewelry segment. 

Perhaps the first thing you remember about their brand identity is the iconic tagline that revolutionized the diamond business: “A Diamond Is Forever”. In fact, Advertising Age recognized this as ‘The Slogan of the Century’ in 1999! 

In addition to the tagline, their charming logo, and elegant packaging, everything about their brand identity speaks of sophistication. 

So yes, creating a strong brand identity is one of the requisites in luxury branding. Indeed, from logo to brand colors and fonts, tagline to packaging design and store aesthetic, all your brand elements should align with the luxury segment. 

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2. Weave magic into luxury branding through storytelling 

At the beginning of this blog, we discussed that emotional connections are paramount in luxury branding. Additionally, one secret ingredient that helps foster strong emotional bonds is storytelling. 

For instance, take the popular luxury fashion brand Chanel. Chanel’s story is seamlessly linked to its founder, Coco Chanel. Her inspirational journey from a young orphan to a revolutionary fashion icon who redefined women’s clothing is a narrative of empowerment and breaking boundaries. 

Most of the commercials and campaigns from Chanel have had similar inspirational stories and bold themes at their core. For example, here’s a recent campaign from Chanel. The ad has a bit of wonder, a splash of drama, and loads of sophistication all effortlessly connecting back to the brand’s legacy of innovation and female empowerment. 

In summary, storytelling can be one of the most effective strategies in luxury branding! 

3. Leverage your luxury brand’s legacy 

In a realm of ever-evolving trends, luxury brands need to focus on leveraging their heritage as a symbol of their stability and enduring value. Moreover, a luxury brand’s history can speak volumes about a brand’s values, commitment to quality, and unwavering legacy. 

Think of the popular British luxury department store, Harrods. Founded in 1849, Harrods boasts a 175-year history that is intricately woven into their brand identity. 

From the grand facade to the meticulously maintained Victorian architecture of the store and opulent interiors – every little aspect of the Harrods experience is a testament to their sophistication. 

Given that their iconic store stands as a symbol of the brand’s heritage, you will see the facade featured on the packaging design of some of the heritage collections from Harrods. 

They recently even had a light show on this iconic facade as a part of their 175th anniversary! 

Similarly, identify the unique elements that represent your brand’s heritage accurately. Afterward, reflect your brand’s history in your visual identity, store design, and marketing materials. Also host events, and exhibitions, or develop product lines that pay homage to your heritage. 

4. Prioritize impeccable quality 

Even the best brand aesthetic and heritage will be of no value to a luxury brand if there are gaps in the quality of their products and services. Furthermore, people often expect luxury brands to deliver products that are meticulously crafted from the finest materials, engineered for exceptional performance, and built to last a lifetime. 

Luxury car brand Lexus is a good example of a cohesive focus on quality as a requisite in luxury branding. Several of their commercials focus on the exceptionally dependable quality their cars are known for. They showcase the meticulous craftsmanship and rigorous testing procedures behind their vehicles. Here’s an iconic Balance commercial that emphasized the refinement of these cars and a homage to the ad created decades later. 

These visuals, coupled with powerful messaging about their unwavering commitment to excellence, solidify Lexus’ position as a leader in the luxury automotive market. For instance, the commercial here stands as a testament to Lexus’ dedication to crafting automotive masterpieces. 

Similarly, if you are looking to build a luxury brand, focus on a relentless pursuit of perfection that sets you apart from the competition. After all, no aspect of your product is too small to deserve attention. 

5. Create a sense of allure by emphasizing your craftsmanship 

In a world of mass-produced goods, the allure of skillfully crafted luxury goods with fine handpicked ingredients and a human touch can be appealing. This differentiation often justifies the higher price tag associated with luxury products. 

Given that luxury customers can be discerning and can expect exceptional quality, highlighting craftsmanship is integral in luxury branding. To achieve this:

  • Feature behind-the-scenes content showing skillful artisans at work. 
  • Integrate virtual tours, workshops, and interactive content detailing unique techniques you employ. 
  • Create content dedicated to portraying your unique strategies to source the finest ingredients for your products. 

The premium Italian chocolate maker, Amedei exemplifies this very essence. They create content that highlights that their chocolates are more than just confections but rather edible works of art. They also have content dedicated to showcasing their traditional techniques. 

Their chocolate factory tours are an indulgence for users who wish to experience their unique craftsmanship. 

6. Enhance the experience through exclusivity 

In the world of luxury, exclusivity reigns supreme. Given that luxury branding is about catering to unique desires rather than solving problems, focus on creating products and experiences tailored to consumers’ individual desires. These are the kind that will be a reflection of their unique tastes and lifestyles.

Rolls-Royce is the epitome of luxury branding that focuses on exclusivity. Their Bespoke program aims at creating more than a motor car. It is about creating works of art – cars handmade to order exclusively for each customer. 

Keeping up with the emerging tech in the world of automobiles, they offer not just exteriors tailored to individual interests but also their Instrument Dials. 

A Bespoke Rolls-Royce transcends mere ownership of a car. It becomes a personalized masterpiece, an example of exclusivity. 

7. Embrace innovation 

On one side, heritage, and traditional craftsmanship are impressive elements of luxury branding. However, considering the shifting landscapes in the digital era, luxury brands also need to be forward-thinking to keep up with the tech-loving audiences. 

Bulgari is one of the most popular luxury brands known for pushing boundaries and exploring new frontiers. Today, innovation is a crucial part of the Bulgari brand identity. 

A good example is their Crafting Magnificence project where the brand partnered with artist Giuseppe Lo Schiavo. For this, the brand recorded the brainwaves and heartbeats of customers to understand their emotional state in real time. They then created artistic elements out of these biofeedback data. 

Or when they ventured into innovative digital experiences and offered NFTs when NFT was a big trend. 

Another example of Bulgari’s innovation is the AI-powered fragrance experience they created at Istanbul Airport. This innovative pop-up utilized generative AI to create a unique fragrance combination based on individual preferences. 

Brands like Bulgari are proof that innovation is becoming an important part of luxury branding. Because they are now shifting focus toward a generation that’s surrounded by technology in all walks of their lives. 

8. Tap into the power of celebrity endorsements 

Celebrity endorsements and influencer collaborations have become indispensable entities in marketing these days. And for luxury branding, celebrity endorsements hold a slightly higher prominence. 

Because with the right celebrity, you can effectively elevate a brand’s image, enhance its reach, and nurture strong connections with the target audiences. The fact that the recommendations from influencers influenced 50% of Gen Z luxury shoppers to buy from luxury brands online emphasizes this fact. 

A good example here is the popular French fashion house, Louis Vuitton. They are known for their strategic use of celebrity endorsements. 

From global celebrities to rising fashion icons, Louis Vuitton collaborates with a wide range of ambassadors who embody the brand’s core values of innovation, sophistication, and timeless style. 

In a recent campaign to celebrate their luggage-making heritage, Louis Vuitton collaborated with football superstar, Lionel Messi. 

Or their collaboration with Bradley Cooper to promote the Tambour watch. 

After all, given that Hollywood celebrities have a huge role to play in influencing fashion trends, collaborating with them works well for luxury fashion brands like Louis Vuitton. 

Bring Your Luxury Brand to Life With Designs by KIMP 

Summing up, luxury branding is a blend of a strong and elegant brand identity, brand storytelling, heritage, impeccable quality, craftsmanship, exclusivity, innovation, and star-studded glamorous campaigns. As we’ve seen from the campaigns of brands like Rolls-Royce, Louis Vuitton, De Beers and others strong visuals aligned with the core message in your campaign are a must-have. Because these visuals represent your brand and also help sculpt your brand image in the long run. They also need to carry the elegance and refinement expected of luxury brands. This is where a designated design team like KIMP can make a big difference. 

Because with an unlimited design service, you get a team of experienced designers working on all your design projects from logo and other branding designs to your marketing collateral. This makes it easier to take your vision for your luxury brand and shape it into reality crafting something luxurious and memorable. 

Ready to take that leap? Start by signing up for our 7-day free trial!