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Can your brand use a touch of luxury?

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There are some product and service categories that are automatically defined as luxurious. Jewelry stores, spas, five-star hotels, high-end fashion boutiques… But is this distinction really set in stone? Can the term “luxury” never be used to describe, say, a humble bed and breakfast, or a relocating service, or even a web host?

I don’t think so. Any product, any service, any brand can have an added value of luxury.

Sometimes just a touch can be enough. Sometimes it can redefine the entire brand image.

Can this be right for you? I can’t tell you, of course, not without talking to you first. But chances are, it could open up a whole new range of possibilities. Some that you had never thought of before. And that extra effort just might pay off more than slashing your prices or running yet another limited-time offer.

Before you dismiss the possibility as not right for your business, think about it:

What are some of the things that come to mind when you think of a luxurious experience or special treatment?

Some of the more obvious ones would be:
  • A hearty breakfast tray brought to your bed as part of your hotel or B&B experience;
  • The freshest, ripest, most aromatic locally-grown strawberries, served only during the season;
  • A jacuzzi and sauna, free to use as part of your gym membership;
  • A complimentary car wash while waiting for your appointment.
But also:
  • A small bakery that allows you to preorder fresh bread and pick it up on Christmas day — when everyone else is closed;
  • A personalized question and answer session included with the typical info product guides and workbooks;
  • A relocation company that, after learning you take kickboxing lessons, includes a couple of local gym membership discounts as part of your package;
  • A customer service assistant when calling your telephone company or web host — a real person with a name that you can count on, not just a random number in a call center;
  • Or even fresh baked cookies served during your flight.

The possibilities are endless — luxury can mean different things to different people, and your own approach depends on who you target. What’s certain, though, is that any kind of business can use a little luxurious offering, go an extra step, offer something of value — be it tangible or emotional — that others had not thought of.

And maybe you won’t need to hold that sale, or advertise the limited-time promotion after all. Because we all like to be pampered, to receive some extra special treatment — whether we admit it or not. And that, often, is worth a higher price.

Of course, your communication should reflect that luxurious experience, that little something extra. That’s the fun part. The important thing, as always, is to be clear about your main message. This is especially important if you want to redefine your brand image, to position yourself as someone who offers a high-quality product or service, and not just another commodity.

Because, let’s face it, if you don’t communicate it clearly, if you don’t tell your customers and potential customers that you offer something special, that your service is not just like that other guy’s down the street, that you offer an experience they can not find anywhere else, then… how are they going to know?

It may seem rather obvious, but it happens oh-so-often. Make sure you don’t forget to tell them. They already know about your category, the typical offerings that exist. What sets you apart? That’s worth shouting from the rooftops.

And if you need help finding the most effective way to express that, or just want to get a fresh perspective on how effective your communication is, let’s talk! I’d love to help you shine.

6 Comments on this Post.

  1. HI Lisa

    I like some of the examples you have given in this post. Luxury is different for all of us. For one of my friends with two small children, luxury to her is sitting in a coffee shop on her own, reading a book. For someone else that would be lonely!

    Knowing the customers and then offering them a treat is what I am doing. Only small things at the moment as my products are not high end. I like to put a surprise gift in with my readers order and a hand-written thankyou card.

    Will have to think of what else I can add after this post. Thanks for sharing Lisa. I really enjoyed the post.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Thank you for your comment Patricia!

      Yes, that’s exactly what I meant to do by this post: get you thinking how you can add some unexpected, classy touch that will make your product or service a higher value in the eyes of your customer.

      And I know what you mean; I have plenty of friends who consider alone time the most luxurious gift of them all! There are many people like this who are devoted members of my gym (Virgin); simply because it offers babysitting and activities for children, for as long as the parent is there. Add to that all the fun courses, jacuzzi, sauna, etc., and of course this is a winner for busy moms and dads.

      I think a hand-written card is always a nice touch; it shows personal attention. A surprise gift is also nice (I wonder if you tell them about the surprise in your offer?) — I am curious to know what it is! And I’m certain you can think of something else… Maybe not for all your orders, but say you were offering a special package for a holiday? For example, Valentine’s day, which is coming up soon… I bet you could make it into a perfect gift set; or a pamper kit for those celebrating alone. (Rather than running a slashed-price special, which is what most will be doing.)

      People don’t look for cheapest prices when they want to surprise their loved ones, or to treat themselves; they look for the best value and most original products. I’m sure that this will give you some ideas, but if you want more, just give me a shout!

      • I didn’t think of Valentine’s day. A pamper pack. Great idea. Should have you on my marketing team only it’s just me and my lavender products….at the moment lol

        I don’t tell them, just pop it in as a surprise. And I wrap their gift in lavender coloured paper so they have something to unwrap :-)

        Want to eventually have small bags with my logo on it. Just have to generate more sales as with low priced items, not much profit margin, but this post is giving me the ideas to make things a bit more upmarket.

        Patricia Perth Australia

        • Glad I could help with some ideas! And if you ever need more, just stop by. Who knows, maybe in the future there will be a marketing team for your lavenders. :)

  2. Thanks a million. This is just the type of issue I have been tackling for my day job. We’re already a high-end company but I don’t think we’re communicating that clearly enough to our prospective clients. This post couldn’t have come at a better time and it has really helped me put things in perspective- now I’m looking forward to revamping our campaigns.

    • Hi Margeaux!

      So glad my post came at a good time! I think it’s difficult for many companies to communicate their main advantage clearly enough — probably because those closely involved tend to see so many little details and advantages, that it’s hard to focus.
      I would love to see your revamped campaigns when they are ready!
      And if you ever feel like you could use my opinion — you know where to find me.

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