In BoF’s article ‘How Covid Is Catalysing a New Era of Luxury’, some encouraging projections for the return of the luxury consumer were made, specifically within the booming Ecommerce sector.
More recently the BBC has posed the question , and Vogue Business has been redefining Sustainability for 2021.
These are just three of many thought-provoking pieces that look forward to a future of post-Covid consumerism, and one can conclude from them that your brand will need to own many or all of the traits covered in the title of this post.
At SUM we see these as the kind of things without which your brand may not even enter the consumer’s consideration-set. If your brand is not seen as ethical, if it is seen as damaging the environment, or as having only a physical retail presence, it may struggle to even get off the ground. These aspects of your brand are the entry ticket to the market, and rightly so.
But avoiding failure is not necessarily the same as drawing a straight line to success. And for that to happen your brand needs a narrative, an idea, a purpose that consumers will find irresistible. Review any collection of branding case studies and their successes will tend to come down to a form of difference from their competition, and therefore offering consumers something that is new and valuable.
The concept of ‘difference’ is curiously contradictory to that of following a trend. A trend is about jumping onto a wave that others are already riding, while difference is essentially about creating your own.
Difference can come from the brand’s provenance, from the backgrounds of the people who have created it, the specific ways that its ingredients are sourced, or its attitude to a burning social issue. It might be based on a radically innovative approach to the category it competes in, a product quality story, or it might simply present a visual brand aesthetic that makes it more appealing than those of its competitors.
At SUM we collaborate with numerous luxury brand owners, each of which is going well beyond industry trends to create their own new narrative. We also work with them to develop websites that bring those visions to life, and to share their stories in carefully-selected SEO and social media, as well as targeted digital and ATL advertising.
To engage tomorrow’s consumers luxury brands will need to work hard to create a differentiated conversation with consumers, based on the kinds of visions and stories that exist above and beyond a collection of industry trends.