Rather than making your marketing messages all about selling, you can bring much more engaged readers to the table by leveraging their natural curiosity for a narrative, and establish a longer-term emotional connection with them. It is estimated that we are 22 times more likely to remember a fact if it’s embellished with a story – stories elicit a response because they make us think as well as feel!
Usually, a mainstream brand is defined by positioning: an aim to be the product or service that offers a powerful promise or benefit to a certain type of customer, as distinct from close competitors. In this context, positioning often becomes the cornerstone of a brand management program – and it is also applicable to many premium brands.
However, in the luxury arena, we shouldn’t focus on positioning. As the luxury brand cultivates its uniqueness, it can remain faithful to an identity rather than worrying about achieving superiority over competitors. Just like an artist, then it is free from the pressure of comparison.
Imagine Renoir or Degas constantly looking over their shoulder at their contemporaries! Instead each painter works in their own way, according to their individual creativity, driven by personal ethos. The luxury creator or founder at the helm of a brand becomes a great source of stories and, like those renown artisans, they’re an important benchmark of style and taste.
Coherent & consistent
To achieve a compelling brand story you must know who you are and stick to it. When a formative creative influence or key creative genius leaves any business, it is necessary to codify the brand experience in order to give it longevity. This identity is built upon roots, heritage, values and ideally founding dreams. More than anything else luxury brands are about a single, epic tale.
There are few industries that pride themselves as much on provenance, as luxury does. It’s a trail of breadcrumbs scattered through every part of the journey that constantly reminds us what’s important or relevant.
Today, greater cultural significance comes from companies who exist outside traditional luxury. Unencumbered by the way that the business is done, they look at storytelling with the fresh eyes of the modern luxury consumer
Ethos is a word from Greek roots which really means ‘character’ – it relates to authenticity and credibility in the mind of customers. Modern high-end interior brands can succeed, just like the luxury houses of old, if they build their business on a direct relationship with their customers. When perception matches the reality of consumer behavior then ethos totally works and makes sense.
When digital media liberated storytelling (previously confined to video and print), the luxury industry joined the rush to seduce customers across social media. Luxury brands now have the opportunity to weave their fables in an interactive, immersive, and constant way across all platforms. Archives can be plundered and the imagination that drove the brand when it was first launched can be unleashed to populate posts. A critical distinction must be made between brand story and content strategy though – they are not the same. Such a strategy doesn’t replace the need for ethos or a defining point-of-view for your brand.
At our agency, we always talk in terms of “creating desire”. We often find that the strongest brand practitioners employ their ethos with selected stories to successfully summon up the spirit and passion of their founders – using ingredients that they originally used to make people fall in love with them!
Want to know more about crafting your own ethos and story – we offer a workshop-based approach to help you uncover the hidden magic.