A brand’s story is one of its most important attributes, but one that is often overlooked. Luxury brands must have a clear idea of what lies at the core of their business to win loyalty and connect with their customers on a deep level.
Your brand story isn’t just your history or a paragraph about your founders, and goes further than your website copy or an ad. Instead, it’s the cohesive narrative that lies right at the heart of your company: a mix of what you do, how you do it and why you do it. Because of this, a brand story should influence every aspect of how you do business, from the words you use to tell your story to your logo, website design, how you hire and answer the phone. It is a driver to your business, sending out a clear, consistent message that reinforces who you are in different ways – and influences what people think about you and why they should buy from you.
Why luxury brands need a unique story
Many brands are interchangeable. Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Caffè Nero all sell the same product. But what makes you choose one over the other? What they stand for, how they operate and how they make you feel.
Apple does it brilliantly. As a premium brand that charges more for their products than other computer companies, it has built a following more along the lines of a church than a consumer brand. Their entire brand is based on great design and simplicity: two basic premises that are replicated in everything they do from packaging and product design through to how they serve you and the store experience. A very simple brand story, but one that clearly resonates with the market.
How to create a great luxury brand story
At SO Creative, we specialise in teasing a brand’s story out. Here’s some pointers of how we go about it:
Forget about money:
Most clients say they are in business to make money. It’s true that every company wants to be profitable, but it’s not their sole reason for existing. It’s not the reason you choose to make luxury handbags or open an upmarket restaurant, develop a new couture fashion line or a bicycle helmet. Virgin’s Richard Branson doesn’t think about revenue; he cares about creating a culture that competes with tired brands and shakes up market, giving his brand a real maverick story that creates loyalty.
Some clients talk about what they want to be as opposed to what they are – and that leads to confusion in a customer’s mind. If you offer exceptional service you must be able to justify it. If you say you think differently, you really have to show how. When you are honest with your customers, it resonates as it makes your brand more personal and therefore relatable. When Avis say that ‘We try harder’, it was because Hertz was a bigger, more successful brand. That strapline summed up how they approached business and defined themselves for more than 60 years.
Ask yourself some difficult questions:
What makes your brand unique? Why and how was it founded? What inspires you about work every day? What problem do you solve for your customers? Are you ethical or humorous, fashionable or caring? Defining your company’s vision and and what motivates you can be a major part of your story. For example, Toms shoes set out to improve lives.
Using your story to develop a brand identity
By clarifying what you stand for and where you’re going, your brand can become more than just a series of products or services; it can tell an authentic and original story that touches the hearts of your customers – and give the brand room to develop while still staying true to its vision. Like Louis Vuitton, who introduced an easily-stackable flat-top trunk soon after the brand was founded in the 1850s, heralding a long association with leathercrafting and luxury travel which still defines the brand to this day.
Crafting your brand’s story is the first step in developing a unique verbal and visual identity for your brand. From there, you can build a unique and recognisable brand, standing out from the competition and connecting with your customers through reinforcing your story over time.
SO, whats your story?
If you would like to speak to us about creating your own luxury brand we would love to help. Please complete the enquiry form at the bottom of this page or head over to our brand positioning services page to find out more.