The Finer Things


Last week I went to a talk hosted by The Royal Collage of Art. Nadia Danhash chaired the conversation, she was joined by Hazel Kay (Marketing Director or Selfridges), Birgit Schmidt & Sofus Graae (founders of SMITH/GREY) and Emma J Shipley (scarf designer).

The subject of the evening was ‘The Finer Things’ focusing on how to start and run a luxury brand. Most of my clients offer luxury products or services so attending a conversation between three companies with different levels of experience, budget and numbers of employees was intriguing.

Here’s what they discussed:

BUYING

  • You can attract buyers by being involved in fairs and shows

  • Contact buyers and invite them, keep them up to date with awards and shows

  • Being stocked in the wrong places can put other buyers off

POP-UPS

  • Most of the speakers have found these effective

  • Pop-ups great way to discover feedback, see how the market interacts with your product, and get to know the customer wants/ needs

  • Make sure you collaborate with the right people

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • A lot of this is pre planned, around 85% for bigger companies like Selfridges. Whilst smaller brands have the luxury of being able to be more reactive, proactive pre planning is still key

  • It’s crucial to have a marketing calendar so you can target upcoming events

  • You can still be luxury whilst appearing to the masses, it’s about your approach to the content and who you engage with publicly

  • Good, strong images are key to social media marketing

PR & ADVERSITING

  • All three companies have found that this is a full time job

  • You will make press contacts but the relationship must be maintained

  • SMITH/ GREY and Emma J Shipley hired their PR agencies 6 months to a 1 year after launching their companies

  • Even agencies won’t get you a constant stream of PR but they can get you quality PR

  • Research your agency. There are good and bad PR’s. Make sure you work with someone who understands you brand and vision

  • You are unlikely to see results from a one off advert in a magazine. Even if you are on the cover, there is so much content in the magazine people are unlikely to pick you up first time and convert to buying. You need to appear in them a number or times; readers can then become familiar with your brand

TOP TIP

  • THINK MOBILE FIRST. According to Hazel Kay, around 60% of online browsing is done on mobile technology such as smart phones or tablets

#luxurybrand #premiumbrand #marketing #tips

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