If you’re a small businesses wondering how to carve out your position as a “luxury” brand when your budget doesn’t quite extend as far as the big corps, this post is for you.
Being a luxury brand isn’t always about having a juicy marketing budget for fancy photoshoots, nor does it mean you have to spend thousands on pretty packaging. Instead, it’s about understanding the unique strengths and advantages you have as a small business and how embracing those can instantly make you a luxury brand in the eyes of your dream client.
In this post, we’ll explore how to operate a luxury small business and why it differs from those big corporate brands in the luxury market.
What being a luxury brand isn’t.
First and foremost, being a luxury brand isn’t as simple as popping the world “luxury” in your tagline. Luxury brands don’t need to tell you they are luxury, they simply ooze it. Luxury isn’t just about opulence; it’s about crafting an experience that transcends the ordinary.
Clients looking to work or purchase from a luxury brand have a set of expectations; from the initial contact with your brand to the relationship throughout, to the beautifully present brand and the end delivery of your service or product. At every point of the journey, you need to be implementing a strategic approach.
Let me walk you through three simple steps you can implement within your business to take it into the luxury market.
One: Personalise your approach
Because no, responding to an enquiry with “Hi, here is your quote” is not the foundation of a luxury brand response. (True story; this was the exact response when I enquired with a ‘luxury’ brand for my own wedding)
One of the hallmarks of luxury is exceptional, personalised service, which when you’re a small business is something you likely excel at already.
Here are a few dos and don’s for when your client walks through the door, whether virtually or in person
Do: Greet them by name. Don’t: Send unpersonalised responses
Do: Create memorable, tailored experiences. Don’t: Send generic templates with no reference of their needs
This level of attention is challenging for large corporations with standardised processes and high volumes of customers.
Two: Focus on the little details
Luxury and perfection go hand in hand. Attention to detail is paramount, and small luxury businesses are in a prime position to deliver on this front. Focus on the minutiae detail, go above and beyond and ensure that every product or service is of the highest quality and meets the unique expectations of your clients.
From your cohesive brand identity to the handwritten note produced onto extra thick, luxe card stock. Luxury brands are all about attention to detail.
This can also extend to your work ethic and your client relationship. For example, I know the majority of my clients are not tech savvy and that the collation of their website content can feel stressful and overwhelming. Rather than leaving my clients to it and sending nagging emails about deadlines, I check in with them regularly; through emails, phone calls, to quick instagram messages to let them know I’m thinking of them. I provide digital support, guidelines and go-to supplier recommendations. Closer to their deadlines, they receive a little something to help spur them on (I won’t ruin the surprise!). All of this results in a relationship in which my clients feel nurtured.
Three: Offer something unique
Small businesses have the flexibility to offer one-of-a-kind, handcrafted, or limited-edition products or services. This exclusivity sets them apart from the global corporate giants that may have a more standardised product line. Uniqueness can be a major selling point in the luxury market.
Four: Maintain a sense of exclusivity
Maintaining a sense of exclusivity and scarcity is a key driver of luxury consumer behaviour. Small luxury businesses can achieve this by offering limited production runs or availability, invite-only events, and other exclusive perks that create a sense of privilege for their clients.
Five: Create a cohesive brand identity
Luxury brands are not using £15 logos from Etsy and a DIY Wix website. They are investing thousands of pounds into their brand identity because they understand it’s value and ROI.
This means more than just a fancy logo; it involves crafting a brand story, visual identity, and messaging that resonate with your target audience. In the luxury market, every aspect of your brand, from your website to your packaging, should exude elegance and uniqueness.
By investing in your brand identity, you signal to your customers that you are serious about providing them with an exceptional and luxurious experience.
To wrap up
Remember that luxury is not always about emulating the grandeur of corporate giants, nor does it just mean some fancy gold foiled business cards. Instead, it’s about embracing your size and using it to your advantage. Elevate your small business by infusing it with a personal touch, unparalleled attention to detail, and a commitment to providing an experience that transcends the ordinary. This is the essence of true luxury.
Ready to elevate your brand? From Wedding Planners to Skin Therapists to Wine Merchants, I’ve worked with every industry but it’s the small, independent business who I adore working with the most. If you’re looking for a Designer who thrives when working with small & micro businesses, I would love to hear from you!