How Luxury Brands Are Born

Luxury brands often start off with humble origins. For example, the brand Louis Vuitton began life with its eponymous founder making custom-designed boxes and trunks in what would today be known as a pick-and-pack warehouse.

To become a luxury brand, there are certain developmental steps that help a brand rise in the ranks.

A Clearly Defined Niche

The key to being a luxury brand is being able to offer something of a high symbolic value to a narrow segment of customers. These customers are prepared to spend a bit more for a product that exudes quality and uniqueness.

Many of the luxury brands that are everywhere today started with one core niche and expanded to a wider offering as time progressed. Take Gucci, for example. This brand started out as a luggage manufacturer for the wealthy in 1920s Italy, dealing primarily in leather.

A Strong Brand Identity

How Luxury Brands Are Born

Successful luxury brands usually have a long story to tell about their history. The luxury watch brand OMEGA capitalises on the fact that their Seamaster range appears in the James Bond movies. Meanwhile, Rolls Royce can talk about how, in 1907, their Silver Ghost model was named ‘The Best Car in the World’ after driving between London and Glasgow 27 consecutive times.

Of course, new luxury brands don’t usually have the same historical claims to their name. To be successful, therefore, they must rely on a strong brand identity. This could be grounded in a firm national identity, or through tightening up the personality of the brand and the story about why it exists.

It’s important that younger luxury brands have a strong legal underpinning to protect their intellectual property rights, so they can retain that unique brand identity in the long term.

Superb Product Quality

No product is a luxury product if it isn’t made from top-quality materials, so it goes without saying that such brands should be shouting about this.

If the products are hand-crafted, this is another thing to highlight. It shows that extra care and thought have been poured into the product to bring the customer a unique item that a machine couldn’t replicate. Artisan craftsmanship is a central premise of many luxury brands.  

Exclusivity and Symbolic Value

As we have already touched on briefly, exclusivity is another factor that denotes luxury. This means the product should not be available in too high a quantity, as its rarity helps drive its demand and value up.

The most successful luxury products carry both functional and symbolic value. Functional value is how the item offers the customer a practical usage that sets it apart from alternatives. Symbolic value has more to do with the brand’s social standing and the level of prestige people associate it with.

With careful thought to the branding, craftmanship and target niche, new brands can make their name in the luxury space.