BEYOND LUXURY – ARE WE READY YET?
Since the last two decades or so, international Luxury Brands have been positioning and communicating the core element of their brand as an EXPERIENCE as compared to the brand value. Positioning statements have been transpired by the feel and inspiration you get by associating with the brand.
Marketing gurus across various global markets have done exceptional efforts to transform brands into experiential assets. Be it a launch campaign or retail ambiance, or even an online platform that endeavors to facilitate you with experiential aspect of the brand. This has been the most lucrative direction that primarily hiked the price of brand units by many folds as compared to none or less experiential claiming brand. Our favorite discussion point as a brand is “we don’t sell products; we give you Experience”. To me, that already sounds like a cliché.
Just to elaborate about the ‘Experiential’ aspect and its thought process, what exactly a brand means when they say it’s about an experience. Experience of what? Your brand, your corporate direction, your positioning as compared to your competitor or accomplishing your top line financial objective.
So, what’s really happening, as a consumer I need a bridge/messenger to express who I am, and that bridge is the BRAND. A simple example could be when I wear a t-shirt, it has a logo somewhere if not all over, that will align me with this brand and ultimately people around me and even myself should feel that I am that brand. In conclusion, I give money to the brand to adopt me as it’s brand ambassador and the brand accepts me happily. Only criteria to become a brand ambassador is my financial capability to buy an item of the brand. How mediocre is that?
The good news is, a small section of consumers understood this marketing gimmick and decide to go unbranded. We are aware that whom all have gone without any mark of a brand and yet have a capacity to own these brands. To me the future of branding is, to be unbranded.
The next is, I don’t need a brand that introduces me or defines me. I am THE BRAND.
These commercial tangible or intangible brands have to follow me, marketing heads of these brands need to work around me and align their positioning towards me. I don’t need a bridge or a translator to express myself, maybe a brand needs me to express them. I possess far more power and authority to reflect and resonate. In the end, I am alive, communicating, moving, breathing, not a commodity, idol item or a just a glorified brand.
PERSONALISATION is the future of luxury, not the brand architecture that imitates to define YOU.