The Top 6 Strategies of New Luxury
As a branding agency with over 30 years specializing in the Luxury sector, we often get asked: “What does Luxury mean today?” and “How do luxury brands today differ from heritage luxury brands?”.
What we have observed with our clients over the recent past (both start-ups and successful businesses needing rebranding) is that traditional luxury branding models are wearing thin (mostly) and are losing efficacy in today’s marketplace. Why? The luxury audience has evolved and the definition for what is considered luxury has evolved with them. No longer is the luxury consumer driven by consumption alone and this outdated buying habit has even become distasteful in the eyes the “enlightened”.
We are in the middle of yet another economic and branding evolutionary shift: moving from an Experience Economy (where customers seek out and prefer enjoyable experiences over products) and entering a Transformational Economy (where experiences are elevated from mere enjoyment towards a preference for personal transformation). In this new economy, the consumer becomes the expert and authority - they are their own agents of change - their own brand that’s in a constant state of becoming. Luxury brands who want to maintain relevancy in this arena of transformation should consider exactly how their products and services can become vehicles for supporting their customers personal brand and enable individual and collective change.
The continued rise and pervasiveness of brand marketing concepts like Sustainability, Flexibility, Responsibility, Transparency, Integrity and Authenticity have become the elevated standards in many industries, including Luxury. Through a wide variety of tactics and applications, New Luxury employs these “elevated” concepts to help become part of a upgraded brand landscape. Targeted and helpful programing and activations, uncovering strategic alliances and sponsorships, producing new forms of educational experiences and developing innovative product technologies are all employed as effective means in illustrating credibility with consumers today.
Over the past few years, we have identified 6 specific strategies for Luxury business wishing to connect with an evolved consumer. Not all of these directions can be or should be adapted for every brand, but there are at least a few (for any business) that could be looked in an effort to participate in the New Luxury landscape.
Time Is a Powerful Luxury Differentiator
Part 2: The Luxury of Moving Ahead of Time
By Daymon Bruck
Bypassing “Normal” Time
I remember taking a flight from NYC to Paris on the Air France Concord in the mid 90’s and when I got into the plane for the first time I thought – what’s so special about this? A tight and slightly claustrophobic cabin (by jumbo-jet standards) was just aquatically appointed and left me disappointed: I was expecting more after all the hype and prestige associated with the Concord brand. What did impress me (and my colleagues at the time) was the super fresh Parisian baked goods I brought back with me to the office at 9:00 am for breakfast, only 3.5 hours from taking off from France the same day. Those same pastries would have been day-old stale had they arrived by any other means available at the time. Reducing the hours spent in transit between destinations by any measure and making the most of your time on either side is still a luxury high on everyone’s list. Removing the barriers of time through speed, privilege or technology (VIP access, private jets, exclusive travel connections, etc.) and other types of rarefied access that allow for “jumping the line” provides the greatest luxury for those that put the highest value on their personal and professional time. Those five minutes you spend waiting in line (any line) will never be reclaimed. With less and less time and people putting more value on how they spend personal time, how will brands create experience worth our limited time? Bottom line - it better be amazing. As brand builders, we have been increasingly asking ourselves and our clients - what barriers, inconveniences or steps that create a personal time suck could be removed to provide a luxury experience that bypasses the normal or common flow of time?
The Luxury of Time
By Daymon Bruck
A Seventeenth century Japanese Tea master Naosuke coined one of the most common Zen phrases: Ichi-go ichi-e, which is often translated to “once in the lifetime, never again”. The intended meaning of this phrase is that every experience we have is unique and can’t be repeated. We only have one life and every day, encounter and experience is one of a kind. Once time passes it never will be recaptured and this quintessence makes Time the ultimate measure of true value; you can’t make any more of it or bend it to your will. Or can you?
A new experience economy has been steadily emerging and with it a sense of what else might come to define the luxury category. This newish luxury is all about rare and privileged experiences available for a price. At the center of many of these exclusive events or experiences is a unique benefit of leveraging time in some manner: saving it, making the most of it, slowing it down, even sidestepping its normal flow altogether. It makes sense that Time is becoming more highly valued than money as a luxury indicator, especially considering time’s finite quantity. Luxury brands are awakening to this shift and those that cater to making the most of their customers’ need to control their personal time are differentiating from the those that only focus on products or services.
I’ve collected some examples that are grouped in this article under two general categories: the value of Slow Time (Part 1 in the series) and Faster than “Normal” Time (Part 2 in the series). This first looks at the how Luxury uses values associated with slowing down or aging to differentiate and the second posting will focus on examples of moving faster than or even bypassing everyday timeframes.
O Group West: The Very Best of Local Seattle
If you don’t know by now, The O Group has an endless curiosity and appreciation for delicious culinary and cultural experiences. Today, we explore Seattle and the neighborhoods around our new office through the eyes of a local: our CCO, Daymon Bruck.
Sit back and enjoy the ride…
How Can Malls Remain Relevant?
Shouldn’t the mall experience evolve to capitalize on how consumers’ predilections have changed?
Clutch Features The O Group as a Top NYC Branding Agency in 2017
In an ongoing effort to identify high-performing B2B service providers throughout the globe, Clutch recently issued a report releasing their most updated research of the best agencies and developers in New York City. Clutch, a ratings and reviews platform for service providers, has profiled and evaluated thousands of companies belonging to a wide range of industries, including IT services and development, advertising and marketing, social media marketing and SEO, and most importantly, branding
Their segment devoted to branding is one of the most extensive and competitive listings on their site, with some of the country’s strongest agencies vying for the position as the top provider for buyers seeking branding services. For this reason, The O Group is incredibly proud and excited to announce that Clutch has featured us as one of the best branding agencies in New York in 2017.
This is My Future
30 years ago I walked away from corporate life as a group creative director to become an entrepreneur. Without looking back I rolled up my sleeves and got to work as an independent agency owner.
Going Back to My Future
By Daymon Bruck
Most stories we know follow the expected format of a beginning, middle and an end, correct? Well…this one strays a bit from the expected.
Change is constant. For over 30 years we have experienced the ebb and flow of economic, social and stylistic trends. Relevancy is about evolution, so here we are.
4 Ways Malls Should Act like Luxury Brands
Malls and mall branding are an ever-changing, multi-dimensional puzzle. Mall operators are constantly trying to attract consumers and tenants to their properties’ “next big things.” Successful malls execute well but they could and should be even better