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As the world turns to a more caring way of life where “treat yourself”, “spoil yourself” and “me time” are a regular occurrence, it only makes sense that the luxury industry is booming. There’s been a major shift from people only buying things for loved ones, to buying things for themselves as well.

Part of what is driving this movement is impulse buying, so how can marketers go about reaching this niche market and develop a solid marketing strategy for clothing businesses?

Understanding the luxury consumer market

When it comes to the luxury consumer in the UK, there are a few things that marketers need to take note of when launching a product line.

As already mentioned briefly, the luxury product market is driven by impulsive shopping behaviors. These purchases are often driven by trend – hardly ever by necessity – and is done by mostly millennial female shoppers. This market is growing rapidly, and for brands to truly reap the benefit of this climb, they’ll need to develop a clear luxury product launch strategy for appealing to the “luxury tourist”.

Research has found that luxury consumers in the UK are not too phased by the launch of new collections, and marketing forms that receive the most attention tend to be the non-digital channels such as in-store branding and magazine advertisements.

Based on this, marketers will need to ensure that their digital marketing strategy is aligned with various components – such as print ads and CRM – to achieve the desired results. While magazines appear to be the fan-favourite when it comes to marketing luxury brands, online marketing is slowly beginning to catch up.

In light of this, brands need to start looking into launching an e-commerce platform if they haven’t already done so. One thing that is clear is that luxury consumers are looking for clear and consistent messaging and marketing efforts – regardless of the channel.

To out this into perspective, here are a few interesting statistics:

  • 58% of millennial luxury consumers use online channels for shopping – illustrating the room for growth that still exists
  • 85% of millennial luxury consumers make use of social media – showing you where you will be able to reach most of your shoppers

10 Tips for launching a luxury product line in the UK market.

When it comes to launching a luxury brand, the aim is always to be successful. However, the truth is it can also be a disaster or a big mess of confusion. There’s no real way to tell what direction it will go – unless you have a solid strategy to back your launch. As you can imagine, this requires a fair amount of research and proper planning. To help you get started, we’ve got a few luxury product launch strategy tips.

1. PPC isn’t always the answer

Many marketers rely quite heavily on paid advertising, and while this can be effective, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd when EVERYONE is doing it. One way of getting attention from the right people is through customer reviews, influencer partnerships and user-generated content. The product speaks for itself and has credible backing to affirm the brand’s reputation.

2. Don’t under value the product

While pricing is definitely something to consider, you don’t want to under value your product in a bid to make sales. Luxury consumers are looking for quality, something that doesn’t always come with cheaper products. So, now your worth and give your brand the recognition it deserves.

3. Identify the USP

To help sell the product despite a steep price tag, you need to share the unique features that make it worth the while. Share the features for the world to see, give them an idea of what they can look forward to and let that drive sales.

4. Ditch the jargon

We get it, you’re hip and happening and understand all the lingo. Your customers, however, aren’t really interested in that. Keep your copy short, sweet and to the point. Tell them why they would like your product, that’s it.

5. Product packaging matters

The product experience begins the minute the customer touches the box or packaging. There needs to be a novelty to it, something that makes it worth opening and discovering. This is why unboxing videos are so popular, people want to uncover the entire experience from start to finish. Brands need to remain mindful of this when it comes to marketing their offerings.

6. Build up excitement

Teasers are a great way to build hype around the product and get people interested. In some cases, the teasers are more widely followed than the launch itself. It’s an opportunity to get creative while attracting your audience, and when done correctly, it can be great fun for all involved.

7. Trigger the imagination

Let your audience see what their life could be like with your product. Show them what they’re missing out on and why your product is a must-have. Multimedia content is a great way to get this done, especially when influencers get involved.

8. Make it a big deal

Regardless of the product, if you make a big deal about it, so will your customers. If you’re not interested in it, they will pick up on it and divert their attention to something more deserving of their time – and money.

9. Pre-orders drive engagement

What’s more impressive than getting your hands on an innovative product? Getting it before anyone else can, duh! The exclusivity of this helps keep customers engaged and excited as you build-up to the launch. This means that as the product is announced, a select few will be able to share their experience with the rest of the world.

10. Try before you buy

The easiest way to hook consumers is to let them try your product firsthand and see for themselves if it’s worth the hype. Make it an experience that they’ll never forget.

Bonus tip: This is a no brainer, but customer service plays an important role in it all. So, when you’re launching a product, make sure that your team understand the goal, and more importantly, the customer needs. This will help you meet their expectations and build on the brand’s already impressive reputation.

customer service plays an important role

Overcoming challenges when launching a luxury product line

When it comes to launching a luxury product line, as with any brand launch, there are bound to be a few stumbling blocks that marketers are faced with. As part of our luxury product launch guide, we will share a few of these with you.

1. Slow growth amidst global turmoil

While the luxury market has grown, it’s not nearly as big as it could be. This is due to growing international turmoil that has consumers feeling more cautious when it comes to spending money, never knowing when the knock-on effect will be felt. An opportunity exists for brands to identify gaps in the market as a result of travel bans and international sanctions.

2. Downscaling

There has been a shift from consumers looking to upgrade their lifestyles to downscaling in a bid to save money, reduce waste and support a more sustainable way of living. Luxury brands need to align themselves with ongoing causes and get on the eco-friendly manufacturing train if they are to retain their customer base.

3. Beware the power of digital

While the online space is a great way to market new products, you don’t want the integrity of a product to be affected by the people sharing content about it. The luxury experience is often exclusive, the last thing you want to do is take away from that experience. Choose your online channels and marketing partners wisely.

Luxury product launch examples

Now that you’ve got the tools to conceptualize the perfect launch strategy, let’s take a look at some brands that managed to get it right the first time.

1. Nike and Virgil Abloh

Fashion designer Virgil Abloh redesigned some of Nike’s classic sneakers to create The Ten” collection in 2017. While the initial launch was pushed back and things had to change, the collection launched on the Nike SNKR app and sold out in minutes. The reason? There had been a buildup campaign to generate buzz and excitement so that as soon as they were launched, people rushed to get their hands on a pair.

2. Erdem x H&M

For years H&M has been partnering with designers to launch stunning clothing lines – stunning and successful clothing lines to be exact. To launch Erdem, they enlisted the help of director Baz Luhrmann to create the short film The Secret Life of Flowers. The love story is set in a mansion featuring floral prints and bold flowers – reminiscent of Erdem’s classic floral prints. On the day of the launch, both online and physical shops were bombarded with customers eager to discover the limited-edition collection.

3. Forever 21

When the time came to break into the Chinese market, Forever 21 knew exactly what to do. They utilized their social media platforms, like WeChat, to share content tailored to appeal to the Chinese audience. Due to the success of this campaign, the company has been able to open 16 stores catering to the Asian market.

It's all about what you put in

Luxury consumers are always looking for something more. An exclusive experience available to a limited few, or rare products that the world will be envious of. Marketers need to play on this need for “more” if they are to launch a successful luxury brand in the UK.

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