How to Create a Print Marketing Strategy for Luxury Brands
Marketing for a luxury brand can be different in many ways to marketing for brands aimed at the budget market. Whatever you are selling, whether it is clothing, accessories, homeware, food or travel, you have to approach a high end audience in a slightly different way than you would market mass market products.
There are several reasons for this. One, is that when people buy high end goods or services, a part of what they are interested in is the whole shopping experience. Someone who buys their make-up in a high-end department store is not just paying for the designer brand products, but also the experience of shopping for them in a nice setting where the people working for the brand and the store will take time on them, allow them to try things, make recommendations and treat them as a highly valued customer. While they could get similar products in a high street shop, this service and experience wouldn’t be there – they’d simply pick stuff up off the shelves and head to the check-out.
The same is true with home furnishings. When someone goes to IKEA, they will pay less but have to do basically everything themselves, whereas at a high-end furniture shop they will have people who carefully consult with them about what they should buy, and deliver the products for them. It is this level of service that often incentivises people to choose luxury brands, as well as the prestige associated with them.
So how can you give your brand this sense of high end service and also make your products feel prestigious before the customer even interacts with your staff? Naturally a beautiful website is an essential, however print marketing can be a very good way to achieve this as well.
Why Print Marketing is Great for Luxury Brands
Print marketing is something that more mass-market brands have cut back on using in recent years as online services have enabled them to promote their wares and give customers information without the costs of a printed brochure or other print marketing assets. However, in the luxury market it is still very useful. This is partly because having a tangible brochure or advertising card on beautifully made, high quality paper gives that sense of prestige, but there are other reasons too.
For one thing, it shows that this is a brand that invests in giving its customers quality even before they become customers, and doesn’t spare expenses. For another, it shows that the brand appreciates that buying their products can be a major decision for the customer, and wants to give them something enticing they can take away with them or receive in the mail that allows them to browse and make those buying decisions at their leisure.
So, How Do You Strategise to Use Print Marketing Effectively With your Luxury Brand?
If you own or represent a brand in any sector that is targeting the high-end market, then it is clear that having some beautifully presented printed materials is going to be not only beneficial, but almost expected by your audience. You therefore need a strategy for producing them that really shows off the exclusivity you offer but also keeps costs affordable to your business.
Brochures often form the core of this strategy. In designing them, you want to have the best in photography that really shows off your products, and have a good layout design done by a professional. This really goes without saying. However, how you print and present this well-designed content can be more of a decision.
For very high end brands dealing in things like travel, corporate events and luxury home improvements (for example), it can be worth looking at how you can set your brochure apart and add an extra-luxe feel, for instance by using things like leather-like binders embossed with your branding to present your portfolio or brochure. This surpasses simply handing out creased brochures and ensures your perspective customer gets the right first impression. If you choose custom leather binders such as the ones on this website, you can create the design yourself and produce a professional product that will get your name known.
This gives a sense of true luxury and that the potential client has been given something valuable before even beginning their relationship with the company, and it can be done fairly inexpensively (in proportion to the mark up on luxury products) if you are cautious about how often you refresh your marketing.
Timing and Your Print Strategy
This is where the strategy itself becomes important. Designing one beautiful brochure is one thing, but how often you repeat the process will depend a lot on the type of business you are, and is something you’ll need to plan. As an example, a fashion brand will need to produce updates to its printed materials once a season, whereas a luxury food brand may only need to change their printed materials when they add new products to their collections.
When you devise your print strategy, it is not just about how you can best represent your products or services in a luxurious printed way, but also how much attention you’ll need to pay to keeping this up to date. If you are in travel or hospitality, changes may need to be done only once every one or two years as your hotel and the services it offers, or the layout of your luxury nightclub are unlikely to change that often. If you are a clothing boutique, however, you’ll need far more regular repetitions of designing and distributing your brochures.
There is no one size fits all answer to this, even within one industry, however it is vital in designing a good print marketing campaign that you plan not just for the current things you are doing, but know roughly on what schedule you will need to plan and design the next one, and can factor that into your budget.
When considering your print strategy, while the brochure is usually the flagship piece that the most attention needs to go into, are there other pieces you should think about having designed? As an example, when you try a luxury perfume in a high-end store, there are branded test cards that it can be sprayed on. Certainly, any paper can do that job, however the high quality, branded cards from the brands help add to the experience and prestige, as earlier discussed. Equally, brands that sell high end paints for home improvement use tend to have very high-quality colour swatch charts, rather than the very basic ones offered by the mainstream brands. These small touches are important in brand recognition and customer experience, so you do need to think about every element of your printed material and make sure it is designed in a way that is cohesive with your other brand assets, and with the high end feel you want your customers to associate with you.
From small boutiques and salons to big name designer brands, and from the most luxurious hotels in the world to new fine dining restaurants, all luxury brands need to think about tangible, printed materials when it comes to winning over customers. While strategies vary between industries, planning around timing for new materials and where you can add further printed assets to your marketing will certainly serve you well when working with the high end audience.