This is not a typical post for this blog. For the first time, I am not really going to talk about PR, social media, business (in the direct sense) or sustainability. This piece is about one of my other major passions – fashion. I am doing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies (a great course by the way!), which opened my eyes about the peculiarities of the fashion business and particularly the luxury segment.
So today, I am going to show you some really amazing videos about the uniqueness of luxury products and how heritage, legacy and manufacturing mastery underpin the storytelling of luxury brands.
Before I move on to the videos, here are some key things I have so far learned from the course to help you better understand the meaning and power of these stories.
What makes up the concept of luxury? Three things:
- Human touch
The luxury industry is about value creation, it's about selling a dream, a feeling, an experience non-comparable to another. Luxury brands are therefore required to strike the balance between providing an intrinsic product value (e.g. superior quality, handmade, unique, precious, with extraordinary design, limited) and an intangible element related to it – giving the desired dream effect or special feeling, often determined by the exclusive branding or the aspirational lifestyle that the brand embodies.
Unlike fashion, which is strongly influenced by seasonal trends (and so shorter life cycles for products), luxury is about timelessness, heritage, exclusivity and selectivity.
At the heart of the luxury business often stand century-long experience, iconic heritage and commitment to excel and stay true to the brand positioning.
This also means that the word "fast" is not part of the luxury industry vocabulary. Luxury needs time: for the product to be designed, produced and delivered and for the customer to consume it or interpret it.
So, the luxury experience begins and ends with the product as a masterpiece. Here's where the three pillars of the luxury concept come into play. As you will see in the videos below, many of the designer luxury products such as apparel or leather goods are not mass produced, but singularly handmade.
This really is impressive, considering how demanded these products are and how much time it takes to create just one. I hadn't realised that scope or how fascinating this production process is until watching the videos, so I am now going to let them tell the story of luxury craftsmanship, human touch and excellence.
Dior: the craftsman's expert hands behind a Miss Dior bag
Salvatore Ferragamo: the fascinating, ancient craft behind the luxury bag
Salvatore Ferragamo: the hallmark of women's shoes
Chanel: the work behind a masterpiece – all eyes on the details
Louis Vuitton: timeless, passionate, perfect know-how
Dolce & Gabbana: the iconic Sicily handbag, rigorously 'Made in Italy'
I am speechless... And it's not just the mastery, the complete focus and the avid dedication that tell such a powerful and believable story. Think about the creation of the videos, think about the team of people who have put these stories to life, from the writing through to production, and presented them in such powerful ways. This really is great storytelling – an example of the art of recognising that one break through story and then telling it in the right way, with the right message (and feeling), on the right channels.
Are you impressed too? Why do you think is the luxury business so successful?