How to build a luxury brand

Luxury brands are not built in the same way as non-luxury brands.

Building a successful luxury brand is the holy grail of marketing.

Luxury brands are generally unaffected by the tyranny of economic fluctuations, command better margins, are able to maintain a loyal, unwavering customer base and generate huge profits for the companies that own them.

But how do you build a luxury brand?

The answer is, that the task is not an easy one...sorry.

There are however a number key attributes that make up the components of a luxury brand that can be generated and developed over time.

In a podcast interview with The Insightful Leader,  Prof Gregory Carpenter, Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School clarifies how this is done based on his research into the marketing tactics of the global luxury industry:

“We buy the luxury brand because it’s something extraordinary."

Getting to extraordinary means that a luxury brand needs to be: (1) authentic; (2) built on the craft and excellence of a visionary leader; (3) must enlist a celebrity customer base; and, generally (4) make it difficult for customers to access and buy their products.

Luxury brands are not built in the same way as non-luxury brands.

In fact, most of the standard guidelines of brand building are completely ignored and the aim is to do the opposite of what the CMO of Amazon or Coca Cola would do.

Even if you are not guiding a traditional high-end brand, there are important lessons to be learnt from the 'dark arts of marketing' that pertain particularly to this category for all CMOs.


Podcast: So You Want to Be a Luxury Brand
So opulent! So exclusive! In the first of two bonus episodes, we explore everything that helps brands like Ferrari and Manolo Blahnik scream luxury.