Marks & Spencer used to tell us how prized a quality common sense was.

They said it was hard to find people who had it.

And ad agencies – where the account was handled - in those pre-algorithmic days didn’t regard that quality very highly.

They seemed to prefer creativity, spontaneity, flair, thinking on your feet, a degree of eccentricity, making everything possible no matter what, the heart, the craft...

We all know better now.

Brand marketing needs both of course.

Famed psychologist Maslow showed superb common sense when he devised his Hierarchy of Human Needs pyramid.

His pyramid breaks down the various stages necessary for human life. It comes and goes out of fashion, but many luxury brand strategists and planners still use it as a benchmark.

Source: Wikicommons media 

According to him, we have five categories of needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization.

His theory – and indeed it does make sense – shows how higher needs in hierarchy of the human system emerge when people feel they have sufficiently satisfied the previous need.

A reminder

The first stage are your basic physical needs like food, drinks and sleep.

Once people’s physiological requirements are met, the next need is shelter and a safe environment.

You must have those two before you can move to the third stage – love and belonging. This spans relationships as well as ties to friends, family and social groups.

The fourth stage involves the desire to feel good about ourselves. Self-confidence and feeling valued by others.

Finally, when all those are complete, you can move to the final stage – fulfilment or self-actualisation. The feeling that we are living up to our potential. One unique feature of this of course is that it is different for everyone. Essentially, it means feeling that we are doing what we believe we are meant to do.

But you must start building at the bottom because without food there is no life!

Which leads us neatly into...

The disciplines of creating luxury brand strategy in marketing agencies

If you’re developing luxury market research, brand strategy, new brand name creation and creative communications programmes, there should be some sensible staged order in the process.

Like Maslow’s chart, you can’t start on the next level until you’ve completed the previous level.

It’s luxury brand common sense.

Source: Pixabay 

So, a first level on our chart would be vision/the reason for being - the Why of a company.

The next level would be the How - how that vision is going to move forward.

The third level would be the What - brand/product functionality

The next level would be the Who – stakeholders and consumers (and all their emotional, psychological, rational and cultural drivers)

The fifth level would be the Brand Proposition - the one single-minded message we can say that will cut through

Given we’re creative people, and we like to break the rules, we might add some extra levels such as:

Persona - what kind of personality the brand has.

Tone of Voice - the tone of how the brand communicates externally and internally to customers, partners or prospective employees

Values - what the brand stands for.

Communication - the toolbox is open: brand name or product name creation, luxury branding, logo & visual identity, content creation & production, websites, advertising, luxury marketing materials, brochures, copywriting, and content creation.

And the simple moral of the story?

  1. There’s something to be said for ordered thinking.
  2. Logical steps are helpful in brand development - though real life is never so logical.
  3. With brand strategy, unless we build the first levels properly, the other levels won’t be as effective or impactful.

Levelling up with Anew

Source: Pixabay

Luckily, we know all the stages involved in creating successful luxury brands.

Anew are a London-based luxury brand agency who help companies - such as Bombardier Private Aviation, Universal Music, Hatch Mansfield and Boodles luxury jewellers - increase brand profitability through sharper insights, distinctive propositions, creative ideas and faultless execution.

Whether it’s insight from market research, strategic brand thinking, a new branding name, logo design, messaging, online and offline content or website development, we are here to help all ambitious brands of excellence.

We are particularly adept at working directly with luxury brands, business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainability, outstanding quality and craft.

You can read more about us here

Drop us an email. We'd be delighted to meet for a coffee, either face-to-face or virtually to discuss your brief.

Other articles