A friend and I were speaking today. She was telling me about a new company she discovered called Shinola Detroit. They started by opening a watch factory in Detroit. Their goal: Making in America. Their story: “Making an investment in skill. Creating a community that will thrive through excellence of craft and pride of work. Where they will reclaim the making of things that are made well. And define American luxury through American quality. They now make leather goods and bicycles.” If you look at their site you can see the quality of the workmanship and design. They are creating a modern luxury brand experience.
A modern luxury brand experience is different from what it used to mean even as little as 10 years ago. Today it means not only having luxury that is obvious in the details and design of the product, but also communicating that effectively in your social media as well as advertising. It also means doing things that resonate with your end customer. As in Shinola Detroit which features American craftsmanship as a key feature of its product. This helps to create an emotional connection to the product buyer.
A luxury brand doesn’t need heritage to convey its legendary status; it needs attitude and a strong personality to match. There has been a shift in the way the public perceives brands and they are now expecting more than just an out-dated piece of passive communication. Consumers want to experience and discover the brand for themselves, they want to be involved and become a part of that brand story. Luxury brands need to wave goodbye to exclusivity and say hello to accessibility, allowing fans to not only participate in, but also shape the story.
One of the key takeaways to know when creating a modern luxury experience is that it is an experience. Sometimes this has nothing to do with actually selling the product but rather a world that your customer visits and spends time in.
Maria Pesin knows fashion, especially the business side of the fashion industry. Do you know how Manolo Blahnik got his start in the industry? How he leveraged a paltry 3 grand into one of the world’s most famous luxury brands? While she doesn’t take credit for Manolo’s success, Maria has walked a similar path on numerous occasions. The world of fashion is not silicon valley, and it has nothing to do with Madison Avenue marketing. In this industry there is ALWAYS room for something new and exciting, but you have to have your ducks in a row. If that’s what you need, believe me, Maria is the General Patton of fashion ducks!