Every luxury brand, or company aimed at high net worth, should be employing a public relations agency to inform, inspire and influence a discerning audience.
The main thrust of public relations is the act of sharing the qualities of your company; heritage, persona, integrity, reputation, exclusivity, authenticity, product superiority and high end experience with businesses and consumers through all relevant media at a much lesser cost than advertising.
PR should start from day one, so that the very journey and ethos of the company can be shared. The development of your products, design, website, services and outlets will provide rich content that underpins your brand story, allowing potential customers to identify personally with your growth. There are no better fans than the ones who heard of you first.
Established companies mine their rich heritage so clients value their past success, raising the brand value by imparting inner knowledge, experience and skills accumulated over time in the industry. New companies should inspire clients with tales of innovation, disruption and new ways of working, sharing their ride to success and even its pitfalls with clients regularly. The aim is to create a bond with your potential customers. The more they know about you the more they will trust your company. Like any job interview clients want to know the history, path and personal background of companies as their perception of authenticity is vital to the brand value.
Most importantly brands must raise awareness through media to potential new clients by creating fascinating and compelling stories that will engage and reach customers consistently. These stories must be unique, exciting and provoking, revealing hitherto unknown snippets and facts aimed at beguiling readers so they become fans and want to know more about the brand. When done right this will engage and convert customers into mavens who recommend the brand with authority and conviction to others.
Amongst high net worth a recommendation from a colleague or friend is worth more than any advert, particularly to the baby boomers who trust earned media far more than paid.
Every company has stories that can be skilfully crafted for maximum impact and shared to the right media that targets their audience. A wealthy audience is fragmented amongst many different media categories and every story should be carefully tailored to suit different media. Context, angle, keywords, tone, approach, voice, message and medium are all vital for memorable impact which is why free or earned media resonates more effectively.
Plus editorial is ongoing, adverts disappear after their run, whilst online content underpins search results for a long time.
The ongoing story of a brand, the quality of its products and services, heritage, differentiation, performance, experience, craftsmanship and pedigree should be the core of any marketing plan. It is the most efficient way to truly connect with an audience and earn their respect, trust and continued custom. Crafting the right content to resonate with meaningful clients requires great skill, media experience, connections and luxury expertise that takes many years to acquire.
Repetition is one of the most fundamental tools of all marketing and PR. This applies equally to journalists as it does to customers. Engage regularly with media so they come to recognise you and trust your brand. The more media and customers see you, the more they will remember you and choose you over another brand. Intermittent engagement does not create a relationship. Media is made up of individual journalists who need to become aware of your brand and repeatedly communicating with them is vital to developing a mutually beneficial relationship and obtaining sustained coverage.
The top brands in the market engage with media daily and provide trusted comment and expertise. As media trust them so in turn does their audience. The goal of brands is to become that trusted and authoritative expert in their field. This requires a continued commitment to supply media with stimulating stories that provide their readers with quality content and imagery reflecting the brand ethos.
Everything a brand does should be viewed as content to be creatively shared. Crafting stimulating stories and tales tailored to the target audience will resonate at a much deeper level.
Once a new customer has been made aware of a brand they will search online to check for testimonials and reviews from reputable media. Your digital footprint must be flawless and widespread if you are to pass muster with a discerning clientele. The search results must include a good variety of media that supports and underpins your brand integrity, with testimonials from trusted sources that enhance your brand value, reputation and authority. Perception of quality and authenticity is king in luxury goods.
Negative publicity can also be turned around, without misleading, by setting the record straight and, if mistakes were made, sharing the efforts made to correct them. Negative customers can even be turned into positive ones by engaging with them honestly.
Essentially a great PR agency works with select luxury brands to create a unique, powerful brand story. To identify and connect them with the right audience, building a loyal relationship, based on trust, ethos, quality, commitment and value. Informed customers buy from brands with whom they are familiar and identify with, becoming promoters for the brand themselves. Inform and inspire and they will influence their peers, followed by a beneficial trickle down effect to a wider audience.