Wondering how a luxury brand like Louis Vuitton can charge thousands of dollars for a simple bag? How they keep raising their prices, and never offer discounts? And how they continue to be one of the most successful luxury brands in the world? If you want to know their secrets—and how to implement them into your own small business, then this video is for you! We’re doing a deep-dive into one of my favorite luxury brands, Louis Vuitton—for 4 luxury branding tips you can use to help you build rapport, brand loyalty and a high-end clientele.
Luxury Branding Tip #1: High-End Pricing
A common component of all luxury brands is their premium pricing. They just charge more and Louis Vuitton is no exception.
Known primarily for their handbags and small leather goods, Louis Vuitton purses range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.
In fact, nearly all of their “entry-level” bags are priced at over $1,000
And here’s the thing—Louis Vuitton regularly raises their prices, and they never offer sales or discounts.
By unapologetically selling at a premium price Louis Vuitton is saying, “we’re worth it. And if you want it, you’ll pay for it. Period.”
Louis Vuitton never competes on price.
As a solopreneur and service provider, I don’t think you should either.
Many small businesses owners try to compete on price because they think it’s their only competitive advantage.
But to those people, I’d argue that they’re actually just not confident enough in their brand to charge what they’re really worth. Competing on price is a no-win situation, a race to the bottom, and a guarantee for burnout.
And contrary, as it may seem, competing on price is a good way to lose great clients.
I actually booked a photography client once because I was charging 6x a competitor’s rates! The client had reached out to the other photographer first, but when they saw their pricing, and how incredibly low it was, it scared them off!
The client thought, surely at such a low rate, there must be something “wrong” with this other photographer.
So when they came across my work and saw my rates (which again, were 6x as much!), they actually felt much more confident booking with me even though my style was incredibly similar to that first photographer’s!
Tip #2: Luxury Brands are Exclusive
Louis Vuitton creates exclusivity in their brand in several ways. The first, as I just mentioned, is price.
The thing is not everyone can afford or wants to spend several thousand dollars on a handbag. And it’s certainly not something that most people do ‘on a whim.’
Simply by embracing a ‘high-end’ pricing model, Louis Vuitton creates exclusivity for their brand.
Another way that they create exclusivity is by limiting the availability of their products.
For some of their most popular items, Louis Vuitton will create exclusivity and demand, simply by offering a very (VERY) limited supply.
For example, one of their most popular cross-body bags, the Pochette Metis, is almost never available (in fact, you can find all kinds of videos and blog posts talking about how hard it was for the vlogger to get their hands on their bag).
When I was trying to buy my Pochette Metis last summer, the website kept saying “out of stock” for weeks.
Then I came across a post about how another woman was able to purchase hers because she simply kept refreshing the page (for hours) and finally it came in stock. She seemed to think that the “stock” would become available for just a few mins every 24-hours.
So I tried it myself, refreshing the browser several times throughout the day and guess what! The bag finally became available.
Is Louis Vuitton really unable to keep these highly desirable purses in stock because they just keep flying off the shelves?
I don’t know, but I doubt it!
Instead, my guess is that they’re intentionally creating more desirability for the bag by making the supply incredibly low. This of course is creating a somewhat false sense of exclusivity which creates a higher demand.
And it’s genius—because it works!
So, how can you apply this lesson to your own business? As a service provider, you might think that you can’t create this sort of demand simply because you don’t sell products.
However, remember, if you’re selling one-on-one services, your product is your time. And you need to treat your time with the reverence it deserves!
You wouldn’t believe how many service-based brands I work with who make themselves completely available to their clients!
I see them offer free consultations at all hours of the day, every day of the week!
If you’re doing this too, you need to stop.
It’s time to play a little ‘hard to get’ with your clients.
By leaving your schedule is completely open, you might think you’re being ‘flexible’ for new leads and clients, but instead, you’re sending a very clear message that you’re simply not in demand, don’t have anything better to do, and are probably a little desperate.
Instead, try offering a limited number of consultation spots each week. If a client really wants to work with you, they’ll make one of those times work and even better, they’ll feel a real urgency to book with you!
Tip #3: Build a Luxury Brand Legacy
Just like all great luxury brands, Louis Vuitton celebrates their heritage and legacy. Louis Vuitton, the man, began making trunks in Paris during the Industrial Revolution. He was then hired as the personal trunk maker and packer for the Empress of France.
The Louis Vuitton brand celebrates this history—and you can see how this legacy continues to influence product design to this day.
This includes the abundant use of their Damier Canvas pattern—which was originally used on their trunks. Louis Vuitton also sells exclusive purses and products that hint at their history as trunk makers. And they still sell their infamous trunks, some of which retail for over $180,000.
This is important because the casual consumer doesn’t really care about a brand’s legacy. But a true brand disciple does.
Someone who just wants a Louis Vuitton bag—because it’s expensive, and they want the social status they associate with that—doesn’t necessarily care about the brand’s history or heritage.
However, there is a small subset of a brand’s consumers, who don’t just want the bag but become obsessed with the brand. These are collectors and brand disciples. These are the people who always want the next ‘it’ bag and are on the edge of their seats for the launch of each new collection.
Even though this group is a small percentage of a brand’s entire customer base, I would argue that they are the most important. These are the loyalists who love the brand and their legacy, and like all good disciples, they share their deep devotion with those around them.
These are the people who get other people excited about a brand.
All successful brands have this small group of devout followers who get the word out to other consumers.
Just think about Apple, and those Apple fanatics who will have owned every version of the iPhone (and probably still has all the boxes they came in too!), and they can tell you Steve Jobs life story as well as the history of the company.
The average iPhone user doesn’t actually care about all of that.
However, we all turn to ‘those’ people when we’re ready to make our next big Apple purchase because they’ll sell us on it better than an Apple store employee could!
Your legacy is the story behind your brand—including your Why and your brand values. And when shared the right way, loyal consumers will connect deeply with your story.
So even if your business is brand new, it’s time to think about your own brand legacy. What is it? And what do you want it to become? Let me know in a comment below!
Luxury Branding Tip #4: Brand Recognition through Logo Design
Wondering what a great logo can do for your business?
Look no further than Louis Vuitton—this brand has built incredible brand recognition through their iconic and timeless logo! In fact, most of their products prominently feature that logo.
From bags to shoes, to belts (and everything in between)—Louis Vuitton has mastered the art of selling their brand. And using their logo to do so.
People want the bags, the shoes, or the belts with that logo because they want to be a part of that brand and what it represents. And when they wear it proudly, they’re sharing that brand with everyone around them.
This is why luxury logo design is so important. Louis Vuitton has built their empire on their logo—and so can you!