Luxury brands stand out best when they tell their stories in an interesting way, expressing their commitment to social responsibility or their use of high-quality materials. These retailers must communicate just what makes their products unique to attract customers, particularly as competition intensifies during the holiday season.
Corporate responsibility, whether in the form of an environmental, political or social cause, is increasingly worth highlighting. Younger shoppers in general react well to products with a strong message, and young luxury shoppers are no exception.
“A lot of our research indicates that product and positioning alone are no longer enough to capture the attention of Millennials and Gen Z,” said Anusha Couttigane, Principal Analyst - Fashion at Kantar in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “In order to retain relevance, even luxury labels need to transmit a purpose, be it sustainability or some other ethical commitment.”
The Best Product Stories Hit All Five Senses
A strong message provides a powerful draw for shoppers, whether they’re looking to buy something that’s sustainably made or exclusive.
“Telling a story is more important than ever — using your product description, title and images to tell a story is important all year round, but even more so around the holidays because of the emotional connection to the time of year,” said Andrew Waber, Head of Data Insights at Salsify. “Illustrate your products’ use cases with an engaging story by using images of the products being unwrapped or enjoyed. Be accurate and authentic to your brand’s voice — make sure it is your story.”
Luxury products also should take advantage of all five senses to help customers further understand what they’re buying, according to Waber. Images already appeal to sight, but detailed descriptions can help customers imagine how that products feels, smells or tastes.
“For example, simply informing shoppers that a sweater is a ‘cotton-poly blend’ doesn't really communicate how this sweater would feel,” said Waber. “Is it very soft? Does it breathe well, meaning it is a good option for layering, or is it a heavy knit that's especially warm? Whatever the sweater feels like, it’s important to make sure shoppers have a good sense of what they're going to receive once they hit that ‘buy’ button.”
Listing what a product doesn’t contain can also be part of the strategy. Including a “free-from” list of unwanted materials or ingredients can assuage concerns regarding sustainability, quality and allergies.
Ultimately, the key to a strong message is identifying what the shopper wants and expressing how that product fills that need. Luxury shoppers expect best-in-class goods, and retailers must work hard to assure them that they’re making the right purchase.
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