It’s no secret that marketing a luxury brand is different than marketing to the masses. Luxury products aren’t just products—they’re symbols of an elite lifestyle. And the point of differentiation isn’t focused on features or solutions to a problem—it’s focused on quality, opulence, exceptional performance, timelessness, and of course, prestige.
We’ve worked with numerous luxury brands over the years, and yet we are always learning. If you were to glance at the bookshelf in our office, you’d see a treasure trove of books on the topic of luxury sales, branding, marketing and more.
Today, we thought we’d share with you our favorite books—the ones that we turn to again and again—for insights, ideas, and inspiration.
We hope you find them valuable!
The 5 Books Every Luxury Brand Manager Should Read
1. The Luxury Strategy: Break the Rules of Marketing to Build Luxury Brands
First on our list is what many consider the “Bible” of luxury brand marketing. Written by luxury experts Jean-Noel Kapferer and Vincent Bastien, this book provides “the first rigorous blueprint for effectively managing luxury brands and companies at the highest level.” The new edition (published in 2012) includes more information about digital strategy, globalization, sustainable development and how a blend of unique marketing strategies have helped to transform small family businesses like Ferrari, BMW, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel, Armani and Ralph Lauren into worldwide successes.
2. Luxury Online: Styles, Systems, Strategies
We live in a digital world—and this book focuses specifically on how luxury brands can adapt to technology and changing consumer expectations to actually enhance the luxury experience.
Although originally released in 2010, the vast majority of approaches for guiding luxury brands into the digital world remain highly relevant today.
3. Rethinking Prestige Branding: Secrets of the Ueber-Brands
What makes iconic brands like Apple, Hermes, and Cirque du Soleil so successful and beloved?
In this book, prestige brand experts JP Kuehlwein and Wolfgang Schaefer unpack the “formula” behind the marketing practices—and the psychology behind premium brand success.
Packed with over 100 case studies and insights from interviews with 50 premium brand experts, this book offers a wealth of knowledge for anyone interested in building an iconic, sought-after brand.
4. Selling Luxury: Connect with Affluent Customers, Create Unique Experiences Through Impeccable Service, and Close the Sale
“Selling Luxury is filled with ways of exceeding each client’s expectations through offering a service that surprises and delights.”
—Aaron Simpson, Group Executive Chairman, Quintessentiall
What does it take to sell high-end luxury products in today’s world? This book demystifies the subtleties and complexities of selling to the super-elite. With a focus on delivering impeccable service and an exceptional customer experience, this book gives you a birds-eye view into the secrets that multi-million dollar luxury sales professionals use to keep the world’s most prestigious brands on top.
5. Rethinking Luxury: How to Market Exclusive Products and Services in an Ever-Changing Environment
If there’s one thing that is constant in today’s world, it’s change. From rapidly-evolving asian markets to the ethics of sustainability to the impact of technology on consumer expectations and buying habits—it’s a brand new world almost every day.
This book provides answers to many of the questions luxury brand managers and marketers are facing amidst this chaos. For example: What is the best way to do business in China? Should brands invite more bloggers than journalists to their next runway show? How do luxury businesses engage the next generation of critical, informed and digital-savvy customers with a brand? Do they really need more retail locations, or should they shift focus to e-commerce?
Published in February of 2017, this book delivers a fresh, current perspective on what it takes for a luxury brand to succeed in a rapidly-changing landscape.
What are your go-to books for mastering the art of luxury brand marketing? Tell us in the comments!