1. Make it difficult for clients to buy.
I agree with this statement that luxury brands should not make their product accessible everywhere. First, Inaccessibility can enhance the characteristics of exclusivity, which is one of the indispensable elements of a luxury brand. Since customers not only need to pay for the product but also spend time and efforts, fewer customers are able to afford the product.
Consequently, the demand will increase since people who have the product can immediately stand out and be spectate from others. On the other hand, when a product can be accessed anywhere and through multiple channels, the brand value will be diluted. In this case, valuable customers and potential elite customers will decrease their desire to purchase a product from the brand since they fail to dissociate others by using the products. Second, it forms an ethicists community which have a passion for the brand. Customers will think about the benefit and cost before purchasing a product. When a product is difficult to buy, generally speaking, only customers who indeed admire the brand are willing to take effort to buy the product. Hermès is a good example in this case. Hermès bags are not available online.
What’s more, there is an unclaimed rule: in order to be qualified to buy a Birkin bag, most customers need to spend the same amount of money of a Birkin bag on Hermès accessories first. Only the so-called “real Hermès fan” are able to own a Birkin bag. Hermès use the strategy to arise the demand among Hermès ethicists.
2. Communicate to those you are not targeting
I believe that luxury brands should communicate with those who are not targeting customers. As explained in Signaling Status with Luxury Goods, one of the motivations of customers buying luxury goods is to dissociate themselves with other groups. Therefore, achieving the goal of brand awareness and increasing brand exposure are very important for luxury brands, since luxury goods should be recognized when they are shown by consumers.
Luxury brand could cooperate with celebrities and sponsor them with products to increase exposure. For instance, many luxury brands appoint movie stars or famous singers to be their brand ambassador. Luxury brands reach out to more customers by taking advantage of the power of celebrities. However, luxury brands should choose appropriate channels and marketing strategies to communicate with those who are not their target customers. The marketing campaign should match with the brand image and keep the brand exclusivity.
Otherwise, brand value will be diluted.
3. Do not pander to your customers’ wishes
I disagree with the statement that luxury brands should not pander to customers.
Maintaining a close and harmonious relationship with customers is a more important issue for luxury brands than other industries. Compared with other retailers, to a certain extent, customers have more tight connections with luxury brands. For retailers, customers may only shop once and do not have an on-going relationship with the retailer, however, for luxury brands, customers may perceive the brand image and identity match with their personalities or they have strong emotional connections with the luxury brand. So luxury brands should spend more time and effort to listen to customers and develop a closed relationship with them. Celine, a French leather luxury goods brand, lose many loyal customers since they ignore customers wishes. On 2018, Hedi Slimane was appointed by LVMH to be the new
Artistic, Creative and Image Director of Céline. He imposed his signature rock'n'roll style on
Céline, which was a conflict with Céline’ brand image. Many customers expressed their concerns and wishes on social media, but Hedi Slimane ignored their opinions and continued to revise the design. Many customers said they would not buy Céline anymore since Hedi
Slimane riped up Céline female design philosophy.