In a world that drives on stimuli, first impressions and perceptions are given serious consideration, – appearance, demeanor, behavior, and adaptation all play a vital role. Ultimately, it is the sense of being that drives many to differentiate from others, no matter what the cost. For this reason, we associate with brands that enable this need and help us to be seen as part of a specific section of society. Luxury products offer a sense of accomplishment, a sense of achievement that one is able to communicate with, without the need of actually saying anything. Every luxury product in itself is a statement. A statement of style, comfort, wealth, and of better times ahead.
However, there is a fine line between a luxury product in demand and one that refuses to sell. You see, even today in the age of machines, AI, and Robots, thousands of man-hours go into producing the perfect luxury product that is worthy of its status. There are Rolex watches that are more expensive today than when they first came out. Aston Martins exist today that are as pricey as when they were bought in the showroom. Today is a period of fast fashion where mass volume productions have blurred the lines for what is considered as a luxury. So then what can be the case for the world to still invest in luxury products.
Even without the knowledge of the contents in the box, a perfectly wrapped box from Tiffany’s is enough to evoke emotions of anxiety, excitement, fear, nervousness, happiness, sadness & joy, all at the same time. It’s the epitome of class, style, and sophistication.
So then how does a product exuberate luxury?
Its all in the details. It’s like watching a Cheetah hunt on National Geographic. How the cat’s muscles tense up, take a position and enable a short burst high speed run to hunt its prey, all over in 10 seconds but made immortal because of the super slow video of the entire episode. It’s carnal, nature at its best yet so breathtaking. Imagine watching an Olympic athlete, famed artist, or a gymnast doing what they do best, making it seem so easy. It’s poetry in motion. When you get a similar feeling with a luxury product, that’s design at work. When done right, a truly great design ensures you don’t see the hours, blood, sweat, and tears that go behind making a product. You only see the beautiful, end product. This kind of simplicity and elegance take time and talent to execute flawlessly.
When it comes to luxury products, every single aspect of the product is well thought out and then a layer of finesse, style and performance is added on top to make it that much more worthy of its price tag. There’s a reason why a Rolls Royce is still considered the epitome of luxury performance. The fact that the car is over the top, yet subtle in its appeal and even has the power of a race car available at the push of a pedal is nothing but a beautiful outcome of a well thought out design.
For example, a Rolls Royce. While many see timeless elegance, some get a younger vibe in it. And this is achieved by continuously focussing on ensuring the brand stays on point. Customization at an individual customer level while maintaining luxury aesthetics, performance, and superior quality is what makes Rolls Royce still a dream car for aspirants. With changing demographics and trends, luxury brands need to continuously devise ways of ensuring they are able to appeal to their clientele. This is why the elements that go into making the design elegant are also affected by trends in the industry and what we perceive to be elegant at the moment. But a few things will always stay eternal. A Gucci shoe, Prada bag, Louis Vuitton carry-on, Jimmy Choo heels, truly french-artisanal perfumes. At the core of everything the luxury brands have to offer, high quality is the essential element which is a result of creativity, colors, shapes, craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
So when Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn for her role in Blake Edwards’ 1961 film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, luxury was still exclusive, the particular provenance of the refined social elite. The movie became a cult classic and is a romantic favorite. Givenchy’s black dress in the movie started a completely new trend which still remains alive today: LBD, the little black dress which has since become a wardrobe standard. The dress sold for approximately $1 million in a Christie’s Auction in 2006. That’s the power of design, quality, aesthetics, attention to detail and Marketing coming together to create a product that consumers drool over.
With increasing “democratization” of luxury goods, new product categories have been created within the luxury market, also known as accessible luxury affordable luxury meant specifically for the rising middle class across the globe. As such, luxury has now diffused into masses and a clear definition of the word has become more difficult. However, there is a clear demarcation of why luxury products still are able to offer better products. In the end, the relentless pursuit of great designs is the key differentiator between luxury and fast goods. A keen eye and attention to detail to everything that is user-centric. Combined with strategic marketing that highlights the brand’s pursuit of excellence and great quality is why luxury brands will continue to stay relevant for a long time to come.