When you think of Switzerland, what comes to mind? Most likely you will think of banks, luxury watches, decadent chocolates, smelly cheese, pocket knives, skiing and mountains. Maybe even Toblerone?
But one thing that just about everyone associates with Switzerland is luxury. Nowhere else on the planet has such a profound connection with the word ‘luxury’ than Switzerland.
Take watches for example. Swiss craftsmanship is reputed the world over for its excellence in quality and people are willing to part with substantial amounts of money for something that bears two immortal words – “Swiss made”.
But “luxury watches” have now flooded the market and even if only one small part of the manufacturing process took place in Switzerland, the brand is perfectly within its rights to slap “Swiss Made” on its timepieces.
“Swiss Made” should not be a label that’s thrown around lightly and sadly it isn’t the same indicator of quality it once was. The reason for this is simple. Luxury simply isn’t meant to appeal to the masses; it’s not supposed to be mainstream or accessible. Only a handful of Swiss brands are true luxury and that’s exactly how you should be positioning your brand.
Luxury brands never compare themselves to others so that they can set themselves apart, which adds to the sense of rarity and exclusivity of their products. Luxury brands build value, they don’t just sell their product. The value of the brand is much higher than the value of the product.
What’s most important about luxury items or experiences is that it’s idiosyncratic. That’s why luxury PR and marketing professionals need to constantly think beyond the brand to be fresh and modern and stay ahead of the curve.
According to the often quoted French saying: “Luxury is when desire is stronger than reason.” Luxury is a concept as bright and lustrous as the jewels that embody it. It is psychological, cultural, sociological and economic all rolled into one.
This is what makes the world of luxury so extraordinary and why it is a truly fascinating industry in which to work.