Luxury products are a category all to themselves. While the function of the product itself may be accomplished by a much cheaper item, the product draws strength from it exclusivity. Luxury products use the finest materials and the most appealing designs to create something that is highly desirable and visually stunning. The luxury space is also clearly defined by its premium pricing. If a luxury product was made in such a way that most people could afford it, then it would cease to be a luxury product. Yet, in the luxury space, brand identity still has be crafted carefully. If a luxury brand leans heavily on its overt exclusivity and expense, consumers will not appreciate the true quality of the brand. Let’s have a look at a few iconic brand identity examples. These brand identity examples showcase the potential that a brand has in the luxury space if it successfully embodies the class that a small but powerful target audience is looking for.
As any car enthusiast would be able to tell you, the Lexus brand is actually owned by the Japanese auto giant Toyota. What’s interesting about Lexus is that it began as a Toyota project with the intention of being a luxury car from the very beginning. The first car to bear the Lexus badge was released in 1989 (Lexus.ca). Since then, the brand has become Japan’s highest selling type of luxury cars. Lexus finds a strong brand identity in a classy, refined image. Performance is a must, but comfort and visual appeal are never compromised. Culturally, Lexus vehicles, and sedans in particular, have come to be associated with affluence and sophistication.
If you’ve listened to a few Kanye West songs, you’ve no doubt caught the occasional passing reference to Gucci in his lyrics. The self-proclaimed fashion king considers Gucci to be one of the pillars of luxury fashion, and many people would agree. According to their website, Gucci strives to represent the pinnacle of Italian craftsmanship (Gucci.com). This vision is carried out by creative director Alessandro Michele. The importance of this brand identity example is that Gucci works hard to be a leader in fashion, and uses only the finest materials for its designs. The luxury identity of Gucci has been well established by its innovation and quality, but loud endorsements from a few major celebrities who can actually afford their products haven’t hurt either.
If you were to ask most people what kind of watch they would buy if they could afford any watch in the world, they would probably say, “A Rolex”. If you were to ask most people would kind of watch they actually own, they would probably not say, “A Rolex”. Rolex has no desire to make its brand a common commodity, and therein lies the luxury nature. You need to part with a hefty sum to wear an authentic Rolex, and they like it that way. Rolex was founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905 (Rolex.com). Wilsdorf dreamed of timepieces worn on the wrist, and an elegance and precision that had yet to be seen in the industry. His vision led to the establishment of a brand that has continued to pioneer wristwatch technology in luxurious gold and silver settings.
The common thread: appealing to something besides affordability
So what do all of these luxury brand identity examples have in common? They root their identity in a product that has a high degree of quality. Of course, this means it is very expensive, but luxury brand consumers are not looking for a cheap deal. Instead, they purchase something made using the best materials and the finest craftsmanship. That is what truly defines an iconic brand identity.
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