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I already know what it’s like to make $32K (no benefits) annually as an adjunct college faculty. #beentheredonethat
But, what I want to know is how Hermes charges more than $70k for a ridiculous foosball table. And manages to sell them at full price. It doesn’t play for you and it doesn’t make cappuccino. The cost of materials is not that much higher than for a $1000 version. Who would pay a nice annual salary for this foosball table???
Luxury brands nail communication because they entice us to pay a price for something that has numerous lower-priced alternatives. No one needs to pay $223K for a purse, either.
This is NOT luxury brand communication:
- Keeping quiet out of fear of offending someone.
- Avoiding uncomfortable conversations, like asking for things.
- Complaining about anything you don’t like.
- Letting others decide for you because you’re really not sure.
- Allowing others and life events take responsibility for your results.
- Waiting for politicians (aka “policy makers”) to fix things.
This is the beginning of luxury brand communication:
- Being true to yourself.
- Setting high expectations for yourself.
- Exuding confidence.
- Refusing to worry about approval from others.
- Creating excitement!
IF You First Try Luxury Brand Communication and It Doesn’t Work:
You may know that I have an unhealthy love of fashion. My style fetish goes way back and when I was 10 or 11 my mom enrolled me in sewing classes.
Easy. I would be the next IT girl.
Finally! Access to the most fashionable clothes ever – by sewing them. I got to pick out the patterns, the fabric and the accessories.
Except that my seams weren’t exactly straight. My button holes were ugly and my zipper installs crooked.
Everything I made looked…. well, homemade but not in the Coco Chanel sense of “custom tailored.”
That is what no one tells you: To graduate to the Luxury level, you must start with mediocrity and work your way up.
Practically everyone knows that public speaking is the key to advancing your career. So you go out and give a talk to your service club. You’re sweating like a pig in the sun and you’re about to throw up. People are looking at their phones. That first speech (or first 25) is YOUR homemade dress. But Coco Chanel knew to keep improving her craft, just like all luxury brands.
(That’s why you need Growth Mindset.)
What No One Else Tells You about Success
If you’re setting big goals, you MUST be creative to achieve them. So absorb the following sound advice from NPR’s Ira Glass, the creator of This American Life podcast.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But it’s like there is this gap. For the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good. It’s not that great. It’s trying to be good, it has ambition to be good, but it’s not that good.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is kind of a disappointment to you. A lot of people never get past that phase. They quit.
Everybody I know who does interesting, creative work they went through years where they had really good taste and they could tell that what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. Everybody goes through that.
Define Your Luxury Brand Values
It helps to know what’s really important to you. What is your career about? Many of my clients badly want meaning in their work and want to help people.
While helping people doesn’t particularly sound like a luxury brand value, it can be. Remind yourself of what’s important to YOU and then your communication reflect that. Actually, even Mother Teresa was a luxury brand. She cared not a fig when criticized/abused for speaking out against abortion at the National Prayer Breakfast with then President Clinton. Because she remained true to her values, she gained influence by her stance.
Luxury brand communication delivers value including:
- a sense of the transcendent
- expanded vision of possibilities
- better taste
While we say we want to be practical, problem solving, lean, and binary. Actually, we follow leaders who know what’s important, take risks, are willing to look silly, create excitement, and INSPIRE us! (For proof of concept look at any Kardashian’s social media following.)
In coaching my clients, it’s not about making them a Kardashian, but rather the true, luxury version of themselves.
Have your opinions, share them, don’t care (too much) if your audience agrees or thinks you’re batty. You can’t be crazier than a $73.4k foosball table.