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Undressing Victoria’s Secret Branding: trading up to create a New Luxury brand

By in Branding, Business, Customer Experience, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

Let’s uncover a few truths.   Great lingerie can make a woman feel sexy. And you’ll pay (often a lot) to be part of that story. But it wasn’t always that way. A single brand elevated the price and position of intimate apparel, to unprecedented heights. Who was it and how did they do it?   The third article in this series on Luxury Branding, explains how a single brand tapped the ‘trading up’ phenomenon to establish a New Luxury brand and built a big-money empire.     Think back. In the 50s and 60s, underwear was dowdy. Lingerie – if you ever owned any – was reserved for your honeymoon or an anniversary night. Never for every day. Fast forward and what do you have? It’s anything but boring, sometimes frivolous and often on show. So what (or who) transformed an entire category by turning innerwear into outerwear, stretching practical into fashionable and in the...

Luxury Branding and the Macaron Effect: why we covet luxury and the way it makes us feel

By in Branding, Business, Customer Experience, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

A French macaron could be considered a luxury item.   You choose to eat one, you don’t need to. They’re difficult to make – it’s practically an art. Perfect ones, are made by master pastry chefs, in specialist patisseries. Then there’s the way they make you feel – you know, special. That’s what really makes you buy one, isn’t it?   The second in this series on Luxury Branding, explores the feelings evoked by luxury items and how they motivate your purchases.     Before the macaron, there was the cupcake. For almost two decades, cupcakes reigned supreme as the defining food trend of the 21st century. A brief cameo on “Sex and the City” had changed their image from a child’s treat to an adult indulgence – the iced equivalent of a Botox treatment or Jimmy Choo’s – and suddenly they were everywhere. Then as is the natural fate of all trends, the cupcake craze was over…...

History, Hallmarks and Habits of Luxury Brands: the iconic markings of great luxury brands

By in Branding, Customer Experience, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

Since time immemorial, our attitude to gold and silver has been inexplicable.   Of the 118 elements in the periodic table, both metals are chemically boring and have few special qualities. And yet… for the last 5,000 years they’re the ones we’ve tended to use for personal adornment and currency. Why? They’re valuable.   They’re also storied, scarce and special – like every luxury brand. Part of a series on Luxury Branding, this article explains the hallmarks of a traditional luxury brand and how the myth of luxury has evolved.     Since ancient times, gold and silver have been connected with money. Both ‘noble’ metals, their malleable nature and rarity made them the perfect choice for currency, but purity proved problematic. Without set standards, unscrupulous silversmiths debased the currency by melting down coins, reducing the silver content, increasing the...

The Taylah Swift Method of Brand Domination

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

She’s a branding superstar … dressed as a popstar.   Why? Well it’s hard not to notice the impossibly perfect red lipstick. Then comes the obvious talent and fashionista looks.   But it’s the loyal relationship she’s built with her fans, that makes her a brilliant businesswoman.     Yes, we’re talking Taylor Swift. And it’s all true. Her bigheartedness and obsession with surprising her fans – the Swifties – is in large part responsible for her swift (pardon the pun) path to world domination. At just 25 years old, she helms a brand more profitable than most companies: she earned $64 million in 2014 – with her album, 1989, selling 1.287 million copies in its first week and bringing in more than $7 million in sales and counting. Any business would be envious of those numbers, and there’s more. A single post on Instagram clocked 670,000 likes in under seven hours, and...

Rebuilding the ad break: more disruptive content marketing from LEGO brand

By in Branding, Content Marketing, Marketing, Stories | 0 comments

I’ve said before, that I love to play.   And that telling a great story – especially a brand one – is an art.   For me, the LEGO brand fuses those two loves with some of the most innovative and disruptive content marketing that’s going around today.   If you want a case study for brand story creation, consolidation and expansion, there’s no need to go much further than LEGO. Having reinvented themselves out of their near bankruptcy in the early 00’s, LEGO have forged a new path with Hollywood tie-ins, going back their roots and most of all, tapping new technology and online marketing techniques. With the hilariously entertaining LEGO Movie launch approaching, they needed a new way to extend their brand reach. They turned to content marketing. As David Wilding, Head of Planning at Ad agency PHD,  explained in a Media Week post on the subject:   “While Lego is a...

Wandering, wondering and wordless

By in Creative Life, Stories | 2 comments

I’ve been absent.   In mind, if not body – following paths. And in doing that, I became a visitor to my blog, not its roommate.     It’s tricky … noticing absence. At first you notice it. You feel foggy and slightly uncomfortable. Then the transition smoothly glides from presence to absence.   And after a while you don’t notice it. Then it’s forgotten. *** I‘ve been trying to write this for some weeks. Finally it appeared for me – perfectly written by Erika Napoletano in a recent post, Your Messy, Messy Life … “It’s been awhile since I’ve written … a combination of self-doubt and blinding excellence, all muddled together in a strange stew of here and now where I can’t seem to get the seasoning right.”   I couldn’t serve a dish to my roommate that didn’t taste, look or feel right. So I didn’t. But after giving myself the space of absence, I’ve...

Give me your handbag – and I’ll find your story secrets

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Stories | 8 comments

A handbag (or manbag) is the ultimate private space.   And that makes it juicy territory for story hunting.     What’s in your bag right now? What stories does it hold, hide or hint at? Are there secrets lurking at the bottom … along with the bobby pins, scraps of paper and long forgotten flotsam and jetsam?   Will it unravel you? Leave me (or any curious person, really) alone with your bag for an hour and it’s incredible what I can say about you. It’s not the obvious – phone, tissues or money that says much. Look at the small everyday objects. They hold great power in revealing your personality.   What story secrets will your handbag tell me? Share it … in the comments   Photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin c Get blog updates & newsletters Get blog posts as soon as they’re posted and fortnightly newsletters on how to write meaningful...