There is no business like the fashion business. When we buy a fashion product we do so, as the result of a very wide list of reasons, that span from the most rational to the most emotional. This poses a challenge for marketers as consumer behaviour in the fashion industry presents some unique features that make this industry different from all the rest.
We’ve done a bit of research to really compare and contrast the different logical and emotional sides of customer behaviour to understand how to luxury segment presents a set of unique characteristics, according to which, traditional frameworks don’t exactly apply.
In this post, we’re going to discuss how the luxury sector may respond to logics that are almost counterintuitive to the marketer, to the point of defying the laws of demand and supply, In order to help you navigate the post, and find the information you are looking for we’ve divided the topic into these four sections. Enjoy!
Traditional consumer behaviour would normally approach the purchase intent of fashion customers based on a 5-step strategy which we have discussed in other posts such as this one, but the truth is that fashion purchases have a stronger-than-average emotional bias and this makes the purchase decision process model work in a much more limited way. If we look at each, we can see that the purchase decision model does not apply very easily to luxury goods: let’s see each stage in detail.
So let’s now move to breaking down the subject further and identifying more of the elements that contribute to the understanding of consumer purchase intent in luxury.
Let’s now look in more detail into how the emotional dimension of our customers plays a role in their decision-making processes. Customers may decide to purchase according to two distinct sets of reasons: logic or emotion.
Not all of the decisions we make are 100% one or the other, but surely a logical or emotional dimension will prevail on the other. This division is, as we have discussed important criteria to design shopping experiences both in physical and digital retail. In general, the emotional leverage works best in physical stores, because of the limitations they provide:
As a result of what we’ve discussed the role of emotions is key to understanding the customer and how to make decisions that help to attract, converting and retaining new clients to our business. Let’s now move to a broader angle on this topic to analyse the role of emotions in luxury, and how marketers can leverage this element in advertising.
Moving lastly to a big picture perspective we can look into how emotions are leveraged in advertising and communication. In general terms, the goal for a brand is to initially develop a series of strong associations between the brands and the values that better resonate with your audience. In the famous framework developed by Saatchi and Saatchi, you want to make your brand a lovemark, and not a hatemark.
As a sidenote, public relations offices in brands are a centerstage figure in the development of a luxury brand, and their role cannot be downplayed. If you’re interested in reading more about the role of PR offices in fashion and luxury brands here’s an article for you.
The central pillar of fashion advertising, when it comes to emotions, is the focus on desire. Desire has specific characteristics which we should look into more accurately:
All in all, emotions are an essential piece of the puzzle when developing your luxury brand, and considering their role in luxury is essential to have a clear understanding of many core decisions that a brand needs to make. We’ll now move towards conclusions to wrap up and summarise the topic.
In this post, we delved into the role of emotions in luxury to identify some of the levels at which emotions play a role and can impact customer behaviour at three essential levels:
Luxury brands should therefore always bear in mind the strong impact that emotions and impulse play in the luxury industry, to make sure that they are able to reap the benefits that come from a correct communication of their collections and products.
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