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The New Luxury Codes: Four Ways Venerable Brands are Reinventing their Allure

Luxury brands have the “luxury” of repeating time-tested messages of quality and opulence for buyers who already respect their cachet – right?

Wrong. Today’s most successful luxury brands aren’t just selling beautiful objects. They’re immersing shoppers in acclaimed stories and unexpected experiences. Revealing the inspiration and methods behind their fine craftsmanship. Speaking up for principled values.

In our latest Patterns report, we offer several examples of these new luxury codes. You’ll find ideas to inspire any brand – from haute couture to fast fashion. For this and four more articles from SGK’s global marketing experts, read Making Connections: Brand Insights from Around the World. Download the new Patterns report now.

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Making Connections: Brand Insights from Around the World

We asked SGK experts in a variety of fields – and from perspectives in the U.S., Europe and Asia – to share their specialized insights for brand performance. They responded by highlighting connections. Read their insights in the latest Patterns report, including:

  • The New Luxury Codes: Four Ways Venerable Brands Are Reinventing their Allure
  • The Connected Package: The Next Generation in Brand Efficiency, Interaction and Appeal
  • Men’s Beauty Goes Big in Asia. What Can Western Brands Learn?
  • Variable Marking and Coding: Making the Best of a Necessary Good
  • China, Land of Opportunity: Meeting New Challenges with a New Consumer Focus

Make connections that matter – from tiny details of a more effective package to big trends in global consumer preference and behavior. These are brand insights you can use.

Download the new Patterns report now.

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Beyond Consistency: Delivering Relevance in Omnichannel Encounters

Posted By: SGK November 05, 2015

Consistency is essential. But consistency for its own sake is an uninspired goal, leading only to predictable, even boring consumer experiences. Brand owners and marketers need to fight against sameness to relentlessly deliver relevance, advises Otto Hektor, VP of Brand Development, Americas at SGK.

That means becoming comfortable with bringing different executions of the same idea to different touchpoints. On second thought, “comfortable” isn’t the right word. Relevance requires bravery. 

But then, there’s a kind of bravery behind everything we do when we relate to one another as humans. We’re emotional creatures – not looking for consistent, rational connections, but rather for ever-new experiences of companionship. A laugh. A fresh perspective. Support in hard times and sharing in good times. All of that requires the bravery to open up and engage, to express one’s full personality and presence in every situation. 

Brands with a true personality enrich consumers’ lives much like a vibrant human relationship does – through reliable consistency, yes, but also through experiences that are always fresh, engaging and in the moment. 

Take a look at what L’Oreal is doing these days. Anywhere but in a brick-and-mortar store, shoppers can’t directly see, hold and try the beauty products they’re considering. That represents a huge barrier to purchase. But rather than focus all its marketing efforts on the in-store channel, where most sales take place, L’Oreal has also made substantial investments in digital tools that reveal a completely different strategy and execution than you’ll find in-store or in traditional advertising channels. 
Another brand bravely creating relevant new touchpoints is Target. Consider the “Target Too” art exhibit that recently popped up in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood – a focal point of the art world, with hundreds of galleries. Target Too features 12 art installations incorporating Target products. For example: a seven-foot milk carton tipped over, spilling “milk” in the form of hundreds of white kitchen utensils, plates, saucers, bowls and cups. Or a giant mural of smiling red lips made of more than 3,000 lip balm packages. Or the Target bulldog mascot, rendered in Legos. 

The exhibit alone would be a great example of relevance tied to a specific place: A brand representation that fits perfectly in the artsy Chelsea neighborhood might seem out of place among the designer shops on Fifth Avenue. But there’s also a digital element that makes the experience even more relevant to a younger, more connected audience than the stereotypical Target shopper, a middle-aged, middle-income mom. Visitors are encouraged to download an app built specifically for the Target Too installation, allowing them to interact with exhibits on the spot. 

The whole notion of curation hinges on relevance. And look at the brands growing in this space: Graze, Birchbox and even retailers who are modifying their assortment at the local level are doing an amazing job of delivering relevance. Social selling makes the curated experience even more relevant for each shopper, in each situation. Consider the “Buy” buttons on Facebook and Twitter, or Wanelo’s “mall on your phone, curated by people just like you.” 

Curalate is a marketing and analytics company founded on the premise that consumers are increasingly communicating through pictures, not words. One of its offerings is a “Like2Buy” option for Instagram. It allows a retailer like Nordstrom to provide a socially connected and curated buying experience. 

Being truly relevant in omnichannel means giving consumers the ability to choose whatever channels they want to interact with – through the places and devices they choose – and delivering a convenient experience that resonates with whatever is happening at that moment in their lives. 

The complex hand-offs between channels need to be invisible to the shopper, and the content served needs to have continuity with the brand message – even though the executions may look incredibly varied when laid out in a 360° agency presentation. This, by the way, is the only time humans will see all the elements of a campaign at the same time. 

Because the goal isn’t to deliver a static, predictable experience. The goal is to tap into the variety, surprise and wonder of everyday life.

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Don't Just Be Consistent. Be Relevant.

Your brand needs to be consistent across every channel – that goes without saying. What never gets said is this: Consistency alone doesn’t inspire action. True, the core of the brand experience needs to be instantly recognizable in every encounter. But each encounter should have unique relevance to each particular consumer, in each particular time and place. That’s how a brand becomes part of a lifestyle.

Think beyond omnichannel to omnirelevance. Read the new article from SGK for ideas and inspiration, with examples from brands that understand how to be surprising, delightful and helpful in every interaction.

For this and four more articles on improving brand performance from concept to consumer, read the complete Patterns report, Innovation Everywhere. Download Patterns, Issue 1, 2015.

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Patterns issue 1 2015 - Innovation Everywhere

Manage risk and drive brand performance with these innovative concepts. This issue of Patterns brings together SGK thought leaders, including our new Matthews colleagues at Saueressig and IDL Worldwide, to discuss how great brands change up what they do to change consumer experiences, behaviors and loyalties. Insights include:

  • Designing innovative package structures that customers will prefer
  • Protecting your brand sales and reputation against counterfeits
  • Capturing the essence of online brands in brick-and-mortar settings
  • Winning core shoppers through new brand value mashups
  • Pushing beyond omnichannel consistency to deliver true relevance

Download Patterns now.

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Sustainability! Together We Create Change for Good: The SGK 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

SGK takes a broad and integrated view of sustainability. Our 2013 Report details our ongoing efforts to supply our clients with solutions that are environmentally clean, efficient and compliant with regulatory requirements.

Our efforts extend across materials, technologies and processes and include collaborative efforts that encourage innovation and better the world we share with our clients and customers.

From our increased recycling of polymers to our consistent reduction in emissions, paper use and waste – plus numerous processes that conserve all kinds of resources – SGK is a sustainability leader among companies that serve global brands. The details are right here.

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ANTHEM Sightings Issue 4, 2013 - The Age of Redefinition

In our annual Forecast Issue, we explore what’s on the horizon as we start 2014—a year we’re predicting will be a time rooted in redefinition whereby marketers can take advantage of renewed possibilities and a clean-slate approach to brand-building.

Here’s a quick snapshot of a few Sightings to give you a sense of what The Age of Redefinition looks like:

  • Bring it Home – Learn how some companies are “reshoring” and finding value in coming back home, benefiting not only themselves, but also their brands and their communities.
  • Technology for All – See how consumers’ expectations are changing as technology spreads its wings, transcending age, purpose, and place.
  • A Measured Life – Technology and data are stepping in the help improve the lives of consumers. Find out how marketers can join in to help deliver consumers the complete solution.
  • For What It’s Worth – Learn the new value equation and how consumers are getting beyond benefits, features, quality, and utility.

As always, we hope Sightings can offer insights and a spark for new ideas as you enter this new year.

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SGK Patterns Issue 2, 2013 - Strength in Numbers: Data, Demographics and Brands

Brands now have access to incredible quantities of data thanks to new technologies, new methods and new shopper attitudes. It’s an unprecedented opportunity – and a challenge. In this issue of Patterns, SGK experts offer six clarifying perspectives on data, demographics and brands. In this issue, we:

Demystify Big Data for brands

Explain why Baby Boomers are a powerful, untapped audience

Argue for a more agile and dynamic approach to digital marketing

Encourage brick-and-mortar retail to embrace personalization

Redefine Generation X from a global perspective

Illuminate the fine line between good will and Big Brother in consumer tracking

Download this issue of SGK’s award-winning Patterns: Strength in Numbers: Data, Demographics and Brands.

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Brand Performance Defined

Brands were historically developed as a business tool, with an eye toward creating sustainable competitive advantage and future profitability. The financial accounting community acknowledges the value of a brand in terms of intangibles – good will – on corporate financial statements and annual reports. Brand Performance is an approach to brands that recognizes the relationship between brand and business – specifically the values and processes that must be in place across both brand development and deployment to maximize a brand’s Desirability and Profitability and their amplification of each other.

This paper is a clear explanation of a powerful way to view brands and branding. Download SGK’s Brand Performance now.

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Retail Practice: Checkout, Issue 3, 2013 - Innovation

Retailers and marketers have always had a keen interest in innovation to sustain competitive advantage. But today’s shopper – more purposeful, more information-savvy and more influential – now demands innovation. This issue of Checkout from SGK's Retail Practice highlights innovation in multiple ways, including Leveraging Media, Embracing Showrooming, Rethinking Physical Presence, Reimagining the Shopping Trip and the Evolution of Brand. Articles include:

  • Digital: Enhancing the Shopping Experience
  • International: Discovering Brands – As Asia’s New Luxury
  • Offline: A Return to Brick and Mortar
  • International: Innovations in Asian Shopper Technology
  • Offline: From Big-Box to Small-Box … to Micro-Box?
  • Branding: Innovation and Own Brand

Like all SGK thought leadership, Checkout is timely, informative and free.