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Direct Mail: The ‘Diamond in the Rough’ of Luxury Branding7:00 am


By Melissa Cober

Direct Mail: The 'Diamond in the Rough' of Luxury BrandingMarketing for luxury items is a very different game from most traditional marketing strategies. Most items can be sold based on the usefulness or efficacy of the product; luxury items, on the other hand, are not about selling a product so much as what that symbol represents, be it wealth, glamour, or power. Luxury brand marketing is first and foremost about branding, because luxury items have very little to do with necessity and a great deal to do with image and lifestyle. As it turns out, direct mail is especially suited to luxury branding; one might even say direct mail is the ‘diamond in the rough’ of luxury brand marketing. Let’s explore why.

As mentioned above, luxury marketing is not about necessity. As such, your marketing materials should have one primary goal: Capturing people’s imaginations. Allow them to imagine themselves living the lifestyle that your products represent. There is nothing more powerful.

Direct mail is perfect for capturing imaginations because, as we’ve explained before, it is the perfect medium for telling stories. It is tangible and, even better, it can engage multiple senses at once. All direct mail is both visual and tactile by its very nature, but it has the added advantage of being able to incorporate sound, smell, and even taste. By engaging people’s senses, you can help transport them to another time or place, stimulating their imaginations and desires. You don’t need to lure them in with flashy discounts, because part of the appeal of luxury items is in their exclusivity. Let the experience speak for itself.

There is also much more variation in the physical quality of direct mail, and this allows you to suggest luxury in subtle, yet effective, ways. With direct mail, there are plenty of paper choices available; if you choose a high-quality, durable paper that can ideally display high-quality images as well, you will be giving your recipients a small physical reminder that high prices deliver quality. You should put as much care into your direct mail creative as possible, even if it’s more expensive; you will be leading by example, encouraging prospects to value the same quality that you value. Luxury brands generally require a much lower response rate in order to make up for the initial investment in direct mail anyway, so don’t skip the small details.

Finally, let’s not forget that the majority of luxury brand shoppers are often more mature than your average consumer, and it has been proven time and again that older demographics feel much more comfortable with direct mail than they do with email and other online marketing strategies. Meet them in their comfort zone.

Don’t underestimate the efficacy of direct mail in luxury brand marketing. It’s true that direct mail is becoming less and less popular – not because it is no longer effective, but simply because it’s not “cool” anymore. As fewer companies are sending mail to prospects, your direct mail pieces have less competition, which means that you’re almost guaranteed that your mail will be read. Let other companies worry about whether direct mail is cool enough for them; when your ROI turns out to be sky-high, you’ll be thankful you stuck with your diamond in the rough.

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