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“Luxemium”: the convergence of premium and luxury in beauty?

Stirling Murray, CEO of The Red Tree, and Shabana Erbrahem, Founder of Soul Consultancy, have co-authored a collaborative think-piece entitled Luxemium, that explores what “luxury” and “premium” mean in today’s ultra-competitive world of beauty offerings and why premium brands must make the most of their luxury assets.

Here, we share with you 5 key insights for premium beauty brands from the Luxemium article:

1. Premium brands are essential to the growth of beauty

Premium brands have an increasingly important role to play in the beauty sector, thanks to heightened consumer desire for high-end beauty and the power of the internet. Premium engulfs a very large territory which can include some luxury brands; hence some brands can often fall into both camps. Don’t underestimate just how vast this space is –all the more reason to have a powerful identity and communicate messages clearly to your audience.

2. Identify what you mean by premium

In order to reach the right audiences with correctly tailored brand messages, we must be clearer about how we identify brands rather than encompassing them all under a general premium banner. Which camp does a brand fall into? Is it luxury, is it premium, or both? When talking about premium beauty, which kind of premium do we mean –department store, drug store, supermarket or online? What about the shopping experience? How does it reflect, add to or even destroy the carefully built brand position and its provenance?

3. Put consumers at the heart of the innovation process

The premium beauty sector is innovative and deserves recognition in its own right. Regardless of how big or small the brand, innovating in silos is pointless. Think about who your consumers are –beyond demographics, by building a deeper understanding of markets and people; what do they believe in and care about? How do they live their lives? And importantly, what are their perceptions and expectations of premium and luxury? How consumers think of, and segment premium and luxury, is immensely valuable in the development of the category.

4. Understand digital channels and online behaviour

Premium beauty needs to make the best use of digital platforms, as consumers increasingly look to the online space for information, ideas, tips, tutorials and shopping. Online behaviours, use of multi-screening and online purchasing are becoming increasingly important for brands to get to grips with. Understanding the role of various platforms in consumers’ lives, and how they affect shopping decisions is essential for the future of the premium sector.

5. Harness the power of luxury brands but don’t imitate

Harnessing learnings from luxury brands, whilst developing strong identities of their own will be essential for brands in premium beauty as the sector enjoys continued growth.

Have a clear message, tell a great brand story, define your audience and understand them as much more than a demographic.

Create a brand world that is unique and special to your particular brand and ensure that this is reflected through an integrated marketing method, with consistency and clarity.

Don’t imitate luxury; be authentic and be proud to be premium.

The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.

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