An Essential Guide To Language For Luxury Brands

The language of luxury has the power to make or break a brand. Establishing the language you use and how that relates to your audience is a strategy in itself.

How Luxury Brands Communicate

Luxury brands need to communicate with their audience in a refined and articulate way. At the same time, the language needs to appeal to their target audience.

It’s not enough to simply use a word like ‘luxury’ and think that your brand has luxury status and appeals to your audience demographic.

As with all elements of branding and marketing, it comes full circle, back to defining who your audience actually is, or who you want it to be.

Define your audience

Look at the demographic of your audience in relation to the product or service you offer. What type of people are they and what are their motivations? Look into what their personality drivers are.

For luxury brands, the typical audience personality drivers are:

  • Power
  • Status
  • Wealth
  • Success
  • Prosperity

These are very different personality drivers for a brand that provides healthcare for example. The drivers in this instance would be:

  • Help
  • Service
  • Support
  • Recognition
  • Gratitude

Once you have clarification on your audience you can begin to tailor your approach to language.

The strategy of language

The key is to communicate in a way that reinforces those personality drivers. This, at the same time as linking directly with your product or service.

Ask yourself, how does what you provide reinforce that sense of status, wealth or success. How do you communicate that in a way that resonates.

This is largely dependent on your product or service, but there are common threads around words that evoke a sense of luxury.

It's important to emphasise that words alone will not be enough to resonate. The words have to link to the story of your brand, an authentic story.

Your audience must believe in what you say you do and why you do it.

Words of luxury

There are many words that evoke that sense of luxury. I've listed a selection below for reference.

Allure
Artisan
Bespoke
Boutique
Couture
Discreet
Elegance

Enduring
Exceptional
Exquisite
Finest
Heritage
Inspired
Meticulous

Passion
Pioneering
Provenance
Refinement
Signature
Timeless
Touch

There are many more, but these serve as an illustration. It's important to build a library of words that are applicable to your brand story and the products and services you provide.

Taking this further, you can then tie this in with what will be your tone.

Tone of voice

For luxury brands the tone of voice is usually commanding, refined and articulate.

When it comes to the overall brand message, it will be such that your audience recognises themselves in it. Your messaging will reflect key aspects of their lives. For example, that they are successful, both in work and in life. That they enjoy the rewards of their success. That their success elevates their standing.

The key is to align with and affirm their personality drivers. To acknowledge and reinforce that their success and status can be complemented and enhanced through association to your brand.

The tone of voice you use will determine how effectively you are able to do this. A confident, strong, respectful and articulate tone is one that typically can carry luxury brand messaging.

There are exceptions, especially if you want to be seen as a disruptor in any particular segment, but these are higher risk strategies.

Authenticity is key

For brands that are looking for success in the luxury sector, indeed any sector, authenticity is crucial. People have to believe in your story, it has to be credible and meaningful to them.

Your products and services are built around this story, the why you do what you do beyond financial gain.

I've spoken many times about the importance of authentic branding, it is what makes you credible. Without credibility your brand has no trust. Without trust, there is no brand, no business.

Luxury language and emotion

The language of luxury brands relates directly to your audience and how the product or service you offer can make them feel.

The way you articulate the messaging will be a deciding factor in your overall success. You must be able to resonate on a deeper emotional level with your audience. The language you use can really drive this.

Think about how language drives emotions, desires and a sense of connection. To the extent that your audience absolutely must have your product or service.

They are so deeply engaged with your brand story, what it represents and how it weaves through the product and service you offer.

How Luxury Brands Use Language To Engage Their Audience

For luxury brands, it's important to understand your audience and the typical desires for the ultimate, for perfection. It's a measurement bar to have in mind across all that you do in brand, marketing and the business as a whole.

When your brand story is authentic and communicated with the appropriate tone of voice, using language that aligns and affirms the personality drivers within your audience, you will be resonating on a deeper emotional level.

That is where the greatest success can be found.

For further reading on this, check out the 12 Essential Language Principles for Luxury Brands

If you would like to discuss brand language or brand development as a larger piece, please get in touch, I'm always happy to assist.
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