Getting the taste for luxury marketing

WE’VE all heard people say that good restaurants and products don’t need to advertise, but how exactly do you launch a luxury brand without doing so? We ask Penfolds, a high-end wine producer, how it markets its brand.

“There has to be an element of scarcity to any high-end product,” says Mathew Bird, Penfolds’ marketing director. “It needs to be special and not an everyday, run-of-the-mill product.”

“High-end brands that do well pride themselves on their origins,” says Bird, “a great story gives a sense of authenticity, craftsmanship and a unique quality.” Penfold creates this, he explains, using the story of Christopher Penfold loving cultivating the vines when he arrived in Australia. Indeed, they have a history timeline on the website to push the message.

You have to think very carefully about whom you align yourself with. “You need to get your product into the right places like Selfridges and Harrods. It helps associate your brand with well-established luxury brands.”

It also helps if you can get high-end endorsements too. The pinnacle of which is a Royal warrant, tricky to do, but worth the effort. “Penfolds is an Australian Heritage brand, something that automatically has customers associating it with iconic luxury.”

How customers experience a brand is also vital for success. “It’s the smaller details that make a big difference: attention to detail on packaging and caring for customers after they’ve bought a product, for example.”

“Brands like Chanel and Tiffany are extremely good at being consistently high-end internationally, because they have mastered consistency – their websites are beautiful.”