Brand values

Causesurism: The Rise of Luxury and CSR

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that the rise of luxury brands embracing causes and CSR can be positive...

A recent article by Vanessa Friedman in the Financial Times talks about the recent trend towards “causesumerism”, a new term that has been coined by Lisa Ann Rochey and Stefano Ponte in their new book Brand Aid.

Causesumerism refers to

” …the increasing tendency of luxury and fashion brands to help consumers justify purchases by injecting a note of do-goodism into the selling of the product.”

The book focuses mainly on product (RED), which aims to stop the spread of AIDA in Africa by using the sales of branded goods such as Armani and GAP to support the global fund for fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

I have previously written about the relationship between luxury brands and CSR, and I believe that luxury and good causes are not mutually exclusive. This not only makes good sense for the long-term prospects of the brands in question, but can also be a positive attribute in luxury marketing – particularly if the brand aligns its CSR initiatives to core brand values and identity, and resonate with consumers.

Kahro, a jewelry stores Raleigh NC store which I run, has teamed up with Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a Raleigh NC based charity that work to fight female cancers. Giving to charity is seen as an aspect that Kahro shares with its customers; just as they spend extra, Kahro spends extra. This charitable giving builds self-esteem for all the Kahro employees, as they know that their workplace gives something back to the local community. In turn, this raises productivity and staff commitment.

Is this good in terms of marketing? Yes. But I also believe that it can deepen brand identity, and that it is not always driven by profit – it may make sense from an employee satisfaction perspective, or from a genuine wish to impact local communities.

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The importance of design when attracting luxury consumers

Isaac Mostovicz writes that store design is crucial in attracting a luxury consumer base...

I have written previously about how important it is for luxury brands to be innovative and creative, both with their products and the way they market themselves.

Since buying luxury items is often as much about the experience as about the values of the brand, store design is crucial in attracting, and retaining, a luxury client base.

The Louis Vuitton maison that is due to open in Singapore this month will be on a custom built island, and is a prime example of the need to innovate when attracting customers.

Louis Vuitton Singapore Maison

As this recent article on Luxury Daily points out, more and more people have taken to the web for shopping, so luxury brands must up their game and focus on design to captivate consumers.

The article’s author quotes Suzan Wines, a partner at I-Beam Designs, who says:

“People instinctively associate a rewarding, enlightening or pleasant shopping experience with a brand and are compelled to return to participate in that enjoyable experience again and again.”

Customers with Theta personalities in particular are likely to enjoy shopping in a store that fits in with the values the brand associate themselves with. This is because they may be drawn to buy products that they see as helping them fit in within a desired group.

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