I ran across the most interesting article that actually predicts the future for the luxury industry, truly it was like a crystal ball. This was not just any old forecast; the article covered the most feared and talked about subject in the luxury market today, “fakes”. Clearly luxury marketers by now have gathered that they will have to deal with protecting their luxury brands from fakes and almost replica knockoffs.

The article found over at Worldtempus puts it all out on the line about the luxury industry. Highlighting the problems in the luxury market dealing with the declining economy, consumer budgeting, and legal woes surrounding fake luxury goods both domestic and international companies. Even mentioning LVMH “Louis Vuitton” win in French court over eBay for allowing fake Louis Vuitton goods to be sold, and also the heartfelt loss for Tiffany & Co. against eBay in a U.S. court; of course.

According to the article the one thing luxury marketers can do to protect themselves against fakes, is to start educating consumers about the “real” value of their brands. Hint, luxury retailers there is more to just sticking you’re label on someone’s A$$! More to just selling your brand as an image and logo.

In the article Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and the author of a new book, Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, speaks out. Danzigner stresses “Luxury brands are confounded when they can’t find an effective legal remedy that will detour people from faking their brands,” she stresses that luxury marketers focused more on their own emphasis on image over substance in advertising and marketing campaigns. In my opinion, this is where PR can come in as a resource to educate consumers on the real value of luxury brands.

“But the fakers have simply taken an opportunity presented by the luxury brands’ own emphasis on image over substance in their advertising and marketing communications. By shining the spotlight on image over value, quality and heritage in their ads, shoppers aren’t given any reason to buy the real thing. When the value lies only in the monogram or the initials slapped on the product, then shoppers have no incentive to go for the real thing,” said Danziger.

Then she tells it like it is; she stresses that advertising needs to emphasize what made the luxury brand great and that is quality.

Here are Pam Danziger’s advice tips:

“My advice to luxury brands is simple: Examine your advertising and marketing communications to make sure that it is communicating value and quality, not just image. In other words, are you selling the steak, not just the sizzle?” stresses Danziger. “When I look at so many luxury brand advertising today, the emphasis is on image, rather than substance. The really big opportunity for luxury brands is to develop new advertising campaigns that communicate what made those brands great and that is telling the story of their quality.”

Danziger continues by telling luxury brands what approach will be needed, “Instead of promoting only the cache of the brand, luxury marketers need to dig deeper, and communicate to their customers the superior workmanship, distinctive style, top-line materials, and long-lasting value that their products bring. That is the experience that having and owning the real thing imparts to the consumer. A customer who knows that her Louis Vuitton handbag will hold up to decades of daily use because of its impeccable construction, while its classic style makes it a bag that she will turn to again and again regardless of fashion trends, is given a reason to spend more. A fake or a knock-off simply won’t be good enough.”

When taking in Danziger’s advice it should give some insight into how to establish a luxury branding position for substance oppose to just image. Concept ideas for press releases that focus on quality of products, education on the products, and the ultimate luxury experience of quality. In short, your PR campaign should make your customer want nothing less than the real thing. Make your audience fall in love with your luxury brand by attaching your brand’s quality of substance along with your branding position.

Nothing like the real thing Baby!

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