Heritage and Innovation in Luxury Fashion Branding

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Luxury heritage brands function under the delusion that heritage is identical with history rather than representative and impede creativity and innovation, avert all rejuvenation processes and cannot keep up and place themselves strategically within the current and emerging arena. Strategic communication energies can nonetheless convince the target-audience of the brand’s authenticity and bridge the gap between its identity and image.

The luxury market has become so dominant to current consumption and interaction activities that it has generated an entire scene of its own. Luxury fashion brands are continually evolving and changing and like all other industries, face a number of different challenges: the continuously expanding globalised market, ever more critical costumer needs, extended competition and evolution in communication are just a few. Although history and heritage are critical for luxury brands but not imperative, the appearance of new and upcoming premium brands has only further complicated the landscape.


A large number of luxury heritage brands function under the delusion that heritage is identical rather than representative of history, which impedes creativity and innovation. This aversion to change and rejuvenation is not allowing them to keep up and maintain a strategic position within the current and emerging arena.


Instead, luxury brands should aim to create a remarkable and distinctive dream for their demanding customers that will match their strong identity. In an environment that is characterised by severe competition and the customer is considered to be king, these firms should identify and use successful marketing and interaction strategies that lead to satisfaction for their clients and added value for the brand.


It is generally perceived that a brand needs a long history and heritage in order to be seen as prestigious and strongly positioned within the closed luxury setting. And while history and tradition are certainly important ingredients for luxury, setting the ground for a story that attracts consumers and reinforces brand’s identity and demand, they are not the only factors that guarantee longevity and success. Luxury can be a market for apprentices too. Generally, consumers are interested in the stories that relate to them and although heritage is an interesting one so are art, entertainment, and culture. Young brands have identified this gap and through their understanding and association to such stories, in addition to their skills, creativity and designer’s personality, have deliver timeless products.


Arising from my analysis of finding, my project presents the underlying components and communication aspects, grouped into seven central themes: culture of craftsmanship & premium quality; heritage & history; a notion of dream: a unique experience; individualism; creativity & innovation; aesthetics: a need for beauty; exclusivity & rarity. These themes have been classified as primary considerations for the creation of a resilient luxury brand and are presented as principle marketing and management guidelines for the brands innovative direction.


It is important to remember however that when all of the themes come together the success of the brand is also dependent on the subjective acuity of the public. Strategic communication energies are able to bridge the gap between identity and image, and convince the target audience of the brand’s authenticity. Luxury consumers are increasingly aware of their influence, which is something brands must acknowledge and engage with while utilising their own strengths in spreading the brand message. It is also important that luxury brands be conscious of their internal and external identity. According to the reciprocal needs for tradition and trendiness that exist in the market, these should be developed, tailored when necessary or preserved.


With the objective of assisting brand managers in gaining advantage for their firms, these guidelines highlight the importance for adaptability and need for change as a solution to the challenges of today’s market competition through the development of a culture of innovation.


Meet other experts on the topic, and check out their ideas in the following video: http://bit.ly/11T7rGp


Interested in finding out more about building a creative economy? Be sure to attend the MA Innovation Management Grad Show June 19-23 at Central St. Martins College of Arts & Design.