Black Friday is typically associated with big discounts and retailers trying to outdo one another. This can make it tricky for luxury brands, with an emphasis on exclusivity, to navigate.
Claire Heathcote, director at luxury cashmere brand, Loop Cashmere has put together a check list of ways luxury retailers can maintain their premium positioning over the Black Friday sales period.
“Retail is unapologetically fast-paced and as an ecommerce store it’s important to stay ahead of any curves, including the ever popular Black Friday. For luxury brands balancing the discount frenzy with a more high end offering can have its challenges but there are approaches you can take to satisfying sales figures without tarnishing your brand ethos.”
“Possibly not the first option that would spring to mind, but there are several luxury brands that choose not to participate in Black Friday at all. Some even close physical stores and design entire social media campaigns around their stance. Choosing to essentially boycott Black Friday is a bold move but it will set you apart and garner respect from loyal clients who regularly pay full price. This is more of a marketing exercise than a push on sales but if your bottom line can take it, it could be a very savvy approach in the long run and put you in the same bracket as some of the most elite brands.”
“The name Black Friday in itself stirs up images of consumers fighting in the aisles and it’s this association that high end retailers want to avoid. Some of the biggest luxury retailers offer Black Friday discounts under the guise of ‘Christmas Comes Early.’ This allows you to capitalise on the promotional element of the event but distance yourself from the less favourable connotations.”
Stay on brand
“If you do choose to market your Black Friday sales as exactly that, then maintaining your brand tone of voice and identity in any marketing materials is crucial. Your existing customer base expects a premium product and a premium service and any deviation from this can be off putting. Don’t cheapen your brand temporarily for some extra conversions, because in the long run you could lose your core customer base.”
Choose your offers wisely
“In its infancy Black Friday generally meant large discounts on lots of valuable items. The breadth of what businesses offer has now widened massively and so luxury ecommerce brands can cherry pick what they are willing to do. Many upmarket brands choose blanket discounts but may exclude certain products to maintain exclusivity across specific ranges. Others choose a post purchase competition where customers can win back what they’ve bought. This means items are still sold at full price but companies aren’t missing out on Black Friday marketing opportunities. Another option is to offer bundles at a discounted rate which leverages upselling and offers customers genuine value on popular products. Align your offers with your brand to preserve core values.”
“Black Friday is a consumer driven event, but demonstrating that your luxury brand thinks beyond the checkout to the bigger picture will set you apart. Look at offsetting your emissions by contributing to environmental causes everytime you make a sale over the promotional period, or even more long term if you are able. Several premium retailers have a ‘recommerce’ route where customers can return old items in exchange for discounts and these items are then responsibly reused or recycled. Demonstrating a genuine desire to do good will signpost your brand as a high quality in all areas.”
Loop Cashmere are a luxury cashmere brand with sustainability at the heart of everything that they do. Check out their website and range of cashmere products here.