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The Luxury Value of Belief

Wayne McMaster

5 February 2015

High-end interior brands should be passion brands–investing in their beliefs, creating a very focused experience to the right customers.

Belief vs Values

The word “belief” comes from the Middle English “lief,” which means to wish, so one term is that a belief is simply a working assumption about something driven by what our high-end brand would wish it to be. Beliefs are also understood to be judgments about brand, usually generalizations, assumptions or big ideas that we make about the world and that we hold true, our values stem from those beliefs. Values represent our businesses aims, desires, and goals; they are are the principles that motivate us in making decisions when our high-end brand is aligned with our purpose. They are usually abstract. Values are a measure of the worth or importance we attach to something; our values are often reflected in the way we live our lives and our culture.

Not for everybody

Beliefs separate people, whereas values unite people. You will never get a group of disparate religious scholars to unite around their beliefs. You stand a much greater chance of getting them to unite around their values. The same is true for high-end and luxury businesses; high-end interior brands should advocate beliefs to customers rather than simply rely on brand values. Beliefs go further; they’re bigger and, consequently, more segmenting. Unlike mass brands, high-end interior brands should not strive to please everyone, but those customers who identify themselves with the brand’s beliefs and are therefore likely to connect with the brand at deeper levels.

Belief-led marketing

Belief-led marketing has long been the proponent of Adam Morgan founder of the consultancy and book East Big Fish and term Challenger Brands. He reserves this apporach of belief-led marketing for the 'passion brands' that are niche and challenger brands build on a Lighthouse identity. These are brands that stand for an idea, such as the idea of, and belief in, high performance: Ferrari–the brand rarely advertises in mass media, but it invests significant amounts in Formula 1 events. It focuses on actions related to its belief to reinforce this tenet in consumers’ minds.

High-end interior brands’ investments are focused on the specific beliefs of the brand, creating a very focused experience to the right customers.

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