By Tara Lane, Emerging Leader
Ritz Carlton. Lamborghini. Prada. These are all brands that have set the highest standards in the luxury world, names that are recognizable to all but held by few. Our world is full of standards; there are certain things we have become accustomed to and have come to expect over time. In the world of luxury goods and services, those standards are much higher than what are commonplace to many. The accessible gold standard is brought about by the outstanding service and value that make the luxury that much more luxurious.
Outstanding Service–The Ritz Carlton has prided itself in redefining the gold standard in luxury hotel service, striving for what has been called a “constant quest for excellence.” Hotel employees are trained to provide the best customer service possible and provide guests with an experience rather than an ordinary hotel stay. The company recognizes the fact that its customers are paying top dollar to stay there – so they strive to provide them with value to match the price.
Value–In the wake of the falling economy, those who study luxury trends are finding that higher prices may not be the deciding factor in luxury anymore. To many, luxury has become somewhat of a four letter word. Wealthy people still have the money to spend; but in order to not seem frivolous to the outside world, they are beginning to consider the quality of the item or service in addition to the price, assessing added value and worth rather than price alone.
Saks Fifth Avenue–Saks is among one of the most recognizable department stores in the world, setting the standard for luxury in the world of fashion and merchandising. Where they once held flashy events open to the public, the high-end retailer has traded quantity for quality, instead holding smaller, invitation-only gatherings in their stores for their wealthier customers. At these gatherings, attendees can see the goods up-close-and-personal to assess the product themselves, with opportunities to meet with the designers. Not only are they providing the outstanding service their customers have come to expect, they are catering to their want for privacy as well.
Jimmy Choo–The well-known luxury shoe brand has been a celebrity favorite for years, but also coveted by the typical shopper. The company recently announced that it would create a line of more affordable shoes for H&M, a popular European brand that has also made a significant mark in the United States. While a typical pair of Jimmy Choo heels ranges from $500 to $1000, the H&M line will be much more affordable – but will have the same quality as their more expensive counterparts. This isn’t the first time a luxury brand has paired with H&M, either. Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli have all worked with the company in the past; however, the Jimmy Choo partnership is predicted to be the most popular one to date.
Illustration by Dez Pain from Stock.Xchng