Successful luxury brands rarely stop at the brand offering. They often go to great lengths to create brand rites, rituals and ceremonies.
Rites and rituals create a story around consumption and create deeper, long lasting associations. For example, Stella Artois created a 9 step pouring ritual which continues to this day.
Similarly, for connoisseurs of beer, a Hoegaarden must be accompanied with a slice of tangerine, as is salt and lime with Tequila. Another example comes from a high-end Greek restaurant which invited its patrons to smash a plate, in keeping with Greek tradition.
Rites and rituals create a story around consumption. The most enduring brand rituals have the following in common:
1. They draw from consumer behaviour.
Observe consumers and the time they spend with the brand. Is there a unique way in which they consume the brand? Are there any cultural nuances which can be integrated with the brand? Rituals which stand the test of time are ones which help add to the consumer experience, rather than burden it.
2. They reinforce the brand philosophy.
If a brand stands for say, high performance, the ritual must reinforce the philosophy. Levi's, for example, asked its consumers not to wash their denims in a bid to save water, while offering them unconventional ways of keeping the denims clean.
3. They are tied to a time, occasion or a place.
A hotel may choose to call itself as the finest venue for a wedding, a brand of coffee might want to associate itself with the first cup in the morning and a brand of apparel may associate itself with a bridal couture. There are innumerable ways to create rituals around a brand and the best ones are ones which seamlessly tie themselves with an appropriate time, occasion or a place.
Here are a few rituals offered by global brands:
Tiffany Before you propose, choose the engagement ring from Tiffany
Oreo Twist, Lick, Dunk
Corona Place a piece of lime in the bottle's neck
KitKat Break the stick into halves
These rites and rituals continue to this day and as is evident, it can help forge lasting connections with a luxury brand based on sustainable behaviour.
Have you tried exploring a ritual for your luxury brand? Share your views with us.