Looking for a Brand New You?

Market yourself as a luxury brand

Posted on: Friday, May 1, 2020 Category: Blog (58)

Have you walked past a Gucci store lately? Seen the line? Marvelled at the prices paid in the secondary sneaker market?  Watched the MetGala with gaping mouth at the excess?  And what about Supreme?

Did you know that Forbes predicts that the global sneaker market will be $95.14 Billion by 2025?

At the turn of the 19th Century a lesser known peer of Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, wrote a book introducing the economic theory of conspicuous consumption – The Theory of the Leisure Class.

He posited that the satisfaction derived from conspicuous consumption was a result of the reaction from others, rather than the consumption of the good itself. That is, the emotional value of the product or service, not the actual function of the product or service.

Conspicuous consumption requires a degree of waste to make it of value to the consumer. The product or service must be so much more than is needed – perhaps cashmere socks, a gold-plated telephone, a diamond encrusted watch or wagyu beef – that its consumption is an overt waste of money. The conspicuous (people have to see it) consumption of the product or service shows that the individual has access to so much income that they do not care whether they waste it.

And so, luxury brands were born. How do these brands stay ahead of the curve and continue to charge the prices that they do, for products or services that simply cannot cost anywhere near that to create?

They create a delicate balance between exclusivity and accessibility. They limit entry level products (i.e. makeup and sunglasses). If they do discount, it is done far from their main location. They focus on the special and the unique. They limit the access to their brand.

What do luxury brands teach us about personal branding?

  1. Limiting your availability creates exclusivity – think about the events you attend, which meetings you agree to go to. Don’t be the last person standing at a party. Don’t be the first person there, either. Don’t say yes to everything. Don’t always be ON social media. Think before you LIKE. FOMO is for mainstream brands.
  2. Increasing your exclusivity increases your desirability – when you are rare and hard to find, people want to know what you are doing, the places you visit.
  3. Increasing desirability stimulates demand – they want you to attend their meetings, to be part of the team, to come to their functions.
  4. Create a single brand experience across all interfaces – online, through reputation and in person. Play to your strengths.

Finally, remember that people like to conspicuously consume – that is why Instagram and Facebook exist.  That is also why people LOVE to tag themselves in the First Class Lounge!


Our ability to connect with others is what enables great brands and great people to become successful. This is because people buy from people; not from organisations. People work for people; they don’t work for organisations.

In an increasingly globally competitive environment, your key competitive differentiator is your ability to connect and leave a lasting impression on those you meet.

8 Steps to a Brand New You is an 8-step course that aims to develop your understanding of what makes an impactful personal brand, how to recognise and create your marketable difference, and how to translate this in a manner that helps you out compete your competition. Click here to find out more.

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