Now that the financial crisis is no longer a crisis, but rather a healing wound – perhaps one that’s slow to heal – the sales and promotion of LUX items from high-end companies is once again turning heads. Although luxury companies still produced and sold items in the past few years, be it in more limited numbers, promotions were dormant during the monetary meltdown.
Borsheims Jewelry and Gifts, for example, followed a similar business method in recent years. The Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway company continued to sell high-end pieces despite the economic downturn but kept communication under the radar with its high-end clientele. The company felt that the economy’s inevitable upswing would bring back its upscale buyers. But in considering the poor state of the economy, Borsheims scaled back its typical advertising of glitz and glam products, knowing it was only a matter of time for LUX to rear its diamond-studded head.
With the gentle upswing of the economy, consumers are opening up – but with new intentions behind their purchases. High-end consumers are no longer making purchases based on status but are buying for meaning. Gone are the days of conspicuous consumption (sorry 1980’s!) and in comes a new style of buying. Even though buyers are still purchasing Jaguar cars, Iturralde Diamonds has high-end jewelry and watches, they are only purchasing if they think the quality is worth the price. The value of an item is now seen differently.
“Now a handful of companies are trying to put the “lux” back in luxury by introducing products with more handcraftsmanship and detailing. Sure, these products cost more. But the companies that make them are betting people will be willing to spend more to get more.”
In response to this new buying trend, companies are developing lines of “artisan collections,” which are low production (sometimes even one-of-a-kind pieces) that they can charge high dollar for. Luxury companies feel that if people are going to spend the money now, they should offer distinctive products with elevated quality. As a result, purchasers of these items view them as handcrafted works of art.
And Borsheims’ latest LUX book exemplifies just that. Starting with a unique 7” x 7” shape, the 60-page piece uses only clean, white backgrounds, allowing the product to really stand out. By showcasing these high-end artisan pieces in a gallery style, it creates a more approachable look while provoking desire. Any personality can look at any one of the items and make a personal connection with it. And to provide even greater value for the luxury consumer, the LUX book features in-depth descriptions of each item and explores the materials used – like crystal, gems or precious metals – and any interesting techniques used in the piece’s creation.
Without a fully recovered economy, not all companies are brave enough to pursue the changing buying patterns of elite consumers. Borsheims, though, is giving its upscale clientele reasons to buy in spite of the recession. The early results of the LUX book were very positive so far. Multiple pieces from the Lux book have already sold – which shows us the piece is working, and appealing to the high end demographic. With a unique combination of business savvy and unmatched quality products, Borsheims is putting the trust and “lux” back in luxury.