Understanding The Luxury Marketing: Exclusive Interview With Antonio Paraiso

Paraiso shares insights on the unique approach of luxury marketing that sets it apart from the mass market


Sara Siddiqui

Antonio Paraiso, a globally renowned luxury marketing consultant recently spoke to BW Applause & Everything Experiential on the sidelines of IIWC 2023, Sri Lanka Chapter. Here are some excerpts from the interview

Does luxury have a different kind of approach when it comes to marketing?

It absolutely does. Luxury is a sociological phenomenon of consumption with very particular and very peculiar characteristics. The client is wealthy so money is not a problem. They have very high expectations and they expect to be surprised so luxury brands wishing to work in this market have to be prepared to exceed expectations that are already very high. You cannot use the conventional marketing approach that brands do. You have to use completely different marketing approaches. Luxury marketing has very little to nothing to do with the mass market. Fundamentally, because of the drive and the motivation of the purchase, the mass market is purchased by need, and luxury is bought by desire and the need to feel powerful. 

Luxury brands use subtle and different techniques, even the approach is different. In mass market, brands go and chase client. “Please buy from me”, they say and then they have to create discounts to attract customers. Luxury brands don’t do that. Instead, they produce beautiful quality, creative products, and services. And they make it so beautifully and so creatively. They use association to art and culture, they use symbology, they use beauty and design, they build aesthetical universes and then they make it in such a fabulous way that clients chase brands. That’s the reverse logic. In luxury, clients go after brands. In the mass market, brands go after clients. It is definitely a different kind of marketing.

Is it difficult to bring luxury brands on board when it comes to any particular event as compared to mass-marketed brands?

It is difficult because luxury brands do not easily accept every invitation or presence or association to any event. It has to be very exclusive and for very few people. Normally, luxury brands never ever go to big events, because the market is exclusive, it is not democratised. It is not massive and it has to be the right event, where the right people are there for them.

What are the other dos and don’ts that make your brand really seem luxurious and the brand perception to become luxurious?

A luxury brand is one that is not mass-produced and not mass-distributed and that’s why the price is high. It is high because it reflects the quality of raw materials, manufacturing which is always extreme. Luxury is produced through associations with art and culture. Luxury brands always get inspiration from art and culture and they incorporate it into their products and services. Art and culture have value, and their value passes on to the product and services This is one of the ways to increase intangible value. 

Luxury is produced when there is a very high tangible value related to the quality of the raw materials and the quality of the manufacturing related to the quality of the creativity and the innovation, related to design and beauty. There is also intangible value related to storytelling, art, and culture. When you combine all this, you produce luxury and the high price reflects not only the tangible value but mainly and specially the intangible value because intangible value touches people with a notion and makes them feel special. 

Luxury is about making people feel special and people feel special when they are ready to pay.

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