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Thought luxury brands weren’t a good fit for Black Friday? Think again

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Mention Me revamp the parameters of Black Friday shopping and suggest that it could be a valuable opportunity for luxury brands.

What do you imagine when you hear the words ‘Black Friday’? If you’re a luxury brand, you may think of big discounts and noisy promotions — neither of which seem like a natural fit for a brand with a classy image. In reality, Black Friday is a valuable opportunity to strengthen your luxury brand profile, acquire new customers, and drive sales. And it doesn’t even need to involve a discount.

More brands get onboard with Black Friday every year, such as Jigsaw, which had previously vowed to never take part in the seasonal promotion. And Selfridges, which technically don’t do Black Friday... but do hold a ‘Christmas Comes Early’ sale at exactly the same time. Even Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior have gotten into the spirit (without discounting a penny) by adjusting their opening hours to welcome Black Friday shoppers.

Starting to feel your unshakeable reluctance to take part beginning to, well, shake yet? Read on to discover how your luxury brand can make the most of Black Friday.

Emphasise your brand positioning

You might be worried that a Black Friday campaign will risk undermining the high-end reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish. But this will backfire when it inevitably leads to customers shopping elsewhere.

Rather than sacrificing your brand image, getting involved with Black Friday can strengthen it.

Take your copy and design. Enhance your traditional colour palette with a Black Friday splash of monochrome or sleek metallics; Charlotte Tilbury featured its signature sparkle and flashes of gold in their promotion last year. And rather than featuring copy shouting about sales, keep your tone of voice sophisticated with talk of unmissable incentives such as exclusive giveaways, VIP offers, and luxury goodies.

Charlotte Tilbury ran a high-end Black Friday referral campaign with sophisticated copy and design

Make it an experience

Two years ago, in a pre-Covid world, 73% of Black Friday sales were online. One year (and a pandemic) later, orders and referrals were up 20%, and we processed 3x more referrals than the typical day. With e-commerce sales recently estimated to be worth £12.8 billion annually, online shopping is sure to dominate Black Friday once again.

If the pandemic forced you to close your physical store, you’ll have worked hard to recreate your in-store experience online. Consumers may be able to browse in-person again this year, but many will still prefer to shop online, so give them the best experience possible.

Turn your website and brick-and-mortar stores into Black Friday sanctuaries. Other brands feature bold sale signs and rapidly selling out items; yours can present a more sophisticated environment, with complimentary products and exclusive access. You could even take it a step further and make your Black Friday event invite-only, welcoming your most loyal customers and brand ambassadors (who will no doubt rave about it on social media).

Tailor personalised content to customer segments. Aid product discovery with promotions and free samples. Make it easy and convenient for your customers to try on products in the comfort of their homes.

By creating memorable experiences, you’ll build authentic relationships with your customers that lead to long-term loyalty.

Extend your promotion

As Black Friday gets bigger every year, it also gets longer. We’ve found that order volumes on the other days in the week of Black Friday have more than doubled in the last two years. Take advantage of the fact that shoppers will be keen to shop in the days leading up to Black Friday (as well as the days that follow) by extending your promotion.

At the very least, run your campaign for the whole of Cyber Week; you could even run it for several weeks. This way, you can space out your Black Friday messaging and avoid sending out a flurry of frantic communications on the day itself.

By making your promotion last longer, you can maintain a sense of calm that aligns with your high-end positioning and appeals to your audience.

Offer luxury incentives (without the discount)

Black Friday isn’t about slashed prices — it’s about value. There are plenty of ways to make your customers feel they’re getting good value without undermining your luxury brand image. You could invite shoppers to VIP events, enter them into a luxury giveaway competition, or offer complimentary extras (such as free delivery or personalisation). Build these incentives into your Black Friday referral programme to drive even more powerful results.

Monica Vinader created an unmissable competition for their referral promotion

Another option is to host an invite-only Black Friday sale online. Not only will this maintain a sense of exclusivity that flatters your customers, but it’ll also encourage others to sign up to your newsletter so they don’t miss out next time.

If you’re a really high-end brand (with high prices to match), chances are your customers will be more interested in exclusive rewards than standard discounts. Leverage this by marking the event with luxurious referral rewards, such as limited edition collectibles or free personal shopping in your store for the day. International shoppers who weren’t able to visit you during the pandemic will be particularly grateful for classy in-store experiences that make them feel special.

Regardless of whether you’re a Black Friday veteran or a newly converted sceptic, this year’s event is an unmissable opportunity for luxury retailers. With an elegant campaign, you can use the occasion to reiterate your brand’s messaging, drive sales, and encourage lasting brand loyalty.

Olivia Cox, junior copywriter at Mention Me

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