It’s been said that women fall in love with their ears and men with their eyes. I studied music and have an ear for languages. So perhaps this is why I’m particularly attuned to the words I hear, especially when those words are delivered as part of a luxury customer experience.
Everything about the luxury experience—the colors, aromas, sounds, and language—must work together to create the complete luxury aesthetic. If any element does not align, the messaging becomes muddled. Luxury brands spend large sums to ensure the boutique lighting is just right, the appointments are lavish, and the marketing images tell the brand story; yet they sometimes fail to make sure their sales associates’ language consistently conveys the tone of the brand.
To understand the powerful relationship between vocabulary and brand, I perused several well-known luxury websites and selected some choice words. Read through the following lists and listen to how each word resonates with the brand message:
CHANEL: couturier, glorifies, exhilarating, precious, extravagant, richness, exalts, accentuates, mysterious, magical, eternal. spell, elegance, trumps, illuminates, decoration, classic, elegance, shines, triumphs, signature, surprising, unexpected, fresh, impeccable, flawless, conjures, whimsical, fearless, sexy and timeless
PATEK PHILLIPE: unfaltering, rare, expertise, elegant, savoir faire, rich, timeless, stylish, pride, enduring, unparalleled, prestige, connoisseurs, perfection, undisputed supremacy, excellence, trustworthiness, ingenuity, passion, noble, pioneering, finest, investment, reputation, sentimental, treasured, discretion, aristocratic, tradition
ROLLS-ROYCE: best in the world, illustrious, powerful, pedigreed, commanding, unforgettable, authority, striking, unrivalled, supple, graceful, ultimate, palatial, exquisite, bespoke, precise, refinement, embrace, sleek, grand, sublime
If I had separated the brand names from their respective vocabularies, would you have been able to guess which brand name corresponded to which wording?
Language can be evocative and seductive. The perfect word can conjure an image, arouse an emotion or spark a memory. By taking the time to polish and refine your luxury vocabulary, you can complete the luxury brand experience for your customer. Click on the Luxury Lexicon link here or on the menu above to access a list of words to get you started. Be sure to read your brand’s marketing materials, advertisements, and social media posts. Capture those words you feel exemplify your brand and incorporate them into your customer dialogues. Open your ears to the words you, yourself, hear as a customer and adopt those that please you. I invite you to share your own favorite luxury words in the Comments section below. Selected entries will be added to the Luxury Lexicon.
6 thoughts on “Choice Words: How to Speak to the Luxury Customer”
I’d love to see an update to this, as the luxury language has changed since originally posted. This list was invaluable to me until recently.
Would love to hear your thoughts about this. How has the luxury vocabulary changed? Are there cultural or generational differences the lexicon doesn’t capture?