How do you define the finer things in life?
What is the difference between the off-brand and the name brand?
Why pay more for anything?
The difference is hidden in the details. The casual subtleties and the slight variations that a discerning buyer will immediately recognize. For example, I’ve held enough writing pens over my lifetime that I can tell when a pen is high quality. I know it when I hold it, when I write with it. I can tell by the feel and the weight distribution. The design resonates with me.
You can’t trick me when it comes to selling me a high quality pen. This is because I’m an insider in this industry. I bring with me a lifelong pursuit of knowledge about the product and I understand the intricacies that differentiate each brand.
This natural feel is what is important when writing for the luxury market. They know what they are looking for - and as the copywriter, you must make yourself the insider as well. You must place yourself in their shoes, speak their language, and recognize what sets them apart.
Take it slow and revise often
Writing for luxury cannot happen quickly.
I would argue that any good writing cannot be done quickly, but writing for luxury takes extra thought, consideration and research that other copywriting may not require.
This is an emerging trend for 2019 in the field of luxury copywriting. GONE (so far gone) are the days of lavish, obscure adjectives dripping from every other word of the run-on sentences. No more. In 2019, this writing style looks cheap. It’s easy, it’s not creative and it doesn’t describe the intricate differences and it’s overused.
OLD Luxury Copywriting:
A mesmerizing pear-shaped diamond drop of over 11 total carats is suspended from a scintillating diamond and platinum necklace. Composed of 86 round brilliant diamonds and weighing over 31 total carats, this necklace is a striking display of light.
I start to read this and I’m immediately bored -- scanning for the information I want. This writing style doesn’t place an image in my head of the product. This could be describing one of 100 different necklace designs.
...Why is it mesmerizing?
...Define scintillating - how is it so?
NEW Luxury Copywriting:
Striking, mixed-cut diamonds breathe fire and life into this platinum necklace. Weighing over 36 total carats, this design features both princess-cut and round brilliant diamonds. The pièce de résistance? A cushion-cut diamond drop of over 5 carats.
Can you see the difference? Can you feel it?
The 2nd example is ablaze with unique and illustrious copy that brings the necklace to life. You’ll also notice there is only one adjective in the 2nd sentence: round. A basic, concise adjective to describe the diamond.
Luxury copy is clear, it’s concise, it’s simple, and it understands the market. The copywriting makes you feel something. When I read that the diamonds “breath fire and life into the necklace,” the creative part of my brain sighs a breath of relief. I’m brought into a story of a gorgeous necklace. The copy isn’t just using random and subjective adjectives that I may or may not really agree with when when I see it.
But how do you get here?
How can you transform your average copy to bring it off the page like those 80’s pop-up storybooks?
1. See it, hold it, touch it, feel it.
Experience the product you’re writing about as much as you can so that you can come to recognize the importance of the subtleties. You can become the connoisseur that speaks the language of the clients.
I used to think that all hotels were the same and that certain brands simply had a few fancier perks … until I stayed in some of the nicest hotels in the world. Until I experience the attention to the finest details. Until I had a turndown service with my name printed on the thank you card, with slippers beside the bed that were my size and a refrigerator stocked with the specific healthy foods and snacks that I preferred.
2. Read. Read. Read.
Read all the luxury content you can. Read luxury lifestyle from all different sectors (hint: 99% of the time, luxury products do not actually need to say “luxury” - the details speak for themselves. I try not to read publications that throw around the word “luxury” too much).
You can find inspiration in any market sector. Research the competition. Read the competitors’ copywriting but also read copy from other luxury publications, both inside and outside the industry. Once you begin reading true luxury copywriting - you’ll begin to see it everywhere.
You’ll start to know how the luxury copy feels on your tongue. How it massages your brain. How it lights up the page, and gives life to the pieces it sells.
You’ll begin to see how it draws you in to read more and how you savor every word.
3. Balance the Abstract and the Descriptive
Find the artful balance between the simple and the descriptive. Explain the piece in simple detail, then begin to notice the finer things -- the way the light reflects off of the diamond or the soft glow of the turn down service lighting with the ocean waves playing softly on the TV.
If you still can’t wrap your head around what makes luxury copy, you’re not alone!
Many of us have walked through a museum of modern art and wondered what makes The Black Square by Kazimir Malevich a work of art. What sets it apart from my own black squares?
My recommendation to you is to continue to pursue the subtleties. Continue to read, to feel and to experience the differences, and one day - hopefully in the near future - you, too, will see the differences and it may change you!
Writing by: Liz Perry - Marketing Director
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