How to Make PR Work for Your Luxury Brand

Whatever luxury product or service you offer — whether its travel, jewellery, cosmetics, hotels or fashion — the luxury sector is extremely competitive.

It’s a thriving industry, which is great for the economy. But with so many high-end brands vying for attention, how can you push yours front and centre stage?

Making PR work for your luxury brand is crucial. Traditional marketing techniques are no longer effective, especially with a millennial audience which no longer reads magazines or watches TV. This audience is more discerning too and looks to luxury brands to provide an authentic experience with real storytelling.

The power of luxury brand PR

So what techniques should brands be using as part of a creative PR strategy? Storytelling, celebrity endorsements, building a community through social media, influencer marketing, and exclusivity.

Let’s look at each of these areas in turn.

Tell your brand story

Every brand has a past and an interesting story to tell about the company’s beginnings and the people involved. In the luxury sector this is particularly important as brands need to connect with their audience in a way that’s authentic, transparent and human. In fact, millennial buyers demand it.

The most successful luxury brands are those that are good at telling richly detailed stories that resonate. Stories about how the product was constructed and the care and attention taken always garner interest. Or the quality and the rarity of the materials — and the provenance of those materials — all make for a good PR story. And from a media relations point of view, a luxury PR pitch showing the creative process and the materials used is more likely to secure media coverage than a straightforward pitch to journalists about a new luxury product or service.

Discerning customers of luxury goods want to know about the creative talents behind a brand too and whether they share similar ethical beliefs. This is particularly true of designers at some of the world’s leading fashion houses. It’s not enough that the clothes or handbags are beautiful. How they are made and who they are made by is just as important for luxury-buying customers.

Burberry and Chanel

Or how about Chanel’s brand story? Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is a classic rags-to-riches story. Abandoned in an orphanage, she grew up to open her first store at the tender age of 21, and then changed the fashion landscape forever with her draped jersey fabric and the ubiquitous Chanel suit. Despite the founder’s death in 1971, her name is still used as part of the brand’s story and she is still often quoted: “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

Use endorsements

One of the world’s earliest endorsements was in the 1760s when Josiah Wedgwood of pottery and chinaware fame used the company’s royal endorsements as a PR tool to promote its products.

While watchmaker Omega is able to publicise the fact that it’s the only wristwatch to have withstood rigorous testing by NASA and is ‘flight-qualified for all manned space missions’. How’s that for an endorsement? While many of Omega’s competitors can claim similar values of prestige and premium quality, none can claim such a high-level of distinction.

The celebrity endorsement has been a natural fit for luxury brands over the years. Oscar-winning actresses like Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman have all had long associations with luxury brands. Winslet with watchmaker Longines, Kidman with Chanel, and Theron and Portman with Dior.

Some luxury brands are opting for less obvious celebrities to be brand ambassadors in the hope of engaging millennials. While they may not have the money to afford luxury products right now, they aspire to buy the brand at some point in the future. But for these celebrities, it’s not a question of turning up at the studio and having your photograph taken with the product. These days the celebrity endorsement is less endorsement and more a full-on collaboration, with contributions to worthy causes as part of the deal. Today’s celebs are part of the creative process. And that’s a good PR story.

What luxury brands are getting celebrity endorsements right?

Singing superstar Beyoncé worked with luxury brand Balmain’s designer Olivier Rousteing to produce her outfits for her appearance at music festival Coachella. She also worked with the brand on a Balmain x Beyoncé collection, with all proceeds from the collaboration going towards the United Negro College Fund.

Another singing megastar, Rihanna was the first woman to work with luxury behemoth LVMH to create an original brand. Consequently, LVMH saw a significant rise in engagement with the millennial market.

Build a community though social media

When so much of the luxury brand experience is based on the quiet and attentive customer service received in-store, using 24/7 social media to build a following seems counter-intuitive. But social should be an integral part of any PR strategy for luxury brands and it’s essential that brands embrace the power of social, especially platforms like Instagram. Social media gives luxury brands the opportunity to create awareness and position the business as an ‘aspirational brand’.

What content should brands be creating and sharing? Some content will include stunning imagery of the product that links straight through to a sales page. But it’s important to vary the content in order to engage an online audience. Images of mood boards, colour charts, sketches and ideas are always interesting to followers. As are Stories on Instagram. Share films of the creative process or perhaps an interview with the designer. Live videos of fashion shows, backstage access to fashion shoots and ‘first looks’ of yet-to-be-launched collections always garner likes.

Balmain and Fendi

Chanel and Valentino

Work with influencers

Working with social media influencers as part of a PR strategy gives luxury brands a much greater reach than the traditional media relations route. It’s why luxury brands are embracing it.

The key to successful influencer engagement is to identify the right influencer based on proper analytics and data, not on gut instinct or just because another luxury brand is working with them. Brands must be alert to influencers who provide an inflated user base or engagement rates.

High-end jeweller Tiffany & Co. partnered with a number of influencers as part of a campaign including travel influencer Jack Morris (@doyoutravel), and actress Yara Shahidi (@yarashidi), as well as model Kendall Jenner (@kendalljenner). By working with these young, hip influencers, the 200-year old jewellery brand introduced itself to millennials and Gen Z-ers. In other words, it’s future customers.

Fashion bloggers

Instagram travellers

Create exclusivity

Having something that others can’t access or acquire easily is the epitome of luxury. Luxury brands have long relied on a certain allure or mythology to make customers part with their hard-earned money. From tech brands like Bose, and Bang & Olufsen to car manufacturers like Rolls Royce and Jaguar, exclusivity is a consistent theme in the way top-tier brands market themselves. In fact, luxury car manufacturer Rolls Royce only makes 2,000 cars a year and each one is hand-finished.

Buying into these brands allows consumers to become part of their gentrified world. They feel that they belong to an exclusive group that not all people can belong to.

So how do you make a luxury brand exclusive? You can build a sense of exclusivity in many ways. Don’t make it too easy for customers to buy your product, for a start. Customers will want to own a product even more when it’s hard to come by. And the likelihood of very few other people owning it makes it all the more desired.


You can also invite your most valuable customers to exclusive VIP events; or offer consumers exclusive access to new products for a limited time; or distribute your products to only a few select retailers.

This is where an experienced luxury publicist can add real value, by helping you exploit the very best in your product, while paying homage to tradition and luxury values, and using those values to generate a higher level of exclusivity for your brand.

PR Superstar works with a number of brands in the luxury sector to create innovative and results-driven luxury PR campaigns. Discover how PR works for your luxury brand. Get in touch.

Thanks for reading. It means a lot. Follow me for more of the same. And come and say hi on Twitter or LinkedIn!

This article was originally published on the PR Superstar website.



A straight-talking, hardworking ex-senior journo turned PR pro with 25 years in the business, a book full of contacts, and a nose for a story.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jill Kent aka PR Superstar

A straight-talking, hardworking ex-senior journo turned PR pro with 25 years in the business, a book full of contacts, and a nose for a story.