What’s the definition of luxury? Well, according to Times style columnist Edwina Ings-Chambers, for Christmas 2009 it’s all about providing something bespoke. Bag designer Anya Hindmarch thinks that “you can definitely say that something is luxury when it’s completely personalised” and Ings-Chambers cites a number of high-end brands which are still raking in big-spending and aspirational consumers by offering a truly tailored experience, such as new London gift service Bokks:
“Packages are tailor-made and you can enlist one of its “very personal assistants” to come up with ideas: for instance, a photography fan was given a box containing a 1950s camera and limited-edition photographic books and prints. Bokks boxes start at £250, including the Bokks-Hop delivery boy or girl in clothes designed by Neil Barrett.”
Obviously, very few brands – or people – can afford this sort of outlay. But the principle of a luxury experience – one where attention is paid to making every detail conversational and personal – should apply to every offering, even if it’s a shampoo or a mobile tariff. It doesn’t take a lot of money to be thoughtful. What small touches can you add that makes someone feel they’re valued and that the product or service has been created with an absolute awareness of their needs and preferences? How could that be reflected in the method of delivery, in the packaging, in a tiny, easily integrated, personalised facet of the product?
If the luxury experience is persuading the super-rich to shell out £10,000 for a pair of bespoke feathered heels in a recession, then surely it can persuade the regular Joe to spend £40 on your jacket. Why not try?