One of the most powerful exercises in business is asking your team to share their stories about breaking up with a brand. The chances are high that these stories will be about breakups with luxury brands. And, when they share them, expect that they will be remarkably emotional sessions.
As customers, they will, most likely, remember every detail, and their moods will shift towards anger. The probability is also high that they will end their stories by telling everyone that they will never buy a product from that brand again, and it is likely that they vehemently shared their experience with dozens, if not hundreds of people. I encourage you to try this exercise; it will almost certainly be eye-opening.
Breakups with brands are fascinating to analyze. The first thing to remember is that there must have been a prior relationship to get to a breakup point. Hence, a breakup story will be one of a broken heart and lost love, amplified by disappointment. It is the story of a customer who did not only buy a brand but was in love with that brand.
While comparing a romantic relationship in the real world and a love relationship with a brand may sound awkward, it is actually a very apt metaphor. Luxury brands, when managed well, create extreme value for their customers. They inspire them, create desire, and provide unique memories and experiences that can, in some cases, last a lifetime. In a recent story about their paint-to-sample customization offer, Porsche even compared their cars to family members. And, famously, Patek Philippe watches are purchases you don’t buy for yourself, but “for the next generation,” as part of your family’s heritage.
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