Selling international luxury
Smythson of Bond Street is a British company that has been selling luxury leather goods and personalized stationery since 1887. For a brand to compete and grow within this fiercely competitive luxury-brand world, it is essential that it has a clear point of view on what it stands for and how it can stand out.
The project - to define and articulate a brand positioning for Smythson - was initiated in 2006 by the new CEO and the company's creative director, in preparation for expanding the business internationally. The new brand positioning would help the company decide what kind of products to develop and how to make them distinctly ‘Smythson', differentiating them from other international luxury offers.
Headmint conducted a series of in-depth interviews and employee workshops, involving a wide range of Smythson personnel, from archivists and store managers to product development experts, to capture all aspects of what makes the Smythson brand uniquely itself and what makes it different from the regular, more obvious and ‘showy' luxury brands.
The positioning was developed with great care to ensure that a strong sense of distance was established between the conventions of the luxury world and the Smythson ‘way of doing it'.
Considerable time was spent with the creative director and CEO to make sure that the positioning was also clearly applicable to ongoing product and styling developments within the company.
Evolved for the modern luxury world
Headmint then created a ‘brand bible' for Smythson, enabling the brand to emerge with a strong identity and a clearly defined point of view about how ‘luxury' should be done.
The brand's unique difference was defined, creating a clear competitive difference for Smythson relative to other serious, ‘showy' luxury brands. The new positioning provided a much greater creative scope for new product decision-making and product and retail design.
The unique essence and point of view of this old and venerable British brand was evolved in a way that made it relevant and competitive for the modern luxury world.