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Home Headlines The importance of taking a customer-centric approach in luxury residential and hospitality design

The importance of taking a customer-centric approach in luxury residential and hospitality design

by wrich gbaf

By John Brash, Founder and CEO, Brash

John Brash, Founder and CEO, Brash

Uniqueness is what defines the luxury experience. Today’s Ultra High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWI) invest in everything from real estate to antiques, private transport to art – all on the premise that it isn’t a replica. Difference defines and distinguishes what is special from what is standard. So, how could luxury brands make sure they meet their expectations? 

Bespoke tailored approach no longer cuts through the noise. What brands need is to co-create the experience alongside the customers to ensure they are adding meaning to their lives.

Luxury with meaning 

There is an increasing opportunity around ‘luxury with meaning’. Consumers don’t just want luxury products or even luxury experiences anymore. They also want to know how something will add meaning and value to their life: spiritually and emotionally, not just physically or financially. This taps into the ongoing trend and consumer interest in wellbeing, but also into the importance of philanthropy, which is one of the key pastimes of the UHNWI community. This isn’t something new – we have seen these interests developing for some time but post-pandemic we expect to see even more importance placed on these pursuits and purposes. 

For example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has largely been invisible on the global tourist map. However, with the ambition and commitment of the Public Investment Fund, we created a brand that would awake the world’s imagination – Amaala. Just one of several key tourism destinations unveiling a new dawn for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this destination promised to well transcend its physical location; a place with a clear purpose that could become the home for an exclusive global community of connoisseurs, pioneers and thought leaders. Promising radiance and enrichment, the brand has been designed to attract and inspire guests to embark on authentic and truly transformative personal journeys.

The luxury sector in particular has a significant opportunity to add more meaningful experiences to their projects through community outreach programs or giving back to the local area through funding projects. Such brands will be fundamentally shaped around the promise of providing wellbeing, personal growth and appeal to the potential buyers’ passion points. 

The power of storytelling

We are also firm believers in the power of storytelling. Luxury consumers love to know the story behind a brand or product – its provenance, authenticity, craft. This gives them something to share with their friends and family, which can be as rewarding as owning or experiencing the product in the first place. We use digital, multi-sensory and immersive techniques to create ‘theatre’ around such stories, making the whole process of engaging with a luxury brand or product a desirable experience. This is proving to be particularly effective in the realm of super prime real estate, where it is imagined experience and space – not the finished property itself – which inspires a purchase. 

We worked with Great Scotland Yard to explore its rich history and unlock London’s secrets to drive the brand and develop the ultimate guest experience in this iconic city spot. The narrative of ‘individualism’ underpinned the hotel as an aristocratic destination, which has carried through to its unique perception in the digital age. Through individual experiences, distinctive and ownable illustrative language and personalised customer journeys, Great Scotland Yard has become the place to be for those who wander, seek and truly live. 

The blurred line between destination and experience

At Brash, we treat each residency and hospitality project as a unique destination as they are more than simply beautifully designed spaces. It’s important to bring the values and propositions of the brand we are working with to life. Dubai, for example, is home to a variety of energies and a host of experiences, from relaxed white sandy beaches and peaceful undulating sand dunes to the vibrancy of the city. We partnered with property developer OMNIYAT and legendary hospitality brand Dorchester Collection to launch its first offering in the Middle East. 

Managed by Dorchester Collection, known for its unrivalled standards of service, the development is setting the benchmark for the ultimate city lifestyle. An inimitable blend of design, landmark architecture and exceptional service in the heart of Dubai, The Residences, is as unique as a fingerprint, set to meet the needs and expectations of connoisseurs of luxury around the world. The UHNWI community doesn’t need to travel to the UK to get the London experience anymore. We live in a world where the lines between destinations and brand encounters have blurred, and consumers can enjoy a nation-agnostic experiences worldwide. 

By taking a co-creation approach for your customer journey, brands create authentic experiences that speak to the building, location and individual, in order to create moments of surprise and delight. You’re not just providing an experience, you’re co-creating it – and therein lies the distinction for the UHNWI individual.