Storytelling in Luxury: why it’s time for your brand to reshape the narrative

“Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” Native American Proverb 


Online luxury brands must reshape the narrative in storytelling to build authenticity, promote transparency and engage better with their customers. 

From Aesop’s Fables to Homer and Dickens, the art of crafting and telling a story is a fundamental part of what it means to be human. Epitomised by the proverb above, stories have inspired and captivated audiences and readers for millennia. 

In recent years, digital businesses in the luxury sector have made storytelling integral to their own brand identities, often sharing information about their rich heritage and history in engaging ways to give customers insights into what makes them so aspirational. 

But while the power of storytelling remains unchanged over time, the customer expectation and methods of delivering them are ever-evolving.  

And for digital brands in the luxury market, it has never been more important to get this right. 

SQLI’s Experience Design Director, Tom Lancaster casts his eye at some of the opportunities brands should focus on to ensure storytelling remains at the heart of their creative strategies and growth. 

Unleash your brand’s creative direction  

A luxury brand's vision and direction rely heavily on its creative director and product design team. However, despite their importance, many customers are unaware of their existence or contributions. Luxury consumers want real-time, authentic content. And that is why it’s important to make the creative team central to your storytelling. 

Why has your brand opted for its latest aesthetic? What inspired this fresh direction? How and where did you source your materials? Can your creative team answer these questions to help create compelling content for your customers?  

Recently, French luxury conglomerate Kering announced its first quarter revenues were down by 10 per cent and one of its star brands Gucci, was off by almost 20 per cent. 

Luxury - Gucci, YSL

While this doesn’t tell the whole story of the luxury market - with Miu Miu at Prada Group bucking the trend - many fashion houses like Gucci and Burberry have announced a change in creative direction. Luxury brands should seize these opportunities to captivate and connect their customers. 

Tom said: “The vision of Gucci’s new creative director Sabato De Sarno’s and Burberry’s new brand look by Daniel Lee, are more subtle than customers might expect. With a subtle style direction, you need to bring attention to the finer details of the products. 

“This is a perfect opportunity to use storytelling to elucidate the brand’s new direction. Customers want to hear from the minds behind the designs, to understand where the inspiration came from, who curated the materials and what drove their selection. 

“These are the authentic conversations that resonate with customers the most and distinguish the brand from the rest.” 

Let your products tell their own story 

What sets your brand apart from those found on the high street? Is it the meticulous craftsmanship of your products, the superior quality of materials, the exclusivity, or perhaps the exceptional service? Likely, it's a combination of all these elements. 

Storytelling in digital retail has often revolved around the ethos of the brand, with few Luxury brands investing effort into crafting narratives around their products. 

While it might be an impossible task to put together compelling content for every product, brands should prioritise their core ranges and tell the story of how they were made, the design inspiration or manufacturing process.  Alternatively, they can concentrate on providing captivating descriptions to give customers a deeper understanding of what makes each product extraordinary. 

SQLI partner Fortnum & Mason does just this with its description of its Louis Roederer Cristal 2014 Champagne, giving a rich, detailed history of the family-owned champagne house’s links to Tsar Alexandre II, that evokes vivid images of prestige, history and intrigue. 

Fortnum & Mason

On the Montblanc site, you can learn about the 160-year plus history of the brand, how many hours go into making each timepiece and even about the Montblanc Laboratory Test 500 – an extensive 500-hour testing procedure that each watch undergoes to ensure quality and precision of the very highest standards.  

“Some luxury houses like Only the Brave, owner of Marni, are starting to acquire their production chains and factories to control the exclusivity around their products, which also means more interesting and authentic content opportunities. 

“Letting your customers into your world, showing the factory in operation to help them understand the provenance and attention to detail that goes into every product, will cultivate trust and loyalty.” 

Educate your customers 

According to the National Crime Prevention Council, around $2trillion worth of counterfeit products are sold to consumers each year, while dupes – products designed to imitate brands more subtly – are flooding the market.  

And luxury brands are fighting back. Lululemon, for example, recently gave away free leggings to anyone who walked into a store wearing a ‘dupe’ pair to demonstrate the quality disparity and initiating discussions on the counterfeit phenomenon, which resulted in a broader conversation on the topic. 

Tom said: “Storytelling serves as a tool to educate customers through different means, from discerning fakes to highlighting huge differences in quality and craftsmanship.  

“Moreover, brands are verifying the authenticity of their products on resale platforms, presenting an excellent way of educating people and providing a valuable service, while guiding them to their own site.” 


The final chapter 

Tom said: “Luxury brands must shift their focus from mere sales to crafting compelling narratives that evoke emotions, spark conversations and ultimately inspire action.   

“It’s about creating an experience that transcends the transactional, where customers become part of a larger narrative, fostering deeper brand connections that compel not just to purchase the products, but to buy into a vision of excellence and exclusivity. 

“Designing a platform that creates the nuanced spaces to tell these stories alongside an excellent commerce experience will help the customer understand all that your brand is.”  


  • Make your creative team central to your storytelling. Let customers hear from the minds behind the designs and products, to understand where the inspiration came from. Bring them into your world to set your brand apart from others. 

  • Craft detailed narratives around your products. Tell the story of how your products were made and the manufacturing process behind them, for authentic content that resonates with your customers and promotes transparency.  

  • Educate your customers. Can you use storytelling as a tool to educate customers in areas such as fake goods and dupes? Help them understand the huge differences in quality and craftsmanship that elevate your brand. 

From Fortnum & Mason, Richemont and Miele to the labels under LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), SQLI has crafted digital solutions and experiences for some of the world’s biggest luxury brands. 

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Want to know more?

Our experience shows us that brands often gain significant benefits from a fresh perspective on their business and digital strategy. This insight enables us to offer recommendations focused on impactful, quick-win improvements rather than major overhauls. We provide various auditing services including front-end and user experience assessments, along with tailored workshops to help businesses identify areas for enhanced performance.