When I first saw that famed-shoe designer Christian Louboutin, created a nail polish in his signature red, with a SEVEN-inch cap that looks more like a dagger than a nail polish cap and a $50 price tag (That’s right. Fifty smackaroos for a tiny bottle of red lacquer.), I just about fell off my stilettos.
Now, before you also fall off your stilettos thinking about paying fifty bucks for a teeny, tiny bottle of nail polish – take a moment to think about what Christian Louboutin did.
Like all great designers, he created a fantasy.
Something that removes you from the everyday, and transports you to the world of Paris Fashion Week, where you’re sitting in a front row seat next to Anna Wintour and Kim Kardashian while waves of chiffon strut by.
Side Note: Did you know that Kim Kardashian had ‘attend Paris fashion week’ on her vision board for years? INTENTIONALITY MAGIC.
Just like Christian Louboutin shoes, and their $1000 plus price tags, his nail polish embodies feeling special. Rich and luxurious.
Whether you’re rich or not, paying $50 for a nail polish will make you feel that way. You’ll apply the polish more carefully. You’ll admire the bottle more completely. You may avoid chipping your nails for just a little bit longer.
It’s a totally different feeling from that $2.99 bottle of Sally Hansen Heavy Metal nail polish from the drugstore.
Christian Louboutin understands the incredible value of what he’s created.
Which has nothing to do with an incredible value like buying bulk panties from Walmart.
Don’t get me started on the time I went on vacation in a small town and I forgot to pack my undies.
And while I’m into a lot of things, going commando isn’t one of them. So I had to buy what was available – a Victoria’s Secret knock-off version of my favorite underwear Hanky Panky.
Let’s just say that even at $11.00 a pair they were itchy, scratchy, and the cheap lace tore on the first day I wore them. As soon as I got home, off came the imitations and on came my $25.00-a-pair of Hanky Panky. Worth. Every. Penny.
Christian Louboutin wants you to feel exclusive, expensive, and lavish. Even when it’s just a bottle of nail polish. So he went one step further than the price. And launched his nail polish line as a limited edition. With just ONE color.
You might think that launching a product line with a single product at a premium price would lead to a spectacular failure.
But guess what? The first run sold out. And there was a wait list for the next production.
Here’s what Mr. Louboutin said when questioned about the price by The New York Times’ Style reporter Ruth La Ferla:
‘There is no need to add an ordinary product to the beauty category. This is extraordinary.’ – Christian Louboutin
I never knew I wanted a stiletto with a red sole, or a $50 bottle of nail polish with a seven inch cap that could double as a weapon. Did you?
His vision, his voice, his viewpoints. Crystal clear.
Think about this … when you go to Walmart, the shelves are filled with the ordinary. It’s what Walmart does. It offers you all the ordinary stuff you have to get, in one convenient location.
But you’re not an entrepreneur because you want to be Walmart.
You’re an entrepreneur because you want to create something unique & special.
And Christian Louboutin is a great example of not just doing something special, but pushing the boundaries of an industry.
He made people – lots and lots of people – want $50 luxury nail polish.
So scrawl it in lipstick on your mirror: No One Craves The Ordinary.
Oh, and while you’re at it? Scrawl it in Louboutin Red Lipstick.
That’s right. After making a splash with his $50 nail polish, Louboutin came back with a $90 lipstick – that you can turn into a necklace. With a single beautifully crafted jump ring, Louboutin changed a product into a statement piece.
And that isn’t just good design, that’s genius marketing.
In less than one year after putting out his $50 nail lacquer, the reception of his lipstick was completely different.
BAZAAR.COM: “Get ready to make room on your vanity … at $90 they don’t come cheap, but the best things rarely do.”
REFINERY29.COM: “Listen, we’ll try to find a way to justify this purchase by any means necessary, okay?”
ESSENCE.COM: “. . . it looks like we’ll be pinching pennies the rest of August in preparation for the collection. Are you with us?”
Do you know what this all means?
Christian Louboutin actually changed the beauty marketplace.
Yeah, the press may have jumped on the Louboutin bandwagon, because everyone loves success. But the real story is that Christian Louboutin made people want to spend money on his products. His objects.
He didn’t look at what’s going on in the marketplace – and figure out how to fit in with customer avatars and demographics.
Which is what mediocre companies do.
- Christian Louboutin made what he wanted to make
- Priced it how he wanted to price it
- Let buyers decide if they wanted it
And buy they did. Because we crave beauty. We crave individuality. We crave unique experiences.
Christian Louboutin never pretended he was creating anything but a luxury object. The same with his shoes. Even when he was only selling 200 pairs a year and in danger of going bankrupt. He sold exclusivity from the very beginning.
Christian Louboutin shapes the market according to what he wants to see in the world.
Don’t you want to do that too? People lining up to buy THE WORLD ACCORDING TO YOU?
The peer pressure to be average is intense. But when you develop strong viewpoints, you know what you believe. You know what you stand for. And you have the courage to do things your way.
The world doesn’t need any more ordinary products & services. NO ONE CRAVES THE ORDINARY.