Welcome to
Keko London.

Keko London

Keko London are specialists in the premium and luxury sectors. We reach, engage and sell to, then retain high net worth customers.

We focus on the premium and luxury sector. Helping brands to remain relevant in a world where innovation is quickly becoming as important as tradition. A full-service advertising agency, we encourage hard to reach customers to invest their time in brands first, and then their money. In short, we make the expensive valuable.

WHAT WE DO

We’d love to hear your perspective on our perspectives.

We’ve spent years understanding an exclusive audience that is both elusive and misunderstood; here’s what we’ve learnt.

Do you violently agree or gently disagree?  If you’d like to discuss any of these ideas in more depth, please get in touch.

It doesn’t matter what you call it…

PR–Advertising-Marketing or maybe let’s call it ‘PRAM’. This isn’t so much an acronym as a new word. This is the reality of disciplines that have evolved and will continue to evolve. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s called progress. A dollop of reality before we start. Yes, they are still regarded as separate disciplines for […]

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It doesn’t matter what you call it…

PR–Advertising-Marketing or maybe let’s call it ‘PRAM’. This isn’t so much an acronym as a new word. This is the reality of disciplines that have evolved and will continue to evolve. It’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s called progress.

A dollop of reality before we start. Yes, they are still regarded as separate disciplines for clients and corporate institutions, and will continue to be so, as people and messages need to be managed. And only the most agile and innovative brands will manage to do this holistically.

But, back to the world of agencies and, importantly, recognition that we’re a service industry. We should be giving brands and businesses what they need –  that’s the best service.

‘PRAM’ now manifests and, crucially, germinates from the same starting point – a single idea or message. We all know the old adage that ‘marketing’ is what you tell your consumers, and ‘PR’ is what others tell consumers about your brand – but the world now ensures those messages appear side by side (often literally). They should, therefore, always enter the world aligned and co-ordinated.

Publishers like Hearst are ahead of the curve whereby display advertising sits next to advertorial, and brands are featured in editorial. These carefully integrated campaigns are just one example of the pace of change, and consumers are savvy to which is which.

Red Bull have been trailblazers in the field and are often placed on a pedestal as something ‘special’ and ‘unrepeatable’. Maybe that is true to some extent, discuss, but as a brand they continually believe in investing in all messages, not just paid messages (advertising) or creating value for their customers (marketing), but also messaging for others to write about (PR). Every brand should have this mentality – even if they can’t achieve the strategy from day one.

McKinsey infer the same in their report dated March 2015,* where they talk about ‘targeting the capabilities that matter’ – they don’t differentiate between activities but summarise that competitive advantage comes from investing where others aren’t: ‘PRAM’ is harder at the start (anything new is), but the opportunity is significant.

We’re not looking to re-label or re-define an industry, we’re not motivated by that, but we are motivated by seeing new ideas walk into the world with confidence. We’re also not the first to make a break, our friends at Brooklyn Brothers started to fight the good fight a number of years ago.

When  we  took PR skills and experience into a world of advertising and marketing we had no idea what would happen, but we certainly didn’t think it would be our clients encouraging us to move even faster. Progress is addictive. Results driven progress is compulsively-addictive.

We had been developing ‘PRAM strategies’; but with holistic teams and competences working collaboratively we saw the strategies realised at a far faster pace and with more significant results.

Our latest creative for Bentley, under the campaign ‘Be Extraordinary’, allowed us to put our theory into practice and launch a holistic ‘PRAM’ campaign – which is now flourishing. Of course, like any ‘first’ there will always be room for improvement, but if we were confident before, well we are all-out bullish now.

*McKinsey & Company Report, Building marketing and sales capabilities to beat the market, March 2015

Spare us the clichés.

Picture a ‘luxury’ consumer lifestyle: The champagne. The red carpet. The Learjet. OK, hold it right there. Clichés like this appeal to advertisers because they provide a kind of shorthand; a way to say to the wealthy consumer, “we’re talking to you”. But they also say something else: “We have absolutely no idea how you […]

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Spare us the clichés.

Picture a ‘luxury’ consumer lifestyle: The champagne. The red carpet. The Learjet.

OK, hold it right there. Clichés like this appeal to advertisers because they provide a kind of shorthand; a way to say to the wealthy consumer, “we’re talking to you”. But they also say something else: “We have absolutely no idea how you actually live.”

There’s as much diversity in the lifestyles of the wealthy as in any other consumer segment. But that doesn’t mean they’re beyond reach.

When you look at the behaviour of the modern luxury consumer, about to be dominated by the millennial segment*, it’s easy to see that the real-world is very much where they live: uncovering unknown brands in quiet corners (both physical and virtual).

Modern consumers have started interacting with brands, often years before their first purchase.  This means the messages from brands need to resonate with them, not polarise or patronise them, wherever they are in their journey with that brand. So yes, be aspirational, but not clichéd or homogenous. After all, how can a naïve consumer differentiate between brands if they play to clichéd stereotypes?   

Marketing and advertising stories need to transcend the ‘this if for those who live this lifestyle’ to ‘this is for those who want to step into this lifestyle’.

Brands like Missoni , the Italian fashion label, are challenging this cliché. Using editorial style content to engage their future customers, they have created an accessible and easily understandable world.

Tactics such as behind-the-scenes content, staff interviews or user generated content give brands the opportunity to challenge the clichés and make premium and luxury brands approachable to a new generation of consumers.

Porter Magazine curates a world of high fashion and exclusivity. But across a clever mix of channels, it uses a written and visual language that is as accessible to a teenager in the suburbs of Seattle to the most experienced luxury consumer in the sixth arrondissement of Paris.

We’ve been working with Bentley to challenge the clichés of the luxury automotive world. In their most recent campaign we placed their model, the Continental, in a series of spontaneous scenes captured by photographer Greg Williams (@gregwilliamsstudio). Each story engaged consumers with an extraordinary image of a global icon, before encouraging them to explore the world of Bentley further. Read more here.

*According to American Express Business Insights (AEBI) report, published in February 2012. This revealed that in 2011, US millennials increased their spending on full-price luxury fashion by 33%, and on luxury jewellery by 27%. These were the biggest gains in spending for any age group – making it a segment that luxury brands cannot afford to neglect.

The lexicon of luxury is defunct.

These days, you can see the word ‘luxury’ wherever you look – which makes it all the more difficult to position premium and luxury brands. Without a simple signpost to rely on, brands that truly represent premium materials, craftsmanship and style need to find new ways to express what they stand for. In a world […]

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The lexicon of luxury is defunct.

These days, you can see the word ‘luxury’ wherever you look – which makes it all the more difficult to position premium and luxury brands.

Without a simple signpost to rely on, brands that truly represent premium materials, craftsmanship and style need to find new ways to express what they stand for. In a world where you can buy ‘luxury’ chocolates from a garage and ‘luxury’ toilet roll in the supermarket, authentic premium and luxury brands have no choice but to forge a new path.

The declining power of the well-trodden luxury lexicon is being exacerbated by a changing set of motivations of the next generation of consumers. Labels and a long and illustrious heritage are no longer enough to tempt this savvy consumer across the line.

Becoming relevant to the consumer’s life is an important part of what could be seen as a new ‘identity’ trend: i.e. consumers are using the brands they associate with to express their own beliefs and identity. (Nothing new there you say.) But this is no longer simply the branding on the product; it’s the perceived behaviour of that brand out in-the-wilds of the world. Makes you think doesn’t it.

Finisterre, a premium surf brand that launched in the UK, offers cold water surf clothing and gear. If you’re into surfing in cold water (no time to explore that one) then it makes complete sense to buy from a specialist brand. However, Finisterre’s perceived success has been resonating with a millennial audience; one engaging far beyond the literal product. An active social media programme, a social-café-based retail concept, thought-leading speakers, ambassadors, and active CSR programmes about environmental issues all bring the brand to life – and make it more appealing to the modern millennial consumer.

This is a belief shared by Frédéric Cumenal, Chief Executive of US luxury jewellery retailer Tiffany. He points out that “meaning is of critical importance to the contemporary customer… Status no longer comes from just the image or price of an object, but from its association and values”*.

So what’s the new luxury lexicon? A relentlessly consistent tone-of-voice, visual language and behaviours that express a brand’s personality and character through the entire relationship with its consumer. It’s tougher than waving and shouting ‘Hey we’re a luxury brand!’, but we believe it is more fulfilling and more effective.

Developing this lexicon for Bentley meant creating a brand idea that transcends the need to use the word luxury. We captured a shared belief and characteristic of the marque and their customers – past, present and future: ‘Be Extraordinary’. And we’re executing it in ‘non-traditional’ experience-led ways. Read more here.

*Source Stylus Report Hijacking Heritage, 7th May, 2015, Hayley Ard

It’s time to leave logic behind.

Premium and luxury brands depend on irrational consumer behaviour. Emotional desire outstrips any logical calculation of value – and the potential for profit is enormous. But you’ll never realise that potential if you shirk a crucial responsibility: to invest in delivering the emotional connection that desire is based on. Take your eye off the ball […]

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It’s time to leave logic behind.

Premium and luxury brands depend on irrational consumer behaviour. Emotional desire outstrips any logical calculation of value – and the potential for profit is enormous. But you’ll never realise that potential if you shirk a crucial responsibility: to invest in delivering the emotional connection that desire is based on. Take your eye off the ball – in branding, product development or service – and the penalty will be swift.

It’s easy to get drawn into the optimisation and rationalisation debate. The growth of big data, analytics and predictive modelling have, without a doubt, delivered a step change in the marketing community. But when it comes to selling the products and services of premium and luxury brands data and logic is not enough; emotion needs to win through.

We all know that the most human of feelings: happiness. Prompted by an unexpected phone call from an old friend, or a surprise breakfast in bed from a child with a hand-drawn card is emotional gold. Of course that phone call or breakfast could have been on an arguably better day, or at a better time or even in a better place… But its spontaneity is at the root of the positive emotion.
The Journal of Neuroscience published a report in April 2015 that confirmed the human brain is wired to appreciate surprise. And premium and luxury brands are afforded the greatest privilege of any marketing-led organisation – an almost open invitation to enter the lives of their customers.

Coupled with millennials’ expectations for brands to host some form of entertainment*, it offers a rich territory to foster this most basic of human desires. Brands that create communications and experiences that light up consumers’ faces. Those that deliver clear messages, with a relevant narrative, are destined for success.

So when Bentley’s future male customers or existing customers pop into Pankhurst Barbers in London, their surprise at being sat in a barber’s chair hand crafted by Bentley Motors and being served a drink by Johnnie Walker always gets them talking. Read more here.

*Source Stylus Report Retail Beyond the Algorithm, 18th September 2015, Katie Baron