Branding is sensitive. Luxury brands understand that the slightest misstep can damage their brand. Luxury marketers understand that the perception of the media or event in which they are participating is important in reinforcing the brand itself.

Why do you not find high end retailers in low end shopping malls? Environment. A high end brand of course is less likely to sell in a low end environment. But more important… if a high end brand’s customers feel their brand is not exclusive, is being made available to "average" people (or below average) it deteriorates the special essence of the brand.

Mercedes, in my opinion, lost their panache when they started producing lower cost models for the middle class. Though I don’t know if it was good for their business financially I do believe it drove affluent customers to seek something the middle could not afford. After all, cars are transportation. If affluent people only wanted transportation they would by a low cost KIA (by the way, KIA has become a HOT! brand and is growing in popularity among the middle affluent due to service, quality, and design of some models). Many affluent want an automobile which reflects their stature and thus the reason brands like Bentley, Rolls Royce and others excel.

So what does environment have to do with gallery marketing? Of course it depends on who you are targeting and what you are selling. IF you are selling expensive paintings to affluent people they have expectations of your environment. They expect the environment of your gallery space to be up to the level of quality and design of their homes. If your space is low end their subconscious mind will tell them the quality you offer is not worth the price.

An acquaintance of mine had a very important painting to sell. His gallery was mid-level, selling mid-priced artworks. He advertised and displayed this important work for sale at a very high price but it did not sell. It was not a fit and therefore sent the message that there must be something wrong. So the gallery owner syndicated the painting to a high end gallery whose customers were used to buying expensive paintings. It sold immediately.

Environment is also important to high end galleries in their advertising. If the paper is thin, the content is of poor quality, the writers are not known these galleries may not support a particular advertising environment. In spite of proof of readership advertisers will often avoid publications which do not project quality. Bottom line is that they are protective of their image and brand and do not want their high-end clients to feel as though they associate themselves with anything other than the highest and best quality.