Luxury Marketing

Is Luxury Marketing Changing?

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

A recent report by TAMBA notes that luxury brands, which shunned social media in the past, are embracing it much more today. Consequently, the report questions the status of exclusivity, a term that has been used interchangeably with luxury. The report claims that identifying luxury with exclusivity is an “old European myth” that does not appeal to today’s young, more democratic audience.

 

Showing the importance of social media among luxury shoppers, Kay Hammond of TAMBA points out several takeaways. First he claims that the notion of exclusivity is changing and that young people are purchasing luxury brands as a way of expressing personality as opposed to acquiring rarity. Secondly, he says that social media is about personal connection; despite its being seemingly removed from the customer, it is actually used to reach customers in more personal and direct ways. Lastly he proposes that luxury consumers are increasingly prominent social and mobile media users.

 

I think that some of Hammond’s claims are questionable. Throughout his article, Hammond refers to luxury products and services as “exclusive”, relates luxury to “exclusivity” in general, and then claims that “exclusivity” is an unappealing “old European myth”. However, throughout my years of research I never found “exclusivity” used to describe any facet of luxury. I personally do not fully understand what the term “exclusivity” is meant to convey. Though customers might use the term to inaccurately describe the value they find in luxury items, serious luxury researchers never refer to “exclusivity” when talking about luxury. Hammond presents a quasi-professional claim with no serious basis about “exclusivity” being related to luxury, and then claims that times have changed and this relation no longer stands. However, without first establishing what “exclusivity” is, it is meaningless to say that people shun it in luxury today.

 

A term more accurately used in luxury is rarity (which was perhaps what Hammond intended by “exclusivity”). However, without understanding what rarity it, it is impossible to judge its value among luxury consumers. Rarity comes in two forms, depending on the individual. Some see rarity in a product itself. To this person a diamond would be rare, since there is only a small amount of diamonds in the world. Others perceive rarity in the difficulty of obtaining a product. Such a person would not perceive diamonds as rare if he worked in diamonds because they would be easy to obtain, but would perceive as rare an antique Persian rug that took him years to acquire.

If you see that luxury consumers are less interested in certain items that are generally perceived as rare, that does not mean they are not interested in rarity. It just means that those items do not satisfy their definition of rarity. Rarity is not a European myth, although it is very old. Searching for rarity is based on a psychological need that is embedded in human nature and it is certainly still a part of luxury consumption.

 

Once we understand rarity, we can critique Kay’s claim that customers are concerned with “personality…over the notion of rarity.” Personality and rarity were never competing values. People use what they perceive as rare to express their personality. One person might use an unusual, handmade dress that she searched many stores to find to express her personality, while another might invest in an expensive pair of shoes to express his personality. Both perceive the items they acquired as rare. And both use those items to express their personalities. People did not choose the value of personality over the value of rarity – the two values work hand-in-hand.

 

Regarding Kay’s other claims about social media –though Kay may be correct that marketing luxury through social media is effective, we have to keep in mind that selling luxury is a different matter. Proper marketing and sales require a dialogue between seller and consumer. It is easy to engage in this dialogue face-to-face but difficult when our connection with our customers is purely technological. For most luxury products, selling requires establishing a relationship with the customer through direct contact – and for this contact, social media is not quite direct or personal enough. Perhaps established brands, such as Tiffany’s and Burberry, can cash in today on the successful dialogues they created over the years. However, it is worth checking whether these dialogues become richer and spread wider. Without continued direct contact with their customers, it is hard to imagine that they would.

 

Luxury consumers did not change, they simply changed the way they express their interest in luxury (which is something that will always be changing!) Rarity is and will always be an aspect of luxury. If we see luxury consumers losing interest in what we think is rare, we have to question what rarity means for them. Also, though social media is widely used by consumers and may be a useful tool for marketing luxury, it cannot provide the necessary personal dialogue between seller and consumer that selling luxury needs. Only being faithful to the principles of proper luxury marketing can assure us that we will thrive in today’s luxury market.

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Cupid and Psyche: Marketers must “delve deep” to know their clients

Isaac Mostovicz writes that regardless of what marketing discipline they advocate, marketers must try to understand their customers' inner motivations ...

People sometimes ask me what is so special about Janus Thinking. In my previous blog, I positioned myself as operating within the qualitative research field. We cannot expect people to be fully aware of their deepest, most hidden motivations. Even when they are, not many would be able to express themselves in a coherent way. That’s why people use metaphors when discussing these motivations. For example, a customer called us and asked us to visit him. When we agreed upon a date he asked us whether we were going to offer his staff some training. However, when we asked him what issues he wanted us to address he said: “With me, it’s different”.  Well, the customer did not invite us to check what his problems were but asked for ”one size fits all” training while telling us that whatever we were going to provide would be rejected because with him “it’s different”. Some psychologists would use this as an example of how irrational human beings are, and criticize such behavior. But we think differently. There was a hidden message within that customer’s request, disguised within an oxymoron, which we needed to discover. Our client simply expressed his concerns in a very precise, yet illogical way. I do not know of any quantitative method which would be able to shows what exactly was on this person’s mind. Only systematic exploration could have revealed what those concerns were.

 

Well, Dichter emulated this approach too and we at Janus Thinking operate in the same manner, with a slight difference. To expand on this, I will explain a little about psychology. It all started with Sigmund Freud, the champion of behavioural psychology, who theorized that we have our preconscious and subconscious which guide us. Our motives are deeply hidden in our psyche and influence our behavior. Freud went on to develop psychotherapy, a dialogue between the therapist and his client to treat diverse psychological distortions. Over the years, different theories emerged and different techniques were introduced. However, all these techniques and theories had one thing in common – you need to delve deep into your client’s psyche if you want to really understand him.

Cupid and Psyche

Dichter was the first to adapt this approach to marketing. The popular maxim in marketing is that people   buy with their heart and attempt to justify their behavior, post-sale, with logical arguments. Dichter explored the first part of the maxim and gave it a scientific basis. However, he did not have the tools to address the second part of the maxim and did not understand the psychology of this logical justification. To understand what lies behind the logical justification we need to explore another branch of psychology, the cognitive one introduced by George Kelly in the 1950’s. Kelly’s theory, the Personal Construct Theory, postulated that “a person’s processes are psychologically channeled by the ways in which he anticipates events.” In other words, we constantly build theories that will arrange the world around us according to our own brand of logic. We see a series of dots and immediately we look for a pattern whether it exists or not. Using Kelly’s work, I was able to find out the way people try to explain their behavior. These justifications have nothing to do with our perceptions but with the format they use. However, understanding the language allows us to read between the lines. Again, one of the most important tools for discovering what lies behind these claims of logic is developing a dialogue with the client.

 

Each approach, whether Dichter or Kelly’s, has its own merit. When dealing in mass marketing, for example, then we actually try to go over the head of the salesperson to have a dialogue with the customer. We may find that in that situation, there is nobody there who is qualified enough to build such a dialogue at all. Things are different in luxury, for example because we mainly deal with our clients face to face. I haven’t met every diamond salesperson on the planet, but after thirty years I can recommend only three who are able to do a good job.

 

Dichter, following the tradition of behavioural psychology, faced an ethical challenge. Behavioural psychologists deal with our ugly hidden secrets that we try to repress. Taking these theories into marketing, there was always a sense of trying to manipulate the customer using sophisticated methods. Since Dichter was aware of this possible negative manipulation he tried in his books to persuade readers that this was not the case.

 

However, are our motives based on these ugly hidden, archaic and primitive motives? I don’t think so. The role of these unchanged, hidden values is to help us find our ultimate goals that are worth pursuing. Such a noble task cannot be based on ugliness and cruelty but on something very pure and beautiful. One man to address this in a professional way was Victor Frankl, the father of Logotherapy whose approach was to search for real meaning in life. Yes, this search puts the responsibility of searching squarely on us. We, as consultants, cannot advise because this takes away the responsibility from our client. Our job is to guide them to face reality, to discover their beauty within and to use it for self-development.

 

The marketing of luxury is a challenge. It is very easy to manipulate people to spend more and more; neuroscientists show that by acting this way we manipulate the region in the brain called Nucleus Accumbens which is responsible for our pleasure and laughter but also for addiction, fear and aggression. However, other areas in the brain can be influenced which are responsible for altruism, for example. As a marketer, understanding this and choosing the right way to use this is key to sales. And it needn’t all be about fear – when we manipulate the positive values of man then we can create through marketing someone whose self-esteem is enhanced, who is more refined, and who cares for the world around him.

Luxury Condos says of this article...

This is an interesting article. With competition so tough these days, marketing of luxury goods, services, and properties is difficult. Understanding the market is tricky but it will definitely help to reach your goals. It can be time consuming but yes, there are great rewards for those who patiently do their homework. Cheers!

Isaac Mostovicz says of this article...

All what counts is whether customers exist. If they do exist a good research will find them, tell you how to communicate with them, what media to use, etc. If you feel that the time is tough maybe it worth changing your strategy a bit?

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Doing or Being?

Isaac Mostovicz writes that marketers must focus on understanding what motivates their customers above all else ...

I recently gave a keynote speech at an international conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The topic of the conference was “Marketing & Consumption: What future?”  I offered a variation on this topic which discussed the way marketing heads are discussing, “Marketing: quo vadis?”

 

Reflecting on luxury, I think that we sometimes err in our thinking. We believe that if we could only define what marketing or luxury or brand are, we’d have found a Holy Grail. Thus, with the mysterious exception of luxury, many articles and textbooks try to create as accurate as possible definitions of what marketing or brand are. The question is, of course, once we have a definition what can we do with it? The answer is very obvious – nothing.

Isaac Mostovicz presents at the “Marketing & Consumption: What future?” conference

Well, some of us enjoy knowledge for the sake of it and there are experts in brands and marketing just as there are experts in medieval Mongolian poetry, pre-historic music or other esoteric topics. However, when we want to put this marketing knowledge to use, we fail. One of the leading journals in marketing checked how many practicing marketers research their field or read the findings that appeared in that journal, which claims that its audience consists of both academia and marketing practitioners. The answer was, as you might expect, that nobody cares to read or learn what those findings are.

 

In my opinion, we make the cardinal mistake of asking the wrong question. The question is not what marketing is but what marketing /brand/ luxury does. How does it affect us, what benefits do we draw from it and how can we properly use this knowledge? This question is not simply a different question but indicates a mindset that is opposite to the one prevailing in academic and practitioners’ circles. While trying to understand what a term like marketing is reflects on us and on our egoistic satisfaction, asking what something like marketing does recognises that there is a world around us that we need to satisfy, that we want to affect and influence and that we need to consider first.

 

Others agree with my approach, e.g. Ernest Dichter, the father of motivational research that changed the landscape of US marketing . Additionally, in 1960, Theodore Levitt published “What is Marketing?”, arguably the most popular article to appear in Harvard Business review of all time and said, “when a customer asks you for a ¼” drill he actually asking for a ¼” hole”. Both of them told us that marketing starts with knowing who your customer is and what they want. However, despite the sound nature of this simple idea and vast empirical proof, marketers are not as focused as intensely as they should be on what emotions are driving their customers. When checking who the customer is, marketers must look at the deeper psychological layers that motivate the customer to choose one product or option over the other.

 

This lack of customer insight is widely apparent, and to cite the recent Goldman Sachs example, it’s clear that treatment of customers can range from extremely bad to extremely good.  To take myself as an example, I would not choose Goldman Sachs as a financial provider because they are apparently untrustworthy, but it’s possible that they employ managers that are genuinely nice people who have merely acted in an untrustworthy fashion. In this way, my motivation for choosing a product has been selecting what I perceive to be a “good” brand (if such a one exists) over a “bad” one.

 

To use a different example – Blackberry, iPhone and Android phones are all excellent products but customers will choose one option over the other equally good option. In this instance, as marketers we should understand what the parameters are that have made each customer identify with the different product. The assumption is that the customer who wants a BlackBerry doesn’t want an iPhone – I know that some people prefer the Android operating systems over those of the iPhone, for example. Nevertheless, they might advise me to buy an iPhone since my psychological needs are totally different to theirs.

 

When dealing with my own customers I always ask, “Who is your customer?” and gradually, people start to realize that they cannot describe him or her to me. What I am actually looking for is a description that allows me to identify the typical customer according to defined parameters, but it seems that nobody can describe what those parameters are. For example, one client told me that he has 10,000 customers. But he was actually referring to 10,000 people he has served in his shop at one moment or another. Yes, they were his customers in the past but can he consider them future customers? Will they visit him the next time they shop? Past performance is not a guarantee for future success.

 

Another question I ask them is what the needs of their customers are. Of course, every jeweler will tell you that their customer is looking for jewelry and every owner of a shoe shop knows that people come to their shop to buy shoes. But does the shopkeeper know what motivates the customer? Can he recognize their deeper reasons for wanting a particular product? When dealing with my customers, most cannot answer this simple question or, in Theodore Levitt’s words, my clients know that the customer wants a ¼” drill but they do not know what the ¼” hole looks like.

 

Brand consulting suffers from a similar problem.  A typical request that one of my clients made was that “we need to be differentiated and we need branding”. I told him that the cheapest and quickest way would be for his entire company to paint their faces green – that would differentiate them and even attract a lot of media attention. Actually, my client realized what his company’s problem wa – all the companies in his industry (hi-tech) look the same. He failed, though by spelling out only half of the problem. While he wanted to be differentiated, he did not consider the situation through the eyes of his clients or consider how this differentiation would address his client’s needs. Well, this is the just the beginning.

 

Brand takes us one step further. When I asked this client to describe his customer of choice and to use a real-life example, his face lit up and he told me about two of his preferred customers. He quickly told me that it was not the money his company earned on the deals that was important to him, but the bond he created with these customers. Not all our customers are those we would like to work with and not everyone is our customer of choice. It is not enough to know who our customer is or what his needs are. We need also to know who we are and what our needs are. If we manage to match our needs with those of our customers, then we have a strong brand. Do we need to differentiate? Not exactly. What we need to understand is that if we really want to interact with only those who share the same worldview and deep needs with us, our market is limited. A brand’s profit does not come from sheer volume of sales but from our ability to address the needs of our customer of choice in a way nobody else can – because we truly and intuitively understand their needs.

 

Luxury marketing is the ultimate test. Luxury is the behavior of needlessly overspending. We cannot begin marketing if we do not intimately know who our customer is and what their needs really are. Describing luxury behavior as needless tells us that those needs are much deeper and cannot be logically explained. Do we know what they are and do we know who our customer is? Can we describe the parameters that will allow us to find our customers? In terms of our brand, are we proud about what we offer? Will we be able to look back when time arrives and say that we believed in what we were doing? Luxury strips away all superficial logical arguments and asks us to delve deep and to face the real questions. Do we know how to do this?

 

Apple is the rare example of a brand that does know how to do this. It really understands its customers and that is why its fans are so loyal. The brand also develops its products according to the needs of its customers. The fact that their systems are a “walled garden” to other technology companies and that each application for the iPhone requires Apple’s approval is not mere greed, but based on a deep understanding of their customers’ needs.

knokke says of this article...

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Post-purchase is where luxury marketers must place the emphasis in the buying cycle

Isaac Mostovicz writes that luxury brands must connect with their customers post-purchase ...

An interesting article on Luxury Daily has revealed some research from Condé Nast Ideactive, the research arm of the publishers, which showed that luxury brands must improve their marketing efforts to high net worth customers past the point of sale.

 

Image courtesy of Stock. XCHNG

The research shows that unsurprisingly, most brands focus all their attention on customer attraction but when it comes to retention, they could be missing out on the chance to turn brand loyalists into brand advocates. Condé Nast Ideactive examined consumers’ emotions at each stage of the sales journey and what marketing devices are used to satisfy their needs at each point.

 

Previous posts on this blog have discussed the importance of marketers connecting the luxury purchase process with emotions and making customers feel special, singled out, or important.

 

Pat Connolly, head of strategy for Condé Nast Ideactive, New York echoes this idea.

 

He comments: “Brands need to invest in emotion, and these gaps where people are very emotional [explore and post-purchase] is an opportunity for brands to invest in things like content and experience,” he said.

 

“Doing this post-purchase will create advocates and content-creators that deliver on the first gap [the explore stage].”

 

Post-purchase, the research has found that consumers, especially the youth market, need almost immediate validation from friends and family post-purchase – often carried out through mobile or social media.

 

Within Janusian thinking, this is a particularly Thetan trait – as Thetas seek belonging through bonding or affiliating with their peers. Thetas aim to fit in or contextualize themselves within their desired group and use socially derived understandings of product characteristics as a basis for their consumption.

 

However, the idea of a personal gift or something that singles out the buyer post-purchase is something that will particularly appeal to Lambdas. Lambdas seek distinction as an ultimate end goal – so a personal touch from a luxury brand that helps them stand out will satisfy their desire for uniqueness.

 

Clearly, brands should take advantage of this part of the buying cycle and view the post-purchase experience as an opportunity to reach out to their consumers.

 

 

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Online Chinese luxury market looks set to soar in future

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Chinese consumers will buy more luxury goods online in the future, according to a new report ...

A recent article in China Daily reports that for the first time, the e-commerce luxury market in China has exceeded 10 billion yuan (USD 1.59 billion.)

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The article, citing research by the firm iResearch Inc., sees this success looking set to continue expanding at 30% year on year over the next several years.

 

Previous blog posts have discussed the seemingly unending Chinese love affair with luxury goods, and this research shows that sales through luxury brands online have surged by nearly 70% compared with 2010.

 

However, although growth looks set to continue in the future the market is by no means as developed as it could be. As of last year, the turnover of luxury goods accounted for only 1.41 percent of China’s total online shopping industry.

 

“So far, China’s online luxury market remains small. We are waiting for it to explode,” Chen Xiao, founder of the luxury goods selling website ihaveu.com, told Chinese-language newsmagazine, China News Weekly.

 

High tariffs, consumption tax and import duty all contribute to the market being currently underdeveloped. Whether this is set to continue or the Chinese love for luxury will overcome these barriers remains to be seen.

 

 

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Pandora’s (thinking outside the) Box

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Pandora represents a great example of a luxury brand seeking to personalise and empathise ...

Previous posts on this blog have discussed the necessity of emotion in luxury marketing, and the jewellery retailer Pandora is the latest to demonstrate a good understanding of this.

Image courtesy of Stock.XCHNG

Unity Marketing’s fourth “Luxury Tracking” survey has ranked Pandora as the second most popular jewellery brand amongst 1,200 affluent consumers, just behind Tiffany & Co (which recently executed its own emotion-charged marketing campaign, What Makes Love True.)

 

More established brands like David Yurman and Bulgari were left behind as even other brands considered “mass” – e.g. L’Oreal Paris and Amazon.com are slowly making inroads with luxury consumers, the report found.

 

This is significant, if only because Pandora’s mainstay item is a silver charm, which consumers are able to add to a bracelet or necklace to create a personalised piece of jewellery.

 

This approach gives customers the ability to customise a one-off piece that others are unlikely to be wearing and something that is totally personalised.

 

From the point of view of Janusian thinking, where there are two opposing worldviews, Pandora’s approach appeals to the Lambda personality. Lambdas are more likely to make choices based on how a product will help them stand out, and be unique versus Thetas, who long to fit in and seek affiliation.

 

Pandora jewelry allows the personality of the wearer to shine through rather than be overtaken by the brand, showing that the company understands its target market.

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Hermès to examine provenance through exhibition in London

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Hermes is choosing to focus on the quality of its products for its latest campaign ...

Luxury Daily reports that Hermès, the French fashion retailer, is to demonstrate the craftsmanship and history behind its brand through a new exhibition in London opening later this year.

Hermès official image for Leather Forever exhibit

The Hermès Leather Forever exhibit will demonstrate the antiquity and provenance of the brand, founded 175 years ago this year, and is the latest step in terms of demonstrating to affluent customers that its price points are reflective of the quality of its product.

 

Hermès has initiated several campaigns of late around its provenance. It has created a microsite called Hearts and Crafts that examines the detailed craftsmanship and quality of its products through biographies and interviews with the craftsmen, from the leather-cutters to the silk-drawers.

 

The site also hosts a documentary, which tells the story of the many people who contribute towards the creation and manufacture of Hermès products.

 

Of late, even high net worth customers who may not be directly affected by the economic downturn question the quality behind some of the prices charged for luxury goods – so this campaign aims to reassure and establish Hermès as one of the ultimate quality brands.

 

Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami commented: “Authenticity is one of the platforms for luxury. Hermès will continue to emphasize their craftsmanship, history and quality because it’s part of their DNA.”

 

Within Janusian thinking, this campaign will appeal to those of a Lambda mindset – who see an item’s value not in terms of price, but in terms of the time invested.

 

 

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Diamonds are Forever… in China, at least

Isaac Mostovicz writes that the Chinese luxury market goes from strength to strength, even as demand in the Eurozone languishes...

In the wake of diamond producer De Beers’ recent profits, an article in Finance Asia states that even a recession will not impact the growth of the global luxury market.

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The research company CLSA predicts that whilst the rest of the world is tightening its purse strings, the global luxury market will increase by 8% during 2012, largely driven by the appetite of the Chinese for luxury items – where it is predicted to grow by 25% by the end of the year.

 

“We think that the demand for luxury goods in China and Asia is driven by the rise of the middle class, and that is a structural story,” Aaron Fischer, Asia-Pacific head of consumer and gaming research at CLSA, told FinanceAsia in a telephone interview last week.

 

Fischer added that even if the economic slowdown were to impact the Chinese market directly, this would have no impact on their consumption of luxury goods.

 

Fischer’s team carried out this analysis based on the Japanese market, which in the past experienced a very similar explosion of luxury goods consumption. However, it acknowledged that the Chinese market has far more room for growth due to the increased number of outbound Chinese tourists travelling to luxury European hotspots like Paris, London and Milan.

 

Hong Kong has attracted multiple IPOs from Prada and Samsonite amongst other international luxury brands, all attracted by the successful Chinese growth story. But not all Chinese are welcoming the increased presence of luxury brands in their country, as it does highlight the growing income gap between rich and poor. Reportedly, Beijing has put in place controls around luxury advertising, asking companies to remove words such as “luxury,” or royal from their marketing materials.

 

Yet there’s no doubt that China is still one of the strongest markets in terms of demand for luxury goods – with Latin America, the Middle East and other emerging markets following not far behind.

 

“I don’t want to rule out Latin America and the Middle East. They are attractive markets as well,” Fischer said. “And over time there’ll be more opportunity in India and Indonesia, and some other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam.”

 

 

 

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Best of British celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Isaac Mostovicz writes that celebrations in 2012 could lead to a profitable summer for British brands based in London ...

The Evening Standard reported recently that luxury brands are set to benefit from a series of notable events taking place in London this year. From the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to the biggest sporting occasion of 2012, notable high net worth retailers such as Burberry, Walpole and Selfridges are all hoping to see sales increase as they take part.

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Luxury department stores Harrods and Selfridges are also gearing up for increased footfall from the influx of international visitors expected in London around that time.

 

Walpole, the body created to promote the British luxury industry, will hold a Jubilee Pageant along the Thames and is joining forces with the Queen’s bank Coutts and Getty, the photography agency, to host an exhibition of photos with the Queen – some of which have never been seen in public before. The exhibition will move around London, stopping at suitably luxury venues including Claridge’s in Mayfair.

 

Stacey Cartwright, Burberry’s finance director, said: “Due to our heritage anything that celebrates Britain is good for us. The jubilee will be a key time in the UK this year.”

 

Previous blog posts have discussed the cachet of luxury British brands abroad; with the world’s eyes upon London during this key time, UK luxury retailers look set to profit from the celebrations.

 

 

 

 

Luxury Lifestyle says of this article...

I have noticed that several brands are in fact launching Jubille related campaign such as the Faberge Diamond Jubilee Egg Hunt,
http://www.luxeinacity.com/blog/win-the-diamond-jubilee-egg-valued-at-100000, and the Johnie Walker Jubilee Decanter, http://www.luxeinacity.com/blog/diamond-jubilee-by-john-walker–sons-for-sale-at-100000.

Both items are worth an estimated 100 000$.

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The classic rules of “exclusivity, rarity and scarcity” must be adaptable

Isaac Mostovicz writes that one size may not fit all when it comes to luxury marketing ...

A recent article in Marketing Week describes how the luxury goods sector, as one of the few within general retail that has endured the muted financial environment, is marketing itself to its customers. Brands such as LVMH continue to post excellent profits and consider their outlook for 2012 as “excellent” whilst ordinary high street retailers struggle.

Image courtesy of Stock.XCHNG

As a result, more and more brands are reaching upwards to try and appeal to these high net worth consumers. But some marketers claim that there’s no secret formula to attracting the attention of luxury purchasers – and that tried and tested is the best way forward.

 

Peter Cross, business partner of Mary Portas at the retail branding agency Yellow Door comments that while luxury purchasers are now more open to value purchases and more discerning of what they actually buy, traditional luxury marketing is still very much at the fore.

 

True luxury is still based on exclusivity, rarity and scarcity,” he says.

 

By making their most valuable customers feel special and singled out – for example, through special “gifts” that may not be available to other consumers – marketers are able to generate emotions of goodwill, rarity and exclusivity – as well as word of mouth from their customers.

 

Looking at this from the point of view of Janusian thinking, it could be argued that this classic “exclusivity, rarity and scarcity” tactic will affect one type of Janusian personality differently to another.

 

Lambdas, who seek achievement and uniqueness as an ultimate end goal, are likely to be very influenced by an individual, personalised gift or product as this will help them to stand out against the crowd – a key goal for Lambdas. Thetas, on the other hand, who generally seek acceptance into their social crowd, may find this technique attractive as it will help to establish themselves within their specific social class.

 

Within luxury marketing, one size does not fit all and marketers must remember that overarching “rules” may not suit every brand when considering a tailored strategy.

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