theta

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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Richemont Luxury Group Fires up in the Chinese Year of the Dragon

Isaac Mostovicz writes that the Chinese Year of the Dragon may be significant for luxury retailers ...

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal wrote that Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, has reported third-quarter sales of €2.6 billion ($3.3 billion) – in no small part down to its Asian, and in particular Chinese customers.

 

Image courtesy of Luxos

The Asia-Pacific region cemented Richemont’s position as one of Europe’s most important luxury manufacturers, with results of €1.05 billion, 36% up from the previous year. However, it is not only the domestic Chinese market that is prompting such strong profits. Sales in Europe also rose 16% to €914 million as Chinese tourists are purchasing the group’s goods – with items such as Cartier jewellery and Jaeger-Le Coultre watches finding favour – whilst visiting European cities such as Paris, Rome and Geneva.

 

Bernard Fornas, chief executive of Richemont’s Cartier brand commented: “The number of Chinese tourists is growing… and will help to “cushion the landing” in case things get worse in Europe’s economy.” 

 

As previously discussed, South-East Asian demand for luxury looks set to continue. Sparkle Roll Trading Development, a distributor of luxury goods in China, has five boutiques in Beijing and Shanghai selling Richard Mille and Parmigiani watches – with the average Parmigiani watch costing around 68,000 Swiss francs ($71,882).

 

“Sales are really good at the moment. At one of our boutiques we sold 60 watches in one month,” commented Mr. Firth, Sparkle Roll’s Chinese Marketing Director. By comparison, their stores in Europe sell on average five or six watches a month.

 

The year 2012 – which in Chinese horoscopes is the Year of the Dragon – is also affecting luxury sales. Chinese New Year is on January 23, with the emblem of the dragon being symptomatic of wealth, royalty and nobility. To celebrate this, independent watchmaker Parmigiani has created a dragon clockwork automaton crafted of white gold, imperial green jade, rubies, sapphires and a diamond.

 

At Janus Thinking consumers are characterized into two different groups – or world views – of Lambda and Theta, which explain how different personality types influence our choice of luxury.

 

The Parmigiani automaton might appeal to Lambda consumers due to the level of its craftsmanship, its uniqueness, and the fact that it there is a meaningful story behind its creation – rather than because of its price.

 

Theta consumers, however, will be attracted to such an item as it is a one of a kind, high-end design, and its high price helps to establish them within their preferred social class. Thetas seek acceptance, and their purchases reflect that.

 

Priced at 3.5 million Swiss francs ($3.7 million,) regardless of whether Theta or Lambda, its purchaser will no doubt have a strong affinity with the symbolic dragon.

[…] giant the Richemont Group is approaching the Year of the Dragon in his post for Janus Thinking: READ POST HERE […]

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India’s space challenge drives new trends in luxury shopping

Isaac Mostovicz writes that luxury brands in India are turning to home delivery options to reach their clients...

India is one of the four largest emerging economies (in addition to Brazil, China and Russia) and is expected to surpass China to be the world’s most populated country in the coming decade. With its count of High Net-Worth Individuals more than doubling in the past year (according to the World Wealth Report recently released by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management), there is certainly plenty of potential consumers for a variety of products and services.

Luxury brands are relatively well established in India; its first two luxury malls opened in 2008 – DLF Emporio in Delhi and UB City in Bangalore. Although welcomed by luxury retailers at the time, allowing them to expand out of the five-star hotels where they had traditionally confined themselves, in recent months the lack of appropriate retail space for luxury brands has become an issue. This is further compounded by soaring rental prices on what is available, meaning rents are far beyond what brands are willing to pay.

According to a report by international real estate consulting firm Cushman and Wakefield, rentals in the country’s high streets have gone up considerably – by as much as 15 per cent in some of the markets.

This appears to be driving a trend among luxury brands in India, with many switching to home delivery services for their high-end clients, in some cases even arranging personal fashion shows for their select few. Brands such as Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jimmy Choo are going out of their way to send a range of items for display at the client’s home.

Such a service may suit Lambda personality types who seek freedom in where and how they shop, but for Thetas who prefer context and consensus, the service may not be so appealing given it lacks engagement with like-minded shoppers and the all encompassing brand experience usually achieved through visiting a store.

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