The word ‘luxury’ has different shades and hues for each targeted segment. It is really difficult to define it- Is it just about attention to the finest details or about ensuring the highest quality goods produced by excellent craftsmanship, or is it simply premium priced to remain affordable to only a few? Is it a stamp to signal status, or the desire for acquiring something more personally meaningful? Clearly, it is impossible to encompass all the connotations of all these possible stakeholders to arrive at a conclusion.
It is predicted by industry analysts that the luxury brands that will experience the greatest success in India in the upcoming year will be those which have strategies clear on:
- Consumer Segmentation
- Experience-Enhancing Technology
- Digital Media Strategy
So while we have the luxury carmakers upgrading lifestyles of consumers to drive sales through experience marketing, few others still try to remain safe by an enlightened form of relationship marketing. All of these efforts directed towards fostering customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement.
It was in the news recently that carmakers like ‘Maserati’ provide the Master Italian Lifestyle Experience that combines the thrill of the test-drive on the racetrack, an unmatchable shopping spree and a tour of the most beautiful cities of art in Italy. So, while the buyer will be racing sports cars, his companion might be whisked off to the trendiest boutiques for shopping! Other automakers also joined league
For another instance, we had this Tanishq AD where two husbands are showcased watching their wives selecting diamond jewelry. They were portrayed to be under anxiety for the exorbitant prices but are actually amazed when they check the bills. They were comfortably seated at a viewable distance and were well taken care of by the store while their wives were busy shopping. The mantra for success – the ad makers dissected the average man’s psychology wherein he internally revels for being able to buy diamonds for his wife but is stereotypically conditioned to pretend that he disinterested in everything relating to a woman’s adornments.
We may observe an array of other luxury dealers placing few bait-sized carrots under their products to lure more and more customers by making a drastic change in their availability and affordability.
Digital Media Strategy
A report by Fidelity Investments suggests 85% of millionaires use text messaging, social media and smart phone applications. How would that be relevant? Just imagine the level of consumer engagement that could be created for luxury brands through smart-phone and tablet apps, QR codes or mobile marketing in general! Certainly then companies should aim at revitalizing and revolutionizing their digital strategies to harness the immense benefits they could offer in terms of connecting with the new generation of tech-savvy consumers at any place at any time!
No wonder, we find no dearth of online luxury shopping sites offering a plethora of products with offers. Of course at the same time, they ought to be extremely careful regarding sophisticated counterfeiters are creating online sites that look almost identical to the authentic brands making good business by stealing the brand’s semiotics, artwork and product pictures to deceive unsuspecting consumers for which the company will have a loss of brand equity in the long run.
A recent report by IMRB provides insight into customer attraction through psychographic segmentation - Experientialists, Aficionados, Connoisseurs, Aesthetes and Flaunters – This would help marketers to prepare a segmented approach, embolden their brand strategies and improve their odds of success.
Singing the swan’s song, I would like to conclude by quoting two ladies-
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.” - by Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, (who was herself born into poverty but spiraled up to being one of the most influential people because of her unusual, extreme confidence—a quality that, no doubt, was the key to her success!)
On a similar note, Lady Gaga said- “You shouldn’t have to have money to have a luxury fragrance.”
The overt meaning is crisp and clear but have got profound thought provoking undercurrents when one reads in-between the lines.
So if we take cues and try to derive a definition of what ‘luxury’ could be; for the present day customers, it would be something like – “LUXURY” is no more only for the financially affluent, it is rather meant for the ATTITUDINALLY AFFLUENT !
Vendors taking note?