Luxury brands require a totally different approach than most common goods. As they aren’t meant to fulfill a need, but rather a want, marketers have to craft their communication and their channels very carefully. This article is going to give you a few insights, so that you can develop compelling online marketing plans for your luxury items.
People who are regular buyers of luxury items need to identify their beliefs in the brands they choose. If they feel the alignment with the brand, they are going to buy it and use it with pride. If they don’t feel a specific brand or item as being representative for their values, they are going to pick another one that fits better. Since luxury products are lifestyle statements, they can only cater to a small market segment. The biggest challenge of online marketers is to identify this group of people and to develop the best possible communication campaign to bring them closer and to determine them become loyal fans and advocates of the brand.
For instance, Ferrari believes in high performance. A consequence of this fact is they barely spend any money on mass communication, but invest a fortune in Formula 1 events and races. The online world makes no difference. Expensive cruises and fancy travel accessories are going to find their target market on luxury travel websites and blogs rather than on backpacking ones. When you sell luxury items, you have to focus your messages on the unique beliefs of the brand. The right customers are going to resonate with your communication, and this is all that you want. You don’t care about the fact that everyone else might hate you, as these people are never going to become your customers. On the contrary, you want to cater to the small tribe that forms around your core beliefs, keep them close and offer them the best possible concept to make them pick you among all others.
When you market luxury items online, you need to be very careful with your branding. You can’t be just another online store selling things people can find in a dozen other places. You need to become the icon of a generation, the status symbol of those people that form your core target group. This can only be achieved through constant repetition and persistent communication.
While mass brands do well when they push their products towards the consumers, luxury brands have to use a pull marketing strategy. They have to make a promise to their fans that they are going to offer them the feeling of belonging to an exclusive community. If a luxury brand lowers the price under a certain limit, it is going to lose a lot of fans, as they were happy to pay a lot more than the average consumer for the privilege of belonging to such a select tribe. A great example of this is what MontBlanc pens has done over the years. They’ve used pull marketing by using review websites to talk about their products without trying to sell people anything. Check out this website to see a perfect example of this.
When marketing luxury items online, you have to entice consumers to stay loyal by offering them certain perks nobody else can obtain unless they also become fans of the brand. As price is out of the question, your online marketing plan can safely ignore price comparison websites, as such brands are about stories and personal experiences rather than features and benefits. There’s no direct competition between these brands, so your online activities should focus on conveying myths and keep them associated with the creators of the brand. This is a challenge for all retailers who want to market such items online, as they have to pick their channels extremely carefully in order to avoid undesirable associations loyal fans of the brands might make.