Online Marketing for Luxury Brands
Luxury brands are thriving, and in recent years, purchasing a luxury item has often been considered as an investment.
Did you know that last year global sales of luxury brands were projected to reach almost €258 billion? (Bain).
In 2018, McKinsey reported that 80% of luxury sales are now influenced by online advertising. 2019 is the time for luxury brands to finally fully embrace going digital, meaning online marketing can no longer take a backseat.
With the correct processes in place, the authenticity and personal aspect that has remained the key selling point of luxury brands, will remain just as special as it always has been. Alongside the introduction of online marketing, brands can continue to focus on customer experience; amplifying the exclusivity, quality and authenticity of the products.
Behind closed doors
It’s no secret that luxury brands take pride in the dream that is ‘effortless exclusivity’. From design, to the end product, every phase is handled with bespoke care and attention. But, as the industry has progressed, luxury brands must accept that exclusivity isn’t as exclusive as it once was in the past. Everyone now expects an invite to breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The percentage of online sales for luxury goods has grown from 8% in 2016, to a predicted 19% in 2025. According to McKinsey & Company, consumers are naturally increasing their online searches in order to research luxury purchases.
Interestingly, in 2018, global digital sales for women’s luxury fashion grew from 3% of the total market, to 17%, for a total market size of $12 billion. Luxury products and now even worthy alternatives, are widely available across the web, and they all offer varying price points.
Luxury brands have always distinguished themselves with superior quality, but middle-class brands and retailers are now experimenting with new products in an attempt to encourage aspirational middle-class shoppers. Of course, the idea that deluxe brands cannot compete with mass brands is irrational; it’s just a case of reaching that target audience.
Luxury is a state of mind, not a brand or price point. Wealthy customers will prefer to spend their money where they receive the utmost profit on the investment, as measured by improvements in their superiority of life, or on goods that promise to hold their worth in the long run.
Quality over quantity
Premium brands need to consider their product offerings in terms of the meaningful and measurable improvements they deliver to those living an affluent, luxury lifestyle. They have to bring the meaning to the customer, which, today in 2019, is measured by the quality of lifestyle experiences they offer. No matter what the market, digital is at the centre of the decision-making process.
To successfully entice a wealthier audience, the winning brands will need to address all factors of marketing through developing truly bespoke content, high-quality imagery, and aspirational storytelling that taps into primitive impulses and desires, converting connotations into a sale.
WHY ADOPT AN ONLINE STRATEGY?
66% of affluent internet users gather information online before making a purchase.
Social media monitoring has found that luxury brands tweet and post to Facebook less than two times on each platform every day, compared to most beverage and food businesses, who have been seen to post roughly twenty seven times on an average day.
Prestigious brands have been reluctant to adapt to the popularity of social media; this may be to do with the culture of high-end brands. There’s a massive focus on quality, heritage, and a certain level of exclusivity that the brands want to keep private for exclusive customers. However, social media is no longer merely a passing consideration; brands need to extend their experience online to continue their success.
During peak sociable audience times, usually between 9pm and 11pm, luxury brands are often nowhere to be seen, missing out on key interactions to build relationships with their potential customers. Wealthier audiences have fully embraced online resources for communication and e-commerce; luxurious brands would be foolish not to do the same.
Content is the king of all things luxury
Uploading relevant content keeps a brand in the public eye. Affluent audiences will browse the internet for the latest must-have products, so blogging about key trends will set you aside from the rest. With Google’s latest SEO update, it is all about the ‘intent’ of the user. What are your customers looking for? Creating quality, informative content is more important than the quantity of content.
Marketing for high-value brands can be slightly different to mainstream brands. The middle-class market are a completely different audience, usually running competitions, or advertising deals. Creating contests or offering deals on social media will open the door to bargain hunters, who don’t necessarily shop in the higher end market. It degrades the luxury companies’ unique positioning and takes away the exclusivity of their brand.
Who to look up to
The top site for British luxury shoppers is Selfridges.com, the famous British department store where 65% of respondents say they have either considered buying or have bought luxury goods online. 54% of shoppers say Selfridges.com is their favorite online shopping experience.
The luxury market really needs to consider the difference in each audience and what works best for both. Creating and monitoring social media campaigns to reach and target a particular audience, and using in-depth digital audience research, will see luxury brands increase their audience range and sales profits throughout the next few years.
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