Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Five PR essentials for luxury marketers, from Luxury Daily

Exclusivity – you have it – everyone else wants it.
Traditionally, this has been the approach of marketing luxury products.
Exclusivity still dominates the message, so understandably most marketers concentrate on this very appealing trait when selling high-end products or services.
You will be special, you will be desirable and feel this way, too, and your peers and the great mass of humanity will covet you if you buy a particular luxury product or service.
But the luxury market and the behavior of its audience are shifting: We are experiencing a wide-scale broadening of high-end goods and services.
Apple iPhones end up in the hands of millions of consumers who do not typically buy pricey electronics.
The Porsche Cayenne prowls U.S. highways and suburbs in far greater numbers than ever expected.

Prada is not only a rite of passage for the über urban, but also for those in the fly-over states.

Luxury and its exclusivity are now within reach of the many – not the few – making it not so exclusive anymore.

For luxury brands, the path well-trodden is not necessarily the path best-travelled any longer. Consumers expect more and will continue to do so.

What is truly different or interesting about luxury brands these days when consumers have such easy access to them?

Are luxury brands still banking on heritage or scarcity?
Maybe it is time to think about a few more qualities.

In our Age of Available Affluence, luxury marketers need to ratchet up the creativity stakes when pitching their products.

Here are five ideas – traits that identify luxury products and opportunities to distinguish and differentiate the brand from its competition.

1. Begin your own tradition: Exclusiveness is about creating a legacy
With the commoditization of formerly exclusive goods, a brand must distinguish itself from the competition by emphasizing the experience of owning it.
Have you noticed how exclusive Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe – whose new slogan I used as a title here – expertly markets the timelessness of its timepieces? “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.”
In other words, you are not simply buying a product, but possessing an heirloom for generations to come, infinitely passing along the heritage and legacy of the owner.
My husband recently gave a very handsome Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust that once belonged to his father – a gift of trust and time that a newer or fashionable brand, say, Toy could never reach in terms of emotional connection and family heritage.
The chance to own something that will be used, treasured and serve as a witness to history through generations is a powerful inducement. It is a testament to a luxury brand’s staying power.
Is it any wonder that, despite my reference to a different brand, Patek Phillipe holds the world’s record for most expensive watch ever sold?

2. Sir Ernest Shackleton in Burberry regalia: 1914: Tell a story. People love stories

To continue reading mine, click here.

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