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01/03/2017 LuxuryDaily8PsofluxurybrandmarketingPrint

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8Psofluxurybrandmarketing
PostedByaLuxuryDailycolumnistOnMay8,2013@2:15amInColumns,Featured,Opinion|
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ByRohitArora[2]

Luxurybrandshavealwaysbeenafascinatingsectorandluxury
brandmarketingoneofthemostcomplicateddisciplines.

Packagedasthe8Psofluxurybrandmarketing,thisarticle
attemptstobringtogethertheelementsandinterplaybetweenthe
principlesthatareemployedintheluxurybrandmarketingmix.

However,oneneedstoacknowledgethatthedegreeofsignificance
[1]
oftheseelementsmayvaryfrombrandtobrandandmarketto
RohitAroraisstrategic market.
planningdirectoratBates
PanGulf(BPGGroup) 1.Performance
Performancereferstothedeliveryofsuperiorexperienceofaluxury
brandattwolevelsfirst,ataproductleveland,second,atanexperientiallevel.

Ataproductlevel,fundamentallyitmustsatisfythefunctionalandutilitariancharacteristicas
wellasdeliveronitspracticalphysicalattributesarecipeofqualityordesignexcellence
ingredientssuchascraftsmanship,precision,materials,highquality,uniquedesign,
extraordinaryproductcapabilities,technologyandinnovation.

Aluxurybrandmustperformatanexperientiallevelaswell,i.e.theemotionalvalueofthe
brandtheconsumersbuyintobeyondwhattheproductistowhatitrepresents.

Forexample,RolexstandsofsymbolofheroicachievementandTiffany&Co.isasymboloflove
andbeauty.

2.Pedigree
Manyluxurybrandshavearichpedigreeandextraordinaryhistorythatturnintoaninseparable
partofthebrandsmystique.

Thismystiqueisgenerallybuiltaroundtheexceptionallegendaryfoundercharacterofthepast,
makingupanintegralpartofthebrandstoryandbrandpersonality.

So,whenconsumersbuy,say,aCartieroraChanelproduct,itisnotonlybecauseoftheproduct
performancefactor,butsubconsciouslytheyarealsoinfluencedbythebrandsrichlineage,
heritageandtheyearsofmastery.

3.Paucity
Overrevelationanddistributionofluxurybrandscancausedilutionofluxurycharacter.Hence,

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manybrandstrytomaintaintheperceptionthatthegoodsarescarce.

AcaseinpointisBurberry,whichdiluteditsbrandimageinBritainintheearly2000sbyover
licensingitsbrand,thusreducingitsimageasabrandwhoseproductswereconsumedonlyby
theelite.

Gucciisnowlargelysoldindirectlyownedstoresfollowinganearlycripplingattempttowidely
licenseitsbrandinthe1970sand80s.

Broadly,thereisnaturalpaucitytheactualscarcityaswellasthetechnologyledpaucityand
thetacticaldrivenpaucity.

Naturalpaucityistriggeredbyscarceingredientssuchasplatinum,diamondsorthosegoods
thatrequireexceptionalhumanexpertisesuchashandcraftedqualitythatconstraintsthemass
production.

Tacticaldrivenpaucityismorepromotionalinnaturesuchasthelimitededitionsorthespecial
seriestogenerateartificialdesireanddemand.

Anotherdeviationwithinthisisthecustomizationofluxurygoods.Forexample,GarsonUSA
custommadeadiamondencrustedMercedesSL600forPrinceAlWaleedbinTalalofSaudi
Arabiain2007.

4.Persona
Thepersonaofaluxurybrandislargelyaresultof,first,itsdistinctiveprojectionpluscoherence
ofitsapplicationsacrossconsumertouchpointsand,second,thebrandcommunicationthrough
itsadvertising.

Thevisualbrandidentitycapturesthebrandspersonality,mystiqueandemotionalvaluesina
nutshell.

Thedistinctandconsistentorchestrationoftheidentityiscentraltoestablishingthevisibility,
familiarityandcommonidentifiablebrandimagery.

Thevisualbrandorchestrationcanmanifestbywayofitscoherentapplicationofitsidentity,
brandcolors,otherdesignelementssuchasicons,uniquelyidentifiabledesign,branded
environmentandeventhetoneofvoice.

Whiletheluxurybrandsvisualidentityisafairlystablefactor,luxurybrandadvertisingisamore
dynamicandversatilemarketingvehicle.

Whilethepedigreeofthebrandhasitsrole,keepingupthecontemporaryappealandthe
newnessfactoriscrucialforenduringbrandrelevance.

Therefore,luxuryadvertisingnotonlyneedstogeneratethedesirefortheseasonalcollection,
butatthesametimeitmustalsoenhancethebrandscoolquotient,therebymakingit
continuouslydesirableandaspirational.

Atanoveralllevel,luxuryadvertisingmessagescanbeobserved:

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Asmoreemotionalandsensualtodistanceitfrommasspremiumbrands

Createaworldandanaurathatistrulyexceptionaltotheirbrandsignature

Generatemajordifferentiationinitsproductionandexecution

Oneoftherelativelynewtrendswithinluxurybrandcommunicationistheuseofthelongform
commercialsortheshortfilmvideostogenerateinterestwiththeonlineaudience.

Itisclearlyapursuitwhereluxurybrandsarelookingtobridgethegapbetweenthefamiliar
worldofprintandthefastevolvingworldofonline.

Ithasalsoprovedimpactfulasinamatteroffewminutes,theviewercanhaveaclear
understandingofthebrandimageorthestorythatthebrandistryingtoconveyorsimply
promotionofthenewcollection.

Apartfromthese,withtheintentofenhancingtheemotionalconnectionswithdiscerning
mindsets,luxurybrandshavebeenexploringthedigitalspacebyengagingthemintheir
activationprograms.

Theobjectiveistogenerateagenuineaffinitywiththebrandthattranscendsbeyondthe
producttoanextentwheretheconsumersfeelthattheyhavefoundasoulmate.

Forexample,withtheobjectiveofstrengtheningthebrandsassociationtoloveandromance,
Tiffanylaunchedwhatmakeslovetrue.comandaniPhoneappasaguidetothosewhowantto
taketheirromanticrelationshipforward.

TheWebsitealsoshowcasesselecttruelovestoriesofrealpeopletogivethatpersonaltouch.

Someluxurybrandshavealsousedsocialmedia.

Theobjectivemaynotnecessarilybeengagingtheaudienceintheirstorytelling,butithasbeen
donelargelytogeneratethedesireorthelustforthebrandortheproduct.

Itisalsoaneffectivetooltokeepupthecontemporaryappealandthenewnessfactorbyhaving
acontinuousdialogue.

5.Publicfigures
Publicfiguresorcelebritieshavetraditionallybeenemployedasoneofthemarketingmixin
luxurybrandadvertisingandtheystillcontinuetogarnerattention,credibilityandimpact.

Publicfigurescanspanfromfilmstarstomusicpersonalities,fromsportspersonalitiestoroyal
familiesandeventhedesignerthemselves.

Butbecausecelebrityendorsementsarenolongerexclusivetotheluxuryspaceandextensively
usedandabusedacrossmasscategories,theytakeadifferentmeaningwhenitcomestoluxury
brandendorsement.

Notonlydoesthepublicfiguresassociatedvaluesandpersonalityhavetoresonatewiththatof
theluxurybrandsaura,butthereisadistinctdifferenceinthewaycelebrityroleiscrafted,
executedandstrategicallyused.
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Beyondtraditionaladvertisinglargelyprintinselectedmedialessinyourfaceadvertising
toolsareemployedsuchasaccessorizingordressingcelebritiesfortheirwalkdownthered
carpet,productplacementswithinmoviesandtelevisionprogramsandinvitestospecialevents.

Thisstrategyattemptstoremovetheappearanceofsellingwhilestillpromotingtheproductby
makingitseemasapartofthecelebrityslives,therebypositivelyaffectingtheconsumers
attitudes,brandvalueandpurchaseintention.

Forexample,ChopardhasbeenofficialpartneroftheCannesFilmFestivalforthelast14years,
showcasingandpremieringitscollectionbyaccessorizingcelebritiesontheredcarpet.

Longformcommercialsorshortfilmshavealsousedthecelebrityfactor.

Chanel,forinstance,recentlycreatedathreeminutefilmwithactressKeiraKnightleywho
replacedKateMossinitsadsforitsCocoMademoisellefragrance.

OtherpreviousfacesofChanelhaveincludedFrenchstarCatherineDeneuveandNicoleKidman,
whorepresentedChanelNo.5.

Similarly,asapartofitscorevaluescampaign,LouisVuittonuseditsWebsiteastheonline
mediumtoshowcaseitscelebrityendorsersjourneyandhisorherstorytobringtolifehowthe
brandhasbeenpromotingtheartoftravelandinspiringlegendaryjourneys.

6.Placement
Theretailbrandedenvironmentinluxurybrandingisallaboutheighteningtheconsumersbrand
experienceandamplifyingthebrandaura.

Hence,thebrandedenvironmentandthemovementoftruthiswhereitmustlivethebrandby
orchestratingimmaculatedetailingthatengagesallsensesofthediscerningaudience.

Startingfromthechoiceofstorelocation,thechainoftouchpointsthatconsumersinteractwith,
thesalespersonspresentationandtheimpactofeachtouchpointiscriticalincreatingaunique
indulgingexperience.

Thatsaid,todaysevolvingluxuryconsumersareincreasinglylookingbeyondthetypical
sophisticated,overthetop,cosmeticallyelegantpresentationoreventheexclusiveinvites,
privilegedpreviews.

Withtheincreasingdemocratizationofluxurybrandsandtherapidemergenceofmasstige
brands,luxuryconsumershavebecomemorediscriminatinganddemanding.

Theseconsumersseekamoreknowledgeableandprofessionalassistanceandatrustedand
reliablecollaborationhelpingthemtomanagetheirstatureandlifestyle.

Notonlyhasthisledtothenewbusinessofferings,butluxurybrandsarealsoincreasingly
investingintrainingandempoweringtheirsalesstaff.

Anotherimportantpointtonotewithintheplacementfactoristhatitisnotlimitedtothe
physicalenvironmentwherethebrandretails,butitextendstoalloftheenvironmentsor
consumertouchpointswithwhichthatbrandassociatesitself.

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Thisspansfromtheextremelyselectivenichemediawhereitadvertisestothesports,events,
artandconversationswithwhichitidentifies.

Forexample,Rolexassociatesitselfwithmorethan150eventsingolf,sailing,tennis,motor
sport,artsandequestriantournamentsratherthanwithsportssuchasfootballorcricketthat
havemoreofamassfollowing.

7.Publicrelations
Publicrelationsinluxurybrandingplaysanenormousroleinimageproliferationofthebrand,
therebysubtlyinfluencingpublicopinion.

PRisalsoemployedtoconveyothersupportingmessagesandattributesofthebrandthat
cannotbeexplicitlycapturedinadvertising,butarebynomeansarelessimportanttocreate
brandspersonality,mystiqueandemotionalvalueswhetheritisviathepedigreefactororvia
publicfigureanyoftheprevioussevenPsmentioned.

Itisalsoasophisticatedbrandingmachineformaintainingongoingrelevanceanddialoguewith
theluxuryconsumer,especiallyinfashion,technologyandseasonaltrendsdrivencategories.

Atatacticallevel,PRisusedtogeneratebuzzandconveybrandnews,pointofviewsofinspirers
andinfluencersincludingcelebritytalkorthedesignerspeakandacrucialsupportforbrand
activationsuchasthefashionweeks,sporteventsandthemedpreviews.

8.Pricing
Pricingplaysaquiteabigroleinthewaythatconsumersperceiveluxurybrands.

Consciouslyorsubconsciously,consumerstendtogenerateamentalluxurystatureorimagewith
thepricerangethatthebrandoperates.

Therefore,itisimportantforluxurybrandstopricethemselvesrightassettingthepricelower
thanconsumerexpectationandwillingnesstopaycanpotentiallyharmthebrandvalue,whereas
thereversecanpotentiallynot,givenenoughjustificationforconsumerstogoaheadandbuy.

Thepricingstrategyinluxurybrandsgainedspotlightrecentlynotonlybecauseofthe
challengingeconomicenvironment,butbecauseofmoreinformedandexposedconsumerswho
aremorediscriminatinganddemandingandforwhompremiumpricingwithoutsubstancedoes
notimplyluxury.

ArecentresearchbyUnityMarketingsuggeststhataffluentshopperswillnotspendtentimes
moreforsomethingonlythreetimesbetter.

Luxurybrandsmust,therefore,justifytheirpricethroughtheinterplayofthesevenPs
mentionedabove,therebykeepupandmaintainahigherperceivedvalue.

Salespromotionsalsotendtobehandleddifferentlybyluxurymarketers.

Whilefewhaveresortedtosalesanddiscounts,mostothersplayitbyaddingmorevaluetothe
purchasesuchasgiftwithpurchase,giftcertificatesorrebatesforthenextpurchase,multiple
itemdiscounts,onlineoremailexclusives,moreloyaltypointsandnoshippingandhandling
chargesbyonlineretailers.
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LuxurybrandsalsouseasachannelluxuryretailerssuchasHarveyNicholsandSaksFifth
Avenuethatofferannualsalesviaslightlylowerprices.

Anotherstrategyemployedbyluxurybrandsiscreatinganextensionintoasecondarylinewith
relativelylowerpricepointssuchasGiorgioArmanisArmaniExchange,RobertoCavallisJust
Cavalli,PradasMiuMiuandAlexanderMcQueensMcQlines.

Keytakeaways
Inconclusion,thekeytoluxurybrandmarketingboilsdowntothefollowingthreepoints:

Productexcellencebyitselfinnotenough.Theluxurybrandmustperformatanexperiential
levelaswell.

Asluxuryconsumersevolve,notonlydoesproductqualityactasapointofdifferentiation,but
alsoassubstancetojustifyapremiumvalueandpricing.

Whilepedigreefactorisimportanttocelebratetheyearsofmasteryorlineage,itiscrucialto
generateongoingrelevanceanddynamismthroughthepersona,PRandpublicfigurefactor.

Luxurybrandsmustcontinuetomaintainacertaindegreeofexclusivityandstaturewiththe
paucityfactorandtheplacementfactorfromtheretailexperiencetothetouchpointswith
whichitassociatesitself.

THE8Psofluxurybrandmarketingcanprovideaholisticframeworktoluxurymarketers.

The8Psmaynotbeauniversalmethodology,buttheypresentastronganalyticaltoolboxto
auditandleveragethebrandpotential.

Thatsaid,apragmaticapproachmustbestressed,asthesituationandchallengeswilldiffer
frombrandtobrandandmarkettomarket.

RohitAroraisstrategicplanningdirectoratBatesPanGulf(BPGGroup),[2]Dubai,UAE.Reach
himatrohit@batespangulf.com[3].

[4] [5] [6]

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