Marketers, being quick isn’t doing your luxury brand dirty
By Mike Fantis, Managing Partner, and VP, DAC Group UK
Luxury brands have long understood that beautiful brand imagery is a powerful tool to inspire customers. But for today’s content-hungry consumers, is it enough?
Some of the most successful brands in the modern marketing landscape are also the most agile, lauded for their ability to deliver content at pace in response to trends, consumer demands, and cultural conversation. Consider IBM, HubSpot, and Oreo – all have adopted an agile marketing strategy and established themselves with brand authority throughout the customer journey in their respective categories.
The only factor holding back luxury brands from joining this list is a misconception. Agile marketing means compromising your high production values, right? It’s ‘quick and dirty’ content that cheapens the brand’s image in the eyes of the consumer.
Not so. If you believe agile marketing is not right for the luxury sector, I’d urge you to think again.
The demand for relevant luxury content
Quick content is not to be confused with ‘dirty’ content.
In today’s content-driven marketplace, consumers increasingly crave relevant content from the brands they care about at every touchpoint. After all, a typical luxury customer has likely engaged with anything between 10 to 20 touchpoints during a purchase journey and certainly in a non-linear way.
Will repeatedly using one brand advertising asset over six months really be enough to satisfy your content-hungry customers? It’s unlikely. Beautiful brand imagery that looks and feels aspirational has its place for sure, but it’s just one element of the story you can tell.
The luxury sector simply cannot afford to hide behind brand guidelines and style guides any longer. This is a fact all brands need to accept now.
After all, luxury consumers are not simply buying on impulse. These are highly considered purchases, often made with a long-term view, whether that’s an investment as a future family heirloom, or an item that will hold its material value over time but needs ongoing management for an ongoing return.
Each touchpoint in the journey is an opportunity to help customers understand your brand offering in more depth; and an opportunity to add value. The right content at the right time transforms a brand selling beautiful jewelry, a yacht, or a luxury service into a trusted partner. And can transform the consumer from a one-off customer into a valuable and long-term brand-loyal advocate.
Optimizing the customer journey in luxury marketing
Luxury brands that fail to connect and capture customer data throughout the customer journey are missing out.
For example, I recently bought a new watch. My purchase journey included a visit to the brand’s store and engagement with their knowledgeable sales advisors. But ultimately I bought the watch via a third-party retailer. So, apart from a sales KPI, the brand now has no idea their in-store staff interactions paid off, nor the opportunity to build a relationship with me.
A really simple way to fill that gap would be to include content within the product’s packaging asking me to register directly with the brand. As a new customer, yes I would have been interested in hearing more about the brand and the customer events the store staff had mentioned.
But the brand in question doesn’t know who I am and didn’t find a way to capture my data. It doesn’t know whether I bought the watch for myself or as a gift, consequently, it can’t segment me and deliver future personalized marketing content to build up my brand loyalty. It’s just not thinking about the different ways somebody could engage with or experience the brand, nor how it can capture that insightful data, which could have been used to deliver a personalized, considered experience.
Leveraging data analysis for personalized luxury brand messaging
While each luxury brand will need to adapt its approach to consumer engagement depending on its vertical, data analysis is the unifying approach useful for all.
Data analysis leads to segmentation and is crucial for understanding which type of content asset will best serve the customer during each point in their purchase journey.
Better data analysis can tell you what information prospects are asking for and even what it is they don’t understand about the brand.
Armed with this knowledge, luxury brands can tailor content for each touchpoint and infuse brand storytelling with opinion, and content that educates and informs. When delivered during the customer journey, this type of useful personalized marketing messaging – whether by age, gender, or location – is anything but quick and dirty, even if it doesn’t always look beautiful.
Without the depth of understanding that comes from data analysis, luxury brands are in danger of delivering generic information, which just isn’t going to cut it when a customer is in the market for a once-in-a-lifetime yacht purchase.
In fact, generic messaging is the very opposite of a luxury experience.
Personalization shows a brand understands the intention of a customer on the purchase journey – and what could be more bespoke than that?
Embracing agile marketing for long-term luxury brand success
In a marketing landscape in which luxury brands face high customer acquisition costs, investments in customer retention and long-term relationships have sustained value.
Luxury marketers already have digital tools at their disposal to embrace marketing agility. When they dig into data analysis and embrace the power of storytelling, brands can start to plug gaps in the customer journey in an organic way and build trust over time.
However, when luxury brands are not agile, there is a very real danger they will miss key opportunities to establish long-term emotional connections. Beauty is fleeting and building relationships over time relies on more than just good looks.