The Impact of the Online Evolution on Luxury Brands Status Quo and Implications for their Future Marketing Strategy
To which extend and how does the digital revolution influence the luxury business?
Digital is revolutionizing everything about how we communicate as a society. At this point, it’s so saturated into the daily lives of all consumers that in order to conduct any commerce of any kind a brand would need to understand at least a basic level of how to engage digitally in some fashion. Luxury businesses are working hard to understand how to engage in digital communications. Some are very progressive while others are a bit antiquated.
Evaluating the opportunities and risks, would you describe the Internet as the right place to advertise luxury online?
Yes and no. I do believe it’s necessary for luxury brands to engage in digital advertising online, but it’s important that it’s done correctly in order to maintain posture for the brand.
Evaluating the opportunities and risks, would you describe the Internet as the right place to sell luxury online?
This is a tougher question than the previous. I think some brands work perfectly fine selling online. It broadens their reach and allows them to capture a larger audience. However, the biggest concern about luxury businesses selling online is the lack of the experiential components of engaging with the product at a brick and mortar store. So much of the luxury industry is based around capturing the senses in a rich and dynamic way. It’s difficult to do this online since you are only able to see and hear.
What impact will the online presence have on the product perception of the consumers?
If you are simply referring to “presence” vs. the ability to buy, then I would say that the perceptions need to be managed online just as diligently anywhere else. It’s no different than ensuring a sign is correct at a store or a sales person is well kempt and tidy. Sure, it’s on a larger scale, but the concept is the same. If the online presence is managed well the perceptions will be favorable. If it’s managed poorly, the opposite effect takes over.
Considering the slow adoption of online marketing, would you say that luxury is afraid of the Internet?
Yes. Not as much now as it used to be, but certainly in years past far behind other industries.
Which prerequisites are essential to a successful online presence in the luxury sector? (different to non-luxury products)
Two things come to mind. One, the ability to emotionally connect through site and sound in order to create an emotional connection that’s as close to walking into a boutique as possible. Two, maintaining the right balance of accessibility and exclusivity.
Which luxury sectors rather fit or less fit into the e-commerce business? Why?
Brands that work best for online sales are typically those who either sell products that are easily understood due to familiarity. For example, a sweater or a watch. We all know what they are and how they work so we’re familiar with them and therefore comfortable placing a purchase without seeing the product. Other sectors would be those with lower price points where a consumer will take the risk if it’s not what they envisioned.
Why have the luxury brands been slowly in adopting the online strategy?
Fear of opening up to the masses and fear of losing control of brand management and perceptions.
Which digital marketing techniques are more/less suitable for luxury products? (blog, social network, etc.) Why?
It really depends on what the brand is and who it’s audience is. You might find that industry specific forums are a great platform for potential buyers of yachts, but then find that Instagram is the most viable channel for women’s fashion. There really is no blanket answer as each market segment is truly unique.
How do you imagine the luxury online business in 5 years?
In 5 years, I think it will be an even more rich experience as technology expands into new ways to deliver media. Perhaps even more experiential elements will be available in the form of touch and scent marketing to truly create an experience that capture the emotional side of the brand. I think it will be a constant battle for the smaller brands to hit critical mass while companies such as LVMH dominate the ability to spend on advertising. If social media prominence changes to bring people back to their circle of influence offline for some reason it will make it harder for small brands to compete and simply drive only the big luxury brands to the market.
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