The Top Luxury Marketing Channels in 2017
it’s time for some more insight into the world of affluent individuals. In this article, we will take a look at the most effective luxury marketing channels available in 2017. Price is not the issue here, only ROI counts, so we gonna look at some of the most extravagant and expensive advertising methods available today. We will also present a mix of channels that work for b2b and b2c brands, so whatever your goal may be, you surely can find a new channel to explore in this list, so enjoy!
Luxury Print Advertising & Out-Of-Home
Print is dying in a way, but it’s not dead yet. So buying a single page or double page spread in magazines like Vogue, GQ, Harpers Bazaar, Esquire, Tatler or Robb Report can still be very rewarding. Especially if you are selling luxury fashion or jewellery. If your business revolves more around real estate, yachting, motoring, fine dining, art or financial advice, magazines like the Financial Times, Savior or Elite Traveler are obviously a better investment of your media budget. There are many choices in print depending on what you are selling. You might also want to look at specialist magazines with low publication numbers but a very particular niche reader base, for example, the different annual catalogues issued by high-end credit card companies.
I would only recommend Out-Of-Home if you can afford to get some of the most prestigious locations like the 5th avenue in New York, Ginza in Tokyo, Gangnam in Seoul and so on. Unless you are selling licensed products like perfume or entry level goods, don’t devalue your brand with too much or wrongly placed OOH ads.
Luxury Display Advertising & Affiliate Marketing
The sky is the limit. New blogs, publications and magazines are popping up daily. The ones that last and develop a reader base can be very lucrative if display advertising is bought with your ideal customer in mind. For b2b, publications like luxury daily, the business of fashion or jing daily can work wonders. These big media companies often offer different options ranging from traditional display banners to advertorials or newsletter sendings. For b2c I would recommend scouting the web for blogs like the blonde salad or similar established sites. A great way to leverage these kinds of review sites is to set up your own affiliate program either through a network or by joining one of the established ones (Vigilink, Rakuten, Commission Junction or Reward Style just to name a few). All you have to manage afterwards is the creation of top-notch banners and enticing offers for your new affiliates.
Luxury Members Clubs and Communities
The Soho House, country and golf clubs, older established gentleman clubs, high-end gyms or worldwide communities like ASmallWorld, if you can figure out in which organizations, communities or clubs your ideal wealthy customer are involved in, you can pretty much try to establish a partnership and leverage those relationships to market your products or services in a subtle but effective way. Even luxury nightclubs can work if they are situated in 5-star hotels or offer particular VIP services.
Luxury Sponsorships and Events
When we are talking about sponsorships we are talking mostly about sport, art or charity events. Golf tournaments, sailing cups, formula one racing, polo tournaments, museum exhibitions and art galleries. Dior, for example, is restoring the Palace de Versailles right now. Those engagements are not a direct sell, but the indirect power of these branding efforts is tremendous. The other side of the coin is experiential marketing. Be it a special sale, pop-up stores with celebrities or boutique openings. From an event with fine dining, wine tasting and a cruise collection show towards a meet and greet with the designer or models. There are a lot of options to invite and sell directly to your most important customers. The classical things like trade shows, fashion shows and showroom invitations have been losing their pull a bit with the advent of live streaming and the internet, but a creatively staged show can still be a fantastic tool to express the vision of your brand and spike interest for your new line of products. If you are selling yachts a private cruise, a test ride of the new model or similar things can work wonders too. The key here is inviting the right people and offering a unique and fresh experience.
The other side of the coin is experiential marketing. Be it a special sale, pop-up stores with celebrities or boutique openings. From an event with fine dining, wine tasting and a cruise collection show towards a meet and greet with the designer or models, there are a lot of options to invite and sell directly to your most important customers if you know how. The classical things like trade shows, fashion shows and showroom invitations have been losing their pull a bit in the recent years with the advent of live streaming and the internet, but a creatively staged show can still be a fantastic tool to express the vision of your brand and spike interest for your new line of products. If you are selling yachts a private cruise, a test ride of the new Rolls Royce model or similar things can work wonders too. The key here is to invite the right people and to offer a unique and fresh experience.
The most famous one in recent times is probably the cooperation of LV and Supreme. A streetwear hit and a luxury brand. Very surprising indeed. But you don’t have to take such a huge branding risk to create a great synergy for your company. Think outside the box, if you’re dealing in jewellery, why not cooperate with a smart phone or any other high-end gadget company and release a limited edition product? If you’re a leather goods company why not cooperate with an interior design or furniture brand? Get creative, look at your price segment and see what is out there in your space. Reach out and contact people, you would be surprised what kind of fantastic ideas and concepts can result from this effort.
CRM and Loyalty/VIP Programs
If you are not capturing customer data in 2017 through the use of CRM systems and your trained sales staff then you are losing out. Every retail POS or eCommerce platform should be connected to a CRM. Dedicated managers should analyse this data and offer loyalty/VIP rewards to your most loyal customers. Develop those relationships, combine your event marketing strategy with your CRM/loyalty program efforts. Make your best customers feel special and appreciated through gift bags, personalized cards or invites to exclusive events.
Luxury Lead Generation & HWNI Reports
If you’re offering a luxury service like a concierge, butler agency, professional cleaning, financial advisor, estate lawyer, real estate broker, yacht broker or similar you want to generate HNWI leads to create new business opportunities. Creating effective lead magnets that address the pain points of your wealthy clients must be your first priority.
In the next phase, you must place your leads in front of your clients. Content syndication with business, architecture, design and real estate publications, referral networks with other luxury service providers or companies that sell luxury leads can be good sources for fresh contacts. To get a better grasp of your market it is also recommended that you consult reports from companies like Wealth-X on a regular basis that monitor the movement of wealth, liquidation events and so on.
Celebrities and Social Media Influencers
Celebrities and luxury have been a love affair since Giorgio Armani outfitted Richard Gere in American Gigolo in the 70s. Today you have publicists, agents, talent and model agencies that represent celebrities. In most cases, you can book them for the right amount of money. Dealing and managing these relationships can be taxing and difficult sometimes nonetheless. Also, you got to be especially careful if you are selecting a face for your brand (if you’re in the beauty, perfume or fashion space). The wrong brand ambassador can quickly alienate your existing customer base. This is especially true if you are trying to win over Chinese customers over by elevating an actress or tv personality to a luxury icon. Work with professionals when it comes to selecting the right person.
Social Media Influencers have carved out a strong position in every luxury marketing mix today. From people like Brian Boy, Chiara Ferragni or the Sartorialist…stylists, photographers, models, content creators…everybody with an engaged following that is interested in luxury products can become an asset to your brand. Networks and agencies have popped up trying to cash in on the trend of influencer marketing (similar to models and celebrities) but the space is still widely chaotic and volatile and will be so for couple years to come. If you want to find the right influencer be sure to assess fit, audience and the kind of sponsored campaign you want to do. You can contact us if you want to make sure that the right people with an affinity for luxury manage your influencer relationships and ensure your ROI on your next campaign.
Mobile Apps, Augmented Reality and VR
Mobile Marketing is gigantic. Especially in Asia in-app purchases, mobile shopping and QR codes have long taken over. Multichannel app operation systems that offer everything from streaming, e-commerce, social media to reviews are on the rise. Augmented Reality in retail so far mostly boils down to gimmicks in selected boutiques and experiential marketing events but new applications pop up every day and it’s just a matter of time until the trend combines with mobile marketing to create fantastic experiences which can be leveraged for luxury consumers. Same goes for VR, as soon as a headset or medium is established as mainstream it’s gonna become the eCommerce channel of choice for most remote luxury experiences. We are still far away from that being a reality, but if you’re one of the brands that wants to be at the forefront of providing fresh luxury experiences then there are already start-ups and technologies which can offer you something unique.
Video Marketing & Live Streaming
Facebook Videos, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, Periscope…not even to mention the options in Asia. Fashion Shows and events can be streamed, drones and GoPros offer new angles and options to create fantastic footage. Being remote is not a hindrance anymore, you can be in the middle of the action even if you are at the other end of the world. Smart companies are starting now to leverage these experiences. If you want to have a 360-degree approach that involves your elite customers, luxury lovers and aspirational followers, video marketing is for you.
Fashion movies and luxury advertising should always be of high quality, professionally produced and artistic. Be careful with this channel, don’t save money here. If you want to make an impact the creative execution has to be excellent. If you wouldn’t be willing to submit your fashion or luxury short film to a festival competition, then don’t offer it up to your customers on Youtube.
Outreach and Public Relations
For the b2b space, make sure you reach out to all the relevant blogs, vloggers and podcasts in your space. Be where your wealthy customers are and have a great message prepared. Become a speaker at events, host your own seminars. The traffic and leads that will follow are worth the effort and costs. Create win-win situations with your partners and your service business will soon take off.
In b2c, the value of great public relations can not be underestimated. Journalist relationships, press releases, event invites and other PR tools are fantastic to create some free buzz for your brand. Just be sure to put your message on the right PR channels to not devalue your offering. Nobody wants to see a luxury yacht article in a Boulevard or glossy magazine.
WeChat, Weibo, TMall… -> China Marketing
The unconquered frontier. There can be no list of the top luxury marketing channels in 2017 without mentioning China. The People’s Republic of China is a wonderful country, anybody who says different hasn’t been there or interacted with the Chinese on a personal level. I personally have very fond memories of my time in Shanghai and Beijing and can’t wait to return and make more connections. If you want to truly leverage the opportunities for luxury sales in China don’t make the mistake that a lot of the large brands have made so far. WeChat Service or Subscription Accounts, a properly updated and managed Weibo Account, a fully functional and reachable dedicated Chinese eCommerce site or a shop on TMall, those are just a few of the key components for an effective Chinese market strategy. There are so much more channels to explore: Chinese influencers, in-app advertising, Chinese Video Streaming, review forums and so on. Since I have a BA in Sinology (Chinese studies for those that don’t know) I’m particularly fond of my connection to this country. So if you need some help in that area don’t be afraid of the costs and the entry barrier. Reach out today to get a piece of that pie.
So these are the best luxury marketing channels in 2017 with the biggest ROI. If you want to attract HNWIs as customers or clients, you need to be involved in at least 2-3 of these channels to truly dominate the market. This market segment is highly sought after and the quality and service requirements are very high. There are a lot of intricacies in dealing with this space, ranging from producing the right visuals, having a coherent message to making sure that the advertising is permission based and not intrusive.
If this simple list of channels is not enough for you and you need someone to help you navigate the different options and possibilities for your brand, contact us now. As Marketing Consultants specialized in luxury, fashion and lifestyle brands we can provide the kind of guidance and service your business needs to grow and succeed in this space.
Book a free consultation with us today to find out more about what we can do for you. Also feel free to follow us on social media for more content relating to high-end marketing. Thank you for reading this article and take care!
– David Nickel, Marketing Consultant at High End Consultancy