Many of today’s top luxury brands are delivering an online experience focused on reminding shoppers of why they love the brand in the first place. The good news for luxury brands, even in today’s economy, is that most wealthy Americans aren’t curbing their spending. Luxury clientele are avid consumers of new technology, and luxury brands are adopting their digital platforms as they move forward into 2012. These are some of the ways the successful ones are doing it.
A major component of luxury branding is creating an online atmosphere that meets with the customer’s expectations of the brand. Hyatt Hotels, for instance, allows clients to ask questions of a 24/7 concierge via its Twitter accounts. In addition to asking questions, guests can book dinner reservations or spa sessions through Twitter.
People who use luxury brands like to feel that they have something one-of-a-kind. The online experience, therefore, should be dynamic according to the market segment of the shopper. Ralph Lauren placed QR codes on the exterior of its stores that customers could scan with their smart phones. The codes took customers to exclusive web pages that allowed them to enter to win U.S. Open tickets and an exclusive Ralph Lauren wardrobe.
Successful luxury brands will create a story that engages their clientele. Tiffany & Co., for example, deployed a microsite called “What Makes Love True” and recorded a 20 percent increase in sales. Instead of just marketing engagement rings, Tiffany sold an online narrative to go along with the rings. When customers see the luxury brand story as part of their own story, they will be more likely to buy.
The luxury brand companies that are most successful online understand the emotional response that their brand invokes in customers. Burberry, for instance, broadcast a fashion show live on Facebook and set up a “click-to-buy” button so that users could immediately be part of the emotional experience. Every luxury company’s first product is emotion, and the online experience should evoke the feelings for which the brand is known.