Customers have changed, and now expect more of brands than ever before, demanding experiences which deliver value and relevance tailored to the user’s specific needs and context. But what are many of the brands we know and love doing to deliver on these experiences? In this piece, I’ll be looking at a few big-hitters to share my view on the experience they create for the user, in an effort to unlock the secrets to luxury brand marketing.
While Return on Attention, Useful Content and Micro-Moments are universal concepts that apply to customers in all sectors and industries, it’s not always easy to balance the functional requirements users have of brands with the need to maintain an elevated brand voice and presence. Luxury brands need to protect their brand, whilst making the best use of the arsenal of marketing tools and content available to them.
If these critical components are not correctly balanced, the tension between function and branding can lead to some less than ideal user experiences, and in extreme cases, could put brand perception at risk. So it’s clear that Luxury Brand Marketing is no picnic.
However, with the right approach, Return on Attention, Useful Content and Micro-Moments can be used to drive amazing experiences and fantastic performance for luxury brands. To demonstrate this, we’ve collected a few examples of luxury brands using these simple principles to great effect in their digital strategies.
Return on Attention: Burberry
Burberry are well-established as luxury digital leaders, and deservedly so. Since setting out in 2006 with a vision to become the world’s first fully digital luxury brand, they’ve innovated consistently to connect with their customers across multiple channels and social media platforms, whilst offering an effortless web browsing and eCommerce experience to boot.
There’s a lot to love about Burberry’s digital presence, but we’ve chosen to highlight an example of them delivering superb Return on Attention via their branded video content.
Burberry’s “acoustic” section showcases new musical talent performing acoustic numbers, whilst modelling Burberry clothing.
This offers users the chance to discover new artists, whilst Burberry gets to promote their offering, and musicians also get to publicise their work into the bargain.
It’s a perfect example of branded content that delivers Return on Attention all round, and is fantastically executed into the bargain, with superb production values and slick user experience. Users want to buy in to exclusivity, and Burberry successfully translate that its a brand worth buying into.
Useful Content: Aston Martin
Aston Martin’s website is one of our favourites for combining luxury brand values with accessibility and user experience. Every word on the site is carefully crafted to reflect the brand’s heritage and quality (how anybody can make a car recall notice sound luxurious is quite simply beyond us!).
What makes Aston Martin’s site really stand out from the pack is their deep understanding of what drives (*snigger*) their audience, which they’ve used to superb effect on their car specification pages.
Their model specification pages are a cut above the “cramped HTML table” approach favoured by many other car manufacturers, with well-executed visualisations for performance figures and other stats, and a simple, well-thought out navigation structure that makes navigating a large amount of information smooth and seamless. Luxury brand marketing at its pinnacle.
They’re also going above and beyond to deliver an immersive experience to their users, expertly incorporating imagery, video and even recordings of different engine sounds.
Micro-moments are short, sudden and highly contextual moments of need, providing brands an opportunity to be in the right place and the right time and save the day for their customers.
While luxury is potentially less “urgent” than other sectors, there’ll still be situations where a last-minute gift or urgent beauty product top-up is required. That anniversary you forgot about? Say no more, Selfridges have you covered.
Selfridges offer next-day Click & Collect delivery until 10pm, with 30 minutes of free parking included if you’re picking your order up from their London store. Now THAT’S service.
By offering the opportunity to get your order faster than competitors, Selfridges is perfectly positioned to serve customers with more urgent requirements. It also integrates perfectly with the brand’s focus on high-quality, personalised service.
Meeting Luxury Customers’ Needs
While some digital trends and tactics aren’t as obviously suitable for luxury brands as for their non-luxury counterparts, delivering a superior customer experience is a no-brainer, and something that luxury brands are well-placed to deliver.
The key to getting this right is understanding that for luxury brand marketing, the customer’s needs are more than simply functional. Yes, they want a seamless web experience, easily accessible information and a quick, efficient purchase process. However, luxury customers are not simply buying a product, but an experience, and luxury brands need to fulfill this need as well, alongside everything else customers expect.
This doesn’t mean that simple concepts like Return on Attention, Micro-moments or Useful Content aren’t relevant for luxury brands. They’re just as important, but they have to work on two levels of need – the “table stakes” of a satisfactory purchase experience, and the additional elevation and brand experience required to mark the experience out as luxury. The brands who get this right, like the ones we’ve showcased here, are the ones who balance the customer’s need for a luxury experience with their everyday functional requirements, without compromising on either.
This balance between function and elevation is something we’ll be discussing more in future posts and insights, so keep your eyes peeled. We’ll also be releasing an exclusive Silverbean content piece in the coming weeks, so if you’d like to receive a copy of ‘Luxury eCommerce Reinvented’ and start understanding how you can revolutionise your luxury brand marketing, sign up using the contact form below and you’ll gain first access.