Affluent customers are particularly heavy users of the internet for both gathering information and purchasing online. Globally, up to 90% of them regularly shop online (India's #'s not found.). The internet is their primary source for locating information on a luxury brand. In India, most people access the internet via smartphones and other handheld peripherals, like iPad and Galaxy Tabs. The digital programme is required to match the brand requirements on these items to the rest of the digital offering.
Many of the American and European luxury brands that are making huge profits in India are failing to deliver an online experience that appeals to an increasingly technologically savvy Indian market. In order to make the browsing and buying experience as engaging and appealing as possible to consumers, brands are going to have to bring newer technology into stores, on mobiles and to people’s homes. Luxury brands are going to have to be innovative, creative and at the cutting edge of technology, or they risk being left behind.
Web Site: Content strategy should be to communicate the mythology of your brand, using digital as a piece of the entire marketing programme. Tell the story of your brand's rich history, its craftsmanship, design and the history and background surrounding each product as they are introduced. Position the brand as a cultural tastemaker, and act as a trusted guide to lifestyle enhancement. Encourage a spirit of competition through exclusive online promotions and activities. Talk to younger affluent audiences to convert them to lifelong purchasers of the brand. Offer flawless online service and support. Finally, promote exclusivity via a closed extranet, available only to those who have purchased their products through the company. Within this, provide a Personal Shopping service that can alert them on product availability based on preferences they provide, e.g., a customer may prefer green, love organic materials, and only use a particular product type. With this information, the sales cycle is shortened when a product fitting all these parameters is introduced. (You could also provide this as a virtual personal shopper service on the public site as well or instead.) Users could provide profiles if they wish, and contribute by posting photos of their collection of your products. Offer members-only exclusive content, promotions, and contests that further reinforce the brand's image.
Blog: the focus should be primarily on lifestyle issues and fine living, essentially making the brand an arbiter of taste, recognizing and guiding consumers to cultural refinement. This content can be a valuable way to engage with the brand by associating it with other luxury products, events, etc. You can also provide ongoing educational content on how to care for the product, storage, cleaning, etc. adding value to the web site. Another section can be a virtual museum of your brand's technological breakthroughs and innovations - what makes them special.
Top Indian Lifestyle Sites
- Luxe Lore and Justdial- Lifestyle
Top Indian Travel SItes
Social Media: Facebook Fan Page, Linkedin Corporate Page, and Twitter accounts should be deployed to act as intermediaries driving traffic to the web site and calls to action, including invitations to exclusive events, new store openings, new pen launches, etc.. Constantly updated content (daily or 3x/week) will include links back to the web site, exclusive content, and links to external sites that fit into enhancing the consumers' lifestyle. Twitter is essential for on-site reports, tweeting backstage from events, posting "live" photos, etc. These tweets enhance the brand's image by providing insight into exclusive events, particularly powerful to the Newly Rich segment and aspirational buyers. Campaigns can be reinforced through posting on social media and enable consumers to respond directly. The online engagement between the consumer and the brand is particularly powerful when these conversations take place publicly, enabling us to address issues and questions once and distributed to many. It also enables us to provide a digital archive of the history of our activities within India for those who missed them. This strategy ties in with building up younger, aspirational buyers and making them lifelong purchasers.
Email Newsletters: Weekly or Monthly HTML newsletters segmented to existing customers, existing leads that have yet to make a purchase, and one-off list rentals introducing the product.
Rich Media Posts (Youtube)
APIs: Building phone apps that work with GPS location to identify locations closest to you in any Indian city. Later this can be expanded to included "(Your brand) Selects" - lifestyle-related selections of stores, restaurants, and other locations recommended to our audience.
- Billboards (Hoardings)
Partnerships & Sponsorships
- High End Sporting Events (Horse racing, Formula 1, Polo, Golf, Regattas, Sailing)
- Fashion Weeks (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata), Tie-ups with Indian Designers
- International Film & Fine Books Festivals
- Classical Performing Arts Festivals
- Gentlemen's Clubs (ex. Tollygunge Club, Kolkata)
- Hotels, Spas, and Resorts: 80% of luxury POS resides here, however, it is a restricted environment with limited footfalls and visual impact.
- Airports: Newer, modernised airports are creating dedicated retail space for luxury items.
- Upscale Shopping Malls (eg., Emporio in Delhi, UB City in Bangalore)
- Guerilla Marketing
- Special Events - Exclusive, invitation-only events with special guests and celebrities
- Launch Parties
- Store Openings