While consumer preferences differ more than ever before, luxury consumers in APAC share common ground: they want to be inspired. The rise of peer-to-peer influence means luxury consumers are seeking out ideas and inspiration from a range of networks, online and offline.
According to James Thompson (pictured), chief marketing officer, Diageo Asia-Pacific, today’s luxury consumers aspire to the global standard of luxury, but yet see themselves as differentiated from the crowd and look for unique products and experiences that reflect their status and success.
However, the advancement of technology has blurred these lines of differentiation as often times non luxury brands can offer equal sophistication and possibly shared technology with their less glamorous colleagues.
The challenge for the marketers then is to know how they provide differentiation in “emotionally engaging their prospect base”, according to Ian Gorsuch regional director, Asia Pacific at McLaren Automotive Asia. According to Gorsuch technology has given the volume brands direct access to the consumer in a way not available to them a decade ago.
Another challenge, he added, is that whilst trying to directly engage with larger audiences in new markets, luxury brands have to maintain the “exclusivity” that makes a brand aspirational.
“The volume market has used the digital leap forward to create ever more individual relationships with their prospects and customers to a level previously only enjoyed by the luxury market, at the same time as the technology in the volume brands is at a level of the luxury market,” he says.
The challenge for the future is finding ways to create new differentiations,” Gorsuch says.
Ruchita Sharma, marketing operations and communications manager for consumer goods business at Swarovski India said that marketing for the future is heavily determined on striking that balance between creation of demand and exploitation of demand.
She adds that the marketing world will hold the social media phenomenon in high esteem in the future “although it seems a jigsaw in the current marketing landscape.”
Tapping a platform that gives direct access to a brand, to its consumers would minimise the time span in which a company builds its customer target base within its market. Hence, social media is a great tool for the new-age marketer to explore their potential in unexplored territories at minimum costs.
She notes that the natural instinct or strategy of numerous brands is to tap the existing demand in the markets that they operate in.
“However, the key to successfully marketing of your product on a long-term basis into the future is to provide yourself with a first-movers advantage of creating a demand for your offering as opposed to entirely conforming the product to meet the demand of your potential consumers,” she adds.
“Navigating new territories is never easy in marketing for the future, hence prudence and local initiatives are vital for entry to new markets,” she concludes.