How are luxury brands influenced by digital marketing?


06 Apr How are luxury brands influenced by digital marketing?

According to Mckinsey, at least 50% of buying decisions for luxury brands online are influenced by what consumers see or hear. Today at least 20% of the luxury sales are influenced through digital marketing.

Chris Moody 2If we pay close attention to what Mckinsey has to say about digital marketing influencing sales of luxury brands, conventional companies need to take notice on this changing trend or be left out. One of the key reasons to the shift in trend is shift in behavior of target audience. 3 out of 4 luxury shoppers equip themselves with digital devices helping to decide on what to buy, where and how much to pay.

This change in behavior plus the declining influence of print as an advertising medium, has challenged luxury brands to communicate with their audience without compromising their brand’s core values?

At one of the recent seminars hosted by the Guardian, industry experts and audience got a chance to communicate the influence of digital marketing on luxury brands. The audience were encouraged to ask questions and up-vote interesting questions through an iPad app. Industry experts included Laura Schwab, Marketing Director at Jaguar Land Rover; Guy Cheston, Media Sales Director at Harrods Media; Chris Moody, Creative Director at Wolff Olins.

Luxury brand like Jaguar Land Rover has moved away from print advertising and uses digital marketing to engage its audience. Their audience is exposed to online content and then are directed towards dealerships for a test drive. Through analytics the marketing team learns about their audiences’ preferences and are presented with personalized content through emails. According to Schwab, targeted campaigns through social media keeping inline with their brand values have also proved to be successful in engaging audience. A proof of a campaign that’s gone viral and has been successful is #Hibernot, that’s positioned around embracing winter in the UK by being out on a Land Rover.

The amount of times people actually go to a car dealership has diminished. By the time they get to the door all they really want to do is test drive. All the research, everything, happens online.
– Laura Schwab


One of the other examples is by Harrods. They wanted to target younger female audience to buy in to their Shoe Heaven promotion. To do this, the company decided to come up with a game called Stiletto Wars built on the lines of of Candy Crush. To play the game, as a first step their audience had to download the Harrods mobile app. The Mail Online picked up on Harrods’ Stiletto Wars campaign and it went viral.

The influence of Digital Marketing on Luxury Brands Sales is not limited to shopping offline. The rise of new technology called iBeacons thanks to Apple, has also changed the way in-store shopping is done. iBeacons are small pieces of hardware placed strategically at a retail store. Shoppers are greeted on their mobile phone by pushing out personalized discounts or messaging through iBeacons while in store by the store authorities.

One of the key challenges that the industry will have to overcome will be to strike a balance between engaging with audience online and not compromising on their brand values.