The customer journey is one of the most important aspects of luxury marketing. With the digital landscape evolving to where it is right now, more brands are pushing for greater in-store initiatives. The entire experience is being redesigned to delight the customer and to reward brand loyalists. From a luxury marketing stand-point, there are significant advantages to having a more streamlined approach to in-store optimization.
Luxury branding can only go so far without having an artistic bend to it. When it comes to in-store experiences, it is important to think about the store from an artistic perspective. The customer journey should feel like an introduction to the mystique around the brand, rather than being a simple showroom for display. That is where physical retailers can compete with online shops that offer scale and variety.
“Luxury is one of the only sectors where growth creates a problem for market participants. It can lead to a loss of cachet and desirability. Associating with art, either directly or indirectly, is what allows a brand to elevate itself and circumvent the volume problem,” said Edouard Aubin, Head, Luxury Goods Team at Morgan Stanley Research.
OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT
Another critical aspect of luxury marketing is scarcity and the fear of missing out. When retailers keep exclusives and super luxury pieces in their store, it creates an emotion of scarcity and an aura around the product. This also adds to the desire of the product, and the overall aesthetics of the store. When retailers shift their strategy to induce desire in the minds of the customers, they can start to see results.
When there are super rare pieces available only at your store, it makes for a more interesting story behind the brand. Your store becomes uniquely positioned in the marketplace, attracting visitors from around the city to explore. While the short-term ROI may not seem reason-focused, the long-term brand equity is viable.
Luxury online channels are set to grow at upwards of 15% CAGR through 2020 owing to the ease and convenience. It is time for physical retailers to there go outside of standardized retail.
FOCUS ON THE HOLISTIC EXPERIENCE
Invoking strong emotion from the customer is key when it comes to designing the essential in-store strategy. For luxury goods to make you ‘feel’ something, it is important to underscore the journey holistically. Customers should feel an emotion that they can’t feel in other stores. Whether that be the grand size, the technology in-store or the type of service they receive, customers need to leave the store with one consistent emotion.
For Apple, the store is as essential as the product itself. Head strategist at Apple, Angela Ahrendts, brought her experience from Burberry into Apple. She ensured that all customers leave with a high energy emotion that urges them to take action.
“Retail is not dying, but it has to evolve. It has to continue to move and I think it has to serve a bigger purpose than selling, because anybody can do that faster, cheaper. Our retention rates have never been higher, our NPS scores have never been higher and they have never felt so creatively empowered, they have never felt so connected,” Angela said.
HIGHLIGHTING THE CRAFTMANSHIP
For the customer to truly connect with the brand and the product, it’s important to showcase craftsmanship and design. That’s what gets customers off their mobile devices and into the retail stores. It’s also what brings them closer to the experience and into the store. From a retail stand-point, it’s important to highlight the work and artistic craftsmanship that went behind the production of product.
Zoya, the luxury jewellery brand, has opened a new store with a strong focus on inviting customers to the brand’s aesthetic appeal. With an emphasis on luxury and craftsmanship, it has developed a strong launch for its new store. With private viewing areas, luxury interiors and spotlighted pieces, it has created a unique experience within a busy market space.
“Zoya is a home-grown luxury brand, with an Indian heart and an eye on the world. It holds a cherished spot in the Titan story. With the aesthetic value of unique design and refined craftsmanship becoming sought after benchmarks of selection, we see great potential in Zoya’s growth,” said CK Venkatraman, CEO, Jewellery Division, Titan Company.
It is important for brands to showcase their values and ideals through their design. It is an effective way to create a deeper bond with customers that have a variety of options.