In the past few months, the House of Fabergé, infamous makers of the worlds most luxurious eggs that range from $5,000 to $3 million, launched an initiative to break into the Indian market.
Remarkably, India was the most dynamic luxury market between 2008 and 2013. Fabergé joins a swelling list of luxury brands that are putting large efforts into that market. These include the likes of Burberry and Rolex. What’s more, recent studies have suggested that the Asia-Pacific will be the biggest region in the world for luxury goods by 2018.
But how should ultra-luxury brands adapt adapt their marketing strategies to this evolving global market?
For Ashok Som, Professor at the ESSEC Business School, Paris, a cohesive “long-term and shared strategic vision that moves from fragmented marketing activities to totally aligned branding activities is mandatory” in breaking into emerging markets. In short: getting the balance between successful brand awareness and brand building, it seems, is key. One vital component of achieving this cohesive vision between consumer and producer, lies in tapping into the influence of certain individual consumers embedded in the elusive emerging market.
A Future of Flexibility and Collaboration
Alongside Brazil, India, and China, other emerging markets, like Iran, South Africa, Indonesia, and Malaysia are set to hit their stride in the coming decade. The significance of flexibility and collaboration will increasingly become key in luxury brand marketing strategies within these areas.
Brands need to develop a strategic cohesion constructed on flexibility. They need to develop the ability to bend and stretch so as to cater to certain geographic areas whilst maintaining a recognisable global identity.
The significance of collaboration with both big third-party data and individual consumers, between brands and the people that use them is crucial to getting this flexibility right. As we pass further into the era of the Internet of Things and home-services, the use of technology as a platform for allowing flexibility through collaboration will allow for the kind of successful marketing strategies that are conducive to stickiness and the success of marketing strategies in emerging markets.
Consumer marketing expert Lena Bourgeois has recently outlined the importance of “stickiness” in an era of increasing options. Whilst Bourgeois focused on the importance of third-party data, I want to gesture toward the importance of its symbiotic relationship with individual, or first person data, in breaking into emerging markets.
But how can we make a luxury item appear “indispensable” amidst the instability of a market that is so rapidly expanding and evolving?
As Bourgeois notes, the greatest danger is in “voluntary attrition”, or when customers shift their loyalty not because of cost, but because a different product or service “better fits their needs”. Herein lies the necessity of successfully filtering third-party data alongside the interests of individual influencers, like ultra-popular Weibo bloggers. In listening to, and collaborating with ordinary consumers as well as adhering to the broad strokes indicated by third-party data, the cohesive “strategic vision” Professor Som speaks of can be achieved.