#24 Just sell marginally on the Internet.
Selling on the Internet is strictly hype in luxury marketing. Many marketers seem to think that if you do not sell on the Internet, you are ‘out’. There, the distinction between luxury, fashion and premium strategy of prestige brands operating on the luxury market is crucial. Internet sales are extremely well adapted to fashion and premium, but not to luxury. Self-proclaimed ‘web specialists’ fault the luxury companies for not selling online, forgetting – or ignoring – that all the ‘plusses’ of digital trade (instantaneity, permanent change and actualization, availability, accessibility, price reductions, automation of service, crowdsourcing, etc.) are huge ‘minuses’ for luxury. Luxury purchase needs time and effort to be deserved, true price and no discounts on excessive prices, one-to-one relationships with the salespeople and not with a machine, feeling of belonging to a ‘club’ of selected people and not being part of an anonymous crowd. The Internet can be used as a complementary service for existing customers, or as initiation to the brand story or to the product for potential and selected new customers. It cannot be used as a selling tool, except for products that are not part of the luxury strategy of the brand, such as fashion lines or entry products.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: JN Kapferer, excerpted from his book, The Luxury Strategy with permission from Kogan Page publishing.
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