Luxury is all about exclusivity, providing unique experiences, fostering deeper customer engagement, and creating emotion around a brand. Yet, while 40 percent of luxury customers access the internet daily through a smartphone, fewer than 4 percent of brands fully leverage the contextual mobile-social advantages to market these attributes.
While the general perception of mobile is that of a mass-marketing medium, its capability for social interaction and highly personalized content also lends itself well to providing targeted offerings to a high-demand audience that expects incomparable service. The integration of social networks with inherent mobile location features (now collectively coined "SoLoMo") is transforming customer engagement with brands and revolutionizing marketing.
Here and now: The evolving luxury market
In recent years, the global luxury landscape and the luxury customer have evolved drastically due to a shifting economic climate combined with unprecedented technological innovations. Consumers today are focusing less on conspicuous consumption and more on experiences that will intrinsically improve their lives. This demographic is demanding premium, accurate, timely, and engaging information.
According to The Affluence Collaborative, a research powerhouse that studies the habits of high-income consumers, "the affluent seek out companies and brands that can simplify and improve their lives." Time-strapped wealthy consumers will put a premium on services that can save time or deliver memorable experiences. Companies will need to consistently reinforce their value propositions to ensure their products and services are "worth the money."
So, who exactly is the modern luxury consumer? While definitions vary according to source and geography, The Affluence Collaborative classifies the "affluent" in the U.S. as having a household income of at least $200,000 while the "wealthy" have an income of more than $500,000. Furthermore, recent reports indicate that approximately 3 percent of the U.S. population, or roughly 4 million people, earn $200,000 or more a year.
Connecting with discerning customers anywhere, anytime
The digital media revolution, particularly the social and mobile convergence, has especially empowered consumers. More frequently, it is luxury customers who are leading the pack in terms of being tech-savvy.
According to The Affluence Collaborative, 57 percent of the wealthy stated that they like to have the latest gadgets and to be in the know about what's up-and-coming in the tech realm, compared to only 18 percent of the general population. An estimated 72 percent of the wealthy are active Facebook members. They're also using Twitter more often: Twitter usage increased by 350 percent year over year in 2010, and is expected to continue at this rate of expansion through this year.
SoLoMo-based strategies can play a key role in getting consumers interested and excited about new events, experiences, and products. Instead of launching one-off initiatives, luxury brands should develop social-mobile programs that authentically interact with an audience in a way that is personal, seamless, and enhances brand identity.