Luxury Online - New Study To Help Brands Find Direction
Do Luxury Brands Need an App for That? Reaching the Affluent Consumer Online:
Users of the popular iPhone are accustomed to turning to their phones to manage every portion of their lives, using it to find driving directions, play games, and even function as a flashlight.
So, luxury brand Ralph Lauren decided to meet these consumers where they live, designing a free iPhone app that allows users to scroll through items from their most recent Fashion Week shows and peruse selections from Ralph Lauren's current collections.
Ralph Lauren, however, is one of the exceptions to the rule. Luxury brands have typically eschewed an online presence, believing that their collections must be experienced in person, perhaps even in the atmosphere of a dedicated retail shop. According to a new study from the NYU Stern School of Business, only a third of luxury brands were selling online just a year ago.
The recession has changed all this, as now two-thirds of luxury brands have some sort of online presence. However, the study found that not all online efforts are created equal. While some brands embrace the full spectrum of smart phone apps, Twitter feeds, and Facebook fan clubs, many luxury brands still struggle with simple e-commerce, noting that cruise and tour brands, along with jewelry marketers were among the least digitally savvy.
The NYU study rated 109 luxury brands across 11 product categories, giving brands ratings from genius, gifted, average, challenged, feeble. What sets apart the best digital performers like Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Clinique and Porsche from the losers, like Waldorf Astoria, Trump, Faberge, Graff and Bulova, is their willingness to innovate the brand in the digital realm.
With so many online options today, luxury brands need focused consumer research that will help them find the right media and right messages to reach high-spending potential customers where they are browsing.
Unity Marketing Is Launching a New Study to Give Direction on How to Use the Internet to Connect with Luxury Consumers
Sponsors needed for new consumer research to help luxury marketers maximize the power of the Internet to build their brands and grow sales
As luxury retailers navigate the uncharted territory of constructing an online presence in a recessionary world, they face important questions, like:
- How often do affluent consumers use the Internet in support of luxury goods and services purchases, what they buy online, how much they spend?
- When do they turn to the Internet and why they use it?
- What are their favorite luxury websites and what specifically do they value about their favorite websites?
- How do affluent luxury shoppers use social media to learn about luxury brands, share information about luxury brands, and connect with people with similar outlooks on luxury brands?
- What turns them on and off about using the Internet for luxury purchasing and research?
Forward-thinking luxury marketers and retailers are needed to support a new research initiative from Unity Marketing into how the Internet including social media like Facebook and Twitter impacts the affluent consumers and their luxury lifestyles. This new study will provide critical data and insight to support luxury marketers for Internet strategy and planning. Research sponsors are needed to support this special investigation.
Unity Marketing will conduct a study into how affluent consumers use the Internet and other digital media in pursuit of their luxury lifestyles, including shopping and purchase behavior, search and shopping research, social media and connecting, and learning and building relationships with luxury brands. Sponsors will guide and direct the research initiative and provide questions and topics to pursue in the survey and focus groups.
Sponsors will benefit powerfully from the results of this new research to direct new Internet marketing and branding strategies
Sponsors will gain many benefits from the results of this new research. Luxury brands looking to develop new Internet marketing and branding strategies will get the most benefit from this research. As the NYU Stern School of Business study shows, luxury brand marketers are especially confounded by the new social media and how they should be deploying social media in building their brands. The results of this research will help marketers develop strategies to use social media to the max in promoting sales, marketing and branding to affluent consumers.
The primary objective of this research is to give luxury marketers and brands insight into how to use the power of the Internet to connect affluent consumers with luxury brands and encourage them to shop, both online and in stores. The focus of the research study will be luxury goods and services including luxuries for the home, fashion and apparel, jewelry and watches, and luxury experiences such as travel, dining and beauty/spa services.
The results of this study will deliver to sponsors new insights into the Internet shopping habits of the luxury consumers (i.e. those with incomes of $100,000 or more). Further, the results of the survey will be analyzed into three key income segments:
- Comfortable Affluents, incomes $100,000-$149,999
- Super-Affluents, incomes $150,000-$249,999
- Ultra-Affluents, incomes $250,000 and above.
Unity Marketing with its extensive experience researching the purchase behavior and mindset of the luxury consumers will deliver to sponsors key strategic insights that will help them build new Internet strategies that will take advantage of the growing power of the Internet to both influence affluents in their perception of luxury brands and give them access to those brands through shopping.
This research investigation will include both qualitative and quantitative findings. Unity Marketing will conduct two-to-four focus groups with high-end luxury shoppers that are regular and frequent users of the Internet. The findings from the qualitative research will then be shaped into a quantitative survey which will be fielded to an affluent sample of 1,000-1,200 affluent Internet shoppers at the close of the fourth quarter 2009, on or about the first week in January.
Research sponsors will receive the following deliverables:
- Behind-the-glass attendance at the focus groups and/or DVD recording of the focus group proceedings, plus transcripts of the focus group proceedings
- Input and oversight of the quantitative survey questions
- Detailed analysis report including findings from the focus group and quantitative survey with recommendations and action steps related specifically to Internet marketing and brand building strategies and ways to build relations with luxury consumers through the Internet.
Sponsors participate in the research by guiding and directing the areas of investigation, defining objectives, areas of inquiry and specifying information and insights to pursue.
Sponsors gain many of the benefits of custom research without the expense, since research costs are shared by a number of different companies.
Sponsors will participate in focus groups, gain insights behind the glass as well as through detailed analysis report. Sponsors will help construct the survey questionnaire that will validate and measure quantitatively affluent consumers' use of the Internet in support of their luxury lifestyles.
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