Luxury Trends to Watch in 2012

In the age of social media and mobile technology, luxury brands have a plethora of ways to reach and engage affluent consumers. Consumers are savvier and making more informed decisions by tapping into the opinions of not only their friends and family members but those found on review and social networking sites.

To help you continue to navigate the constantly-changing luxury environment, we’ve highlighted a few of the trends expected to impact luxury marketing below.

Deliver Outstanding Customer Experiences – Everywhere

Affluent consumers have always celebrated brands and services that continuously strive to exceed their expectations. We expect this trend to continue in 2012 on a much broader scale. Whether staying at a hotel, visiting a website or accessing information on a mobile device, consumers expect brands to deliver an exceptional experience on all platforms.

Luxury brands can no longer get away with slow-loading websites or stale content. Instead, brands need to embrace the power of storytelling to create online content that’s fresh, entertaining and engaging. Websites should load quickly, cater to the affluent consumer and be easy to navigate. Social media should engage customers on a more personal level.

Embrace Digital Marketing

By now, most luxury brands have embraced social media, ecommerce and mobile marketing. Those that haven’t may be missing out on a huge opportunity. According to the 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trends Report: The Luxury Consumer in the New World: Then and Now, 78 percent of affluent consumers are on social networks. And 65 percent of the wealthy consumers surveyed believe brands with no social media presence are out of touch.

Luxury brands like Four Seasons are developing online digital media programs that authentically interact with consumers on all platforms are a good fit for the brand. To add authenticity to their site, Four Seasons integrated consumer reviews from sites like TripAdvisor and Twitter.

Recognize that Value and Quality Matter

Although the economy appears to be headed in the right direction, wealthy consumers will continue to demand performance at the best possible value. Ad Age recently released the results of their annual Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Survey revealing that 78% of the affluent individuals surveyed agreed with the statement “When it comes to quality, I believe you get what you pay for.”

Luxury brands need to deliver on their quality promise and reinforce their unique value proposition. Consumers no longer purchase products on services on brand name alone. They continue to seek out brands that can deliver on the things that matter most important to them.

Take Advantage of Mobile Technology

Mobile applications will continue to become a bigger part of the luxury marketing mix in 2012. Affluent consumers expect luxury brands to be available to them from any location and device. Mobile sites should be commerce-enabled, quick-to-load and easy to navigate. And when it comes to mobile advertising, luxury marketers should keep advertising simple and easy to read. Mobile technology makes it possible for luxury brands to easily offer exclusive content in a timely, personalized matter.

Develop a Focused Strategy

Now more than ever, luxury brands need to develop a cohesive marketing strategy. Whether utilizing current staff or working with an agency, luxury brands need to focus on integrating all forms of marketing, whether traditional or digital, into a seamless to provide affluent consumers with exceptional experiences at every customer touch point.

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