Bottom Of Form Understanding Experiential Marketing Essay

Introduction

As the entire world gets richer and people have steadily bigger disposable incomes, most drastically seen in the highest social classes, individuals are trading up products that are perceived as goods for products that meet their aspiration needs. Current individuals are willing to offer considerably higher levels of money to have got something 'beautiful and unique' (Husic and Cicic, 2008). Regarding to Bain & Co, the global management consultancy, global demand for high quality goods was to boost by 4% in 2010 2010 with an twelve-monthly basis to 158bn ($214bn; Ј139bn) (Bain & Co formal website).

The factors that explain why folks are attracted to luxury goods are best discussed by the marketing exercises that the blissful luxury brands adopt. Moving away from the traditional marketing blend, brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Chanel, Cartier, Rolex, Vertu and others have followed 'Experiential Marketing' ways to drive sales. The goal is to create in the buyer an emotional connect with the brand through unique features and brand image, exclusive retail environment and distinctive presentation, costs and other elements. Marketers recognise the importance of the audience having the right experience when getting together with products- to bring alive the required feelings, perspectives and urges.

This record addresses the three questions lifted in the event study- Gucci, Louis Vuitton, & Vertu- Marketing Lessons From A NUMBER OF THE World's Most Exclusive Brands (Carroll, et al. , n. d). It aims to highlight the key success factors of Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Vertu, how their particular retail environment has impacted exclusivity and brand image, and identifies risks to the 'aura of exclusivity'.

Key Success Factors in Creating Exclusive Products

"It's like you've gotta have it or you'll perish. " is how Tom Ford the designer and marketing genius behind Gucci, defines the customers' affinity to the brand. The desire that Ford identifies will go much beyond reaching needs and uncovers itself as a yearning of the customer to add themselves to the charisma of the brand.

In the blissful luxury products category, brands undertake an even more complex and demanding role in linking with the consumer. Relating to Unity Marketing's record, 'Luxury Market Survey, 2004: Who Purchases Luxury, What They Buy, Why They Buy', it is no longer enough to simply create brand name acknowledgement. Instead, luxury marketers must stimulate fantasy, aspiration and desire in the buyer. A number of the factors that activate the success of a label include quality of the product, advanced price and value affiliation, exclusiveness and trustworthiness of the brand and hedonism, synonymous with using the product. The idea of brand id has come a long way from revealing one person's cattle from another by means of a hot flat iron stamp. Today people distinguish the mental health aspect, brand organizations like thoughts, emotions, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so forth that become linked to the brand, and they are the aspects that luxury brands feed on.

Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Vertu symbolize superior craftsmanship, making the brands symbolic of luxury and prestige. Gucci takes its craftsmen on travel about the world, stopping at go for stores where "artisans hand-stitch grips, assemble bamboo deals with, prepare leather strips for woven stitching and hand emboss customer's initials" (Gucci public website). Louis Vuitton cultivates its high-quality craftsmanship, the passion for skilled handiwork and the most superb materials to set-up products whose value is known across the world. The outstanding leather build is handed down from 'get better at to apprentice, generation after generation'. (Louis Vuitton Website) Regarding Vertu, the personal of the expert craftsman on the handset is symbolic of the extent to that your brand takes satisfaction in its craftsmen. With beauty and perfection implicit in every minute information of the look, the utilization of silver and platinum and the embossment of the Vertu style on the SIM drawer, craftsmanship emerges as the hallmark to the singularity of Vertu. (Vertu public website)

These brands are on the cutting edge of fashion and modernity in their respected industries. From meticulously following the results of the fashion weeks in London, New York and Paris, debating and speaking about what film superstars adorn themselves in at red carpet occurrences, to the purpose learning of articles and features that come in magazines, to even cutting out advertisements of their most liked brands, people are significantly enthusiastic about the personal information of the label. This is showing of the imprint it has on their lives and preferences, thereby allowing them to create a distinctive declaration for themselves in a day and time of heightened self-consciousness. The fascination extends to other players in the market who cannot miss out on the chance of getting a footing in the game by linking themselves with the top notch brands, even if it is by mildly imitating their patterns and trends.

We know right now that given the option of lesser listed replications of designs, the patterns aren't inherently expensive, these are just more exclusive. (Gray Swan, 2007) The idea behind setting a premium price is not to deliver affordability but to enjoy the potential buyers into buying for themselves the privilege of the go for few. This trend of luxury has been creeping up in population for more than 100 years now. Thorsten Veblen (1899) coined the word 'conspicuous usage' predicated on the fact that, as riches spreads what drives consumers' behavior is more and more neither subsistence nor comfort however the 'attainment of esteem and envy of fellow men'. (Yeoman and Beattie, 2005)

This wish to pace with or even to out run fellows is exactly what substitutes the value to meet functional requirements and manifests as hedonistic urges. Relating to Hirschman & Holbrook, luxury products are multi-sensory and associated with 'fun, thoughts, pleasure, exhilaration, and illusion'. This pleasure can be defined in conditions of gratification of ego, eclat and identification with the prestigious class and association with something that is exclusive and charged. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Vertu exploit and energize these hedonistic urges in a consumer to the fullest through the inviting and indulgent atmosphere they create in their shops with the aid of theme based displays, complementary music, exquisite visual merchandising and courteousness of the sales consultants.

The crescendo of star endorsements during the last year or two as the main channel of brand marketing communications, is another success factor. That is an acknowledgement by marketers of the power superstars have in influencing customer- purchasing decisions. (Katyal, n. d) The celebrity extends his/her level of popularity, personality and status in contemporary society to the brand. (Roll, n. d) Some key advantages of celebrity endorsements, is set up credibility, creating brand recognition, sustaining a brand's aura and ensured attention. (Okonkwo, 2005) Simply put, stars make a brandname apparent. Louis Vuitton has been endorsed by superstars like Maddona, Jennifer Lopez and Sean Connery. In the same way, Gucci has been endorsed by the likes of Rihanna, Evans Rachel Lumber and Drew Barrymore. Likewise, Vertu was also endorsed by former Bond Woman, Michelle Yeoh and Seal (musician).

Creating an Alluring Retail Environment as a Market Strategy of Experiential Marketing

The retail environment increases the customer's connection with a brand and hence can be an important online marketing strategy. Store location, the architecture, the looks of design and furniture and the looks of the employees capture the attention of the desired customers. Distinctiveness and memorability probably influence the notion of the product quality and prestige of the brand.

The Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Vertu stores are strategically situated in elite high street locations, like London's Relationship Block, New York's Fifth Avenue and Paris's Champs-Elysees, with the obvious intent of attracting the more affluent customers. The architecture of these stores is very unique creating a distinct image within the customer's brain. (Bloemer and Ruyter, 1997) For instance, Louis Vuitton works together with famous architects from across the world to form each store into a unique and cherished showcase. The retail space is usually large and the inside is some peaceful and luxurious areas. (Louis Vuitton website)

Marketers identify the value of allowing the client "to work together and engage with the brand, product and service in sensory ways". (Experiential Marketing Forum, n. d) The quality and the aura of the brand is mirrored through the store atmosphere. (Okonkwo, 2005) A free of charge flow layout with visually striking and interesting lighting, fittings, colours, music, and distinctive and sometimes peculiar displays, all aim to participate the senses. The employees are always very smartly outfitted, for example in Gucci, the salespeople are model-like and stylishly dressed in dark-colored. (Carroll, et al. , n. d) This 'experience' probably exhibits luxury, prestige, style, glamour, charisma, distinction and serves as a 'aspirational' for many who desire to be area of the 'in masses'.

With the upsurge in retail online shopping, these brands aim to create an extravagance online experience like the in-store experience. Gucci and Louis Vuitton have similar online retail environment with trivial differences. After you enter their electronic world you are greeted by stylish welcome screens with pastel shades and images effectively highlighting the product range. LV even has a catchy vintage track in the background. The apparels and accessories are viewed on models with multiple-views and zooming options. Gucci has brief videos of the production process mainly focused on the "handcrafted" feature with their products. The LV experience is immersive with the entire display screen showcasing of personalization options- painting, hot stamping, special purchases and Mon monograms. Vertu's website comes with an exclusive look, unlike other mobile phone manufacturers', with a totally black track record against which their products are stylishly showcased. The designs and systems copyrighted by Vertu donate to the uniqueness of the brand and this is adequately sold in the web site.

Threats to the Aura of Exclusiveness

It has been agreed to so far in the survey that, for a product to build up and preserve its exclusivity, organizations must create a standard experience to catch the attention of the high-end market section their brands focus on. That said, we can not ignore the widespread factors that threaten to tremble the 'aura of exclusivity' of these brands. Let's look at a few of them.

Political and economic turmoil, during the last couple of years, and the resultant drop in revenue from international customers has brought on advanced brands to aggressively promote their mid-range products. In so doing, banking not only on the elitist segment, but also on the top middle class to press forward their sales. (Bokaie, 2008) Gucci can be justly called a ready sufferer of the democratization of the executive brand. From being the icon of ultimate style and beauty attainable by the crЁme de la crЁme, Gucci has turned into a 'must have' desire to have the average consumer. (Okonkwo, 2005)

Another main factor, that is rolling out only the previous few years is the changing offer of the brand from 'Quality and Position' to 'Quality or Position', making the idea of exclusive doubtful. "Perceived quality is more important than real quality" was Valentino ex-CEO, Michele Norsa's comment, in 2007, to Dana Thomas (writer of Deluxe: How Luxury Lost It has the Lustre) about the change in the unique feature of the luxury brands today. In her book, Thomas describes the way the compromise on quality is becoming inevitable. While using big brands not being able to overlook the enticement of cheap and easy labour and development, countries such as India, Mexico and China have become the new manufacturing plant sites of luxury brands.

Another major danger to this industry is the booming dark market, where product duplicates come in this market a week into its kick off. (Degen, 2009) Though Gucci, Louis Vuitton and other luxury brands have instituted legal action against counterfeiting and the deal of counterfeit goods, avenue vendors in china and taiwan are still successfully offering their customers the promises of your 'original Gucci' for 1/8th the original price.

We also need to acknowledge the emergence of a totally new generation of clients (Booz & Co. , 2009) that consider professional quality over exclusivity. The emergence of "accessible premium brands" is a natural indication of the same. (Gidda, 2008) The high entry hurdle for the elite and exclusive brands has been lowered which is mentioned in the exemplory case of the success for Starbury, an emerging activities brand competing with Nike and Adidas, which gives style at 'value for money' prices. (ProQuest, 2008)

Being socially in charge is fast learning to be a cornerstone of intellectual snobbery, thus, there's been an addition to the ostentatious category of customers attempting to flaunt their matter for the population and environment. Brands such as Toyota (Prius) and YOUR BODY Shop have carved a distinct segment for themselves utilizing their environment friendliness as an enlargement to their exclusivity and this would soon provide them with an edge over other brands that haven't already started out thinking of being "socially responsible".

The threats mentioned previously are minute with regards to the successes. We acknowledge that there surely is a narrow range of these weakening the positions that these brands occupy soon.

Conclusion

Experiential marketing did well for the brands in conditions of getting attention, retaining consumers, and attaining a commendable market talk about and repute. Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Vertu have tapped the experiential marketing strategy to great success. The near future could only see these brands exploiting this strategy more, creating a more alternative and enriching experience, conversing directly to the wants and preferences with their audience.

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