Vineet Mehra

Bill D'Arienzo, U.S. Strategy Advisor- Ambrosetti; Sarah Long CMO Americas- Rémy Cointreau; Greg Furman, CEO-The Luxury Marketing Council; Jeff Moore, President- Elite Traveler Media Group; Francois-Olivier Luiggi, General Manager-The Pierre, A Taj Hotel.

Trendsetters: Luxury Marketers Talk Data, Content, and Unlocking the DNA of a Brand

Ask Francois-Olivier Luiggi, General Manager of the Taj's Pierre Hotel, what he's learned from his 2017 marketing at the half-year mark, and he'll tell you: "The new intelligence is understanding your own data."  

Sarah Long, CMO– Americas for Rémy Cointreau, admits that super luxury is doing well.  "Consumers who choose super lux," she says, "want to better experience these brands through engagement that's personal and relevant."

These are just two of the perspectives shared by marketers at "2017 Mid-Year Temperature Taking- the Year So Far, the Year to Come," a panel discussion and reception hosted by the Luxury Marketing Council. 

While the luxury category spans a wide range of sectors and products, most of these brands are finding that 2017 is shaping up to be a complex year with mixed signals for economic growth.

According to the Luxury Marketing Council, traditional brand loyalty is waning as the best luxury buyers become more discerning and demanding. Online buying and social media continue to challenge brands to be more innovative in their marketing.  Public pressure on luxury brands focuses on "giving back," while also keeping a sharp eye on manufacturing, environmental issues, and corporate citizenship practices.

Total luxury spending surpassed 1 trillion euros at the end of 2015, led by strong growth in the sales of luxury cars, fine art and prestige hotel stays, according to consultancy Bain & Company.  However, the "new normal" for the luxury market is growth of 3% to 4%. Even so, the top one percent of consumers are spending at unprecedented rates, causing top luxury brands to aggressively focus on marketing to the needs of their very best customers, rather than aspirational ones who are spending more cautiously.

While discussing the health of the super-luxury market, Sarah Long cited Rémy Cointreau's brand- The Botanist Gin®, the first and only Islay dry gin with 22 hand-foraged botanicals. Interested consumers want to know about art and the philosophy of this new spirit, first distilled in 2011.  "We bring the brand to life through meaningful conversation that's compelling, so that The Botanist can be understood, not pushed.  Our customers want to know the brand DNA through academies, mixologists and distillery visits.  Even through native content and influencers, our goal is to always be authentic."

Panelist Bill D'Arienzo, author of Brand Management Strategies: Luxury and Mass Markets, underscored how Rémy Cointreau's Sarah Long confirmed a global dynamic.  "Brand Storytelling," he said, "is critical to Millennials who want to connect.  They feel they want to participate in the brand story—How is it made?  Who is making it?  Not only does this add to the authenticity of the brand, but it suggests a different way to relate to brands.  And with storytelling comes story listening… a new marketing skill set that can reconstruct a brand story for new consumers."

Bill D'Arienzo also noted that the comment by The Pierre's Francois-Olivier Luiggi about understanding your own data is critical in many ways.  "Brands today are oversaturated with information and have an enormous capability to generate data.  Technology is ahead of people's ability to manage."  D'Arienzo stresses that brands shouldn't underestimate the power of emotion, particularly the emotional power of good content to connect with people.  While data aggregates numbers, brands should work to insure that the granularity of the individuals they serve should not be erased.  

Francois-Olivier Luiggi closed the session by stating that "excess is over."  In the luxury hotel business, obsessing about "1000 thread-count sheets is gone."  He said, "What luxury brands need is a story.  Hotels are experiential.  My advice is to simply focus on the customer and their needs.  Forget the data mountains.  When I need to understand something to improve my marketing or my brand, I go to the lobby and talk to a guest."


Like us on Facebook

See the current issue
of The Internationalist magazine

Find out how to sponsor an issue of Trendsetters


Tumblr Email LinkedIn Facebook Twitter