Luxury Marketing in the Philippines

20 years ago, brands like Chanel, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Fendi, Versace, and Prada had no massive presence online. In fact, a lot of luxury brands avoid online marketing due to the need for exclusivity.

Most luxury brands and services believe that their branding would be affected if they started marketing online. Most luxury brands like Rolex and high-end cars use traditional marketing and choose to get featured in print magazines. But let’s face it, hardly anyone is buying magazines right now, the generation accustomed to browsing magazines have moved to popular social media sites and apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

If someone will claim right now that billionaires are not on Facebook or that the most influential people in the world right now are not using social media to observe patterns, news and trends then that is one of the biggest lies- everyone is already on social media regardless of social status, the ones who are not in it, are usually the ones that don’t match the requirements and needs of luxury brands anyway-

The elite society, and the most capable and influential people, world leaders, and the new rich- are all on social media, interacting and learning with one another. Social media, as they say is the greatest equalizer, on Facebook it doesn’t matter if you are a billionaire- what only matters is the content you post- and how relevant it is- in 2014, a Mckinsey report published an analysis forecasting that digital media influences at least 45% of all luxury sales.

High-end brands like Johnnie Walker, Chanel, Gucci, and Marriott has already embraced and created their presence online. However, only a few luxury brands in the Philippines has yet to establish proper rules of marketing and presence online.

In the world ranking index, currently, Gucci holds the title of the most popular luxury brand online in 2018. It remains one of the most visible luxury brands online, with an estimated 9.5 million searches per year. This data has encouraged others to follow suit. Most luxury brands are focusing their campaigns on Search engine optimization and for a good reason. Search Engine Optimization remains one of the most reliable ways to remain on top of the competition. Luxury brands that rank on specific keywords are almost guaranteed to make a sale. Simply, because not a lot of people would go the extra mile, to go to page 11.

SEO marketing is always about the essence of time and attention- something that is essential and the key to modern-day consumers who are absorbed online. SEO is a strategy employed to make sure that the luxury brand will dominate online, and combat competition. Brands who have a massive presence on Google will definitely gain more traffic and access to their shopping sites and even their physical showrooms.

Mindset of Luxury Consumers

Before embarking on luxury marketing online, a country where the strategy would be employed in must be researched first. For example, in the Philippines, targeted marketing is the key. Luxury brands no matter how sleek and good their online campaign is will not succeed with the wrong audience. It means, it is better to have 300 likes but with readers that come from well-to-do families and high net worth individuals, compared with 2 million likes and viewers composed of students who don’t have the ability whatsoever to purchase an expensive bag. With luxury marketing, studying and doing client profiling is the key.

Differentiate Utilitarian Products Vs. Hedonic

Before embarking on a full-scale luxury and high-end marketing in the Philippines. One must first consider the motivations of potential buyers. There is a big difference between marketing utilitarian goods and services online vs. hedonic goods. You cannot market an inexpensive soap and shampoo like you would a Gucci bag. Toothpaste, soaps as well as noodles and other basic things are sold differently.

Hedonistic products, on the other hand, are emotional and sensory products, people buy them because it means something, it makes them feel something. An expensive Adidas shoe is purchased not purely for the purpose of playing basketball in it, but for the prestige that it will give the owner. Most of the high-end rubber shoes that males buy are not even used – they are mostly kept as collector’s items and then later sold for a higher price. People buy designer watches like Rolex, not for daily use, but for high-end meetings where they need to make a good impression to business partners and clients, and for the sheer feeling of making it to the top.

High net worth individuals in the Philippines, can simply go to any high-end resort if they want, and stay there because they can afford it, but that is hardly an achievement if everyone is doing it. This is why some will go and select super expensive resorts even if it costs them a yearly membership of 1 million pesos or more like Balesin. It means clients go to these restaurants because they can gain something much more private and exclusive. It is not a regular experience, it also means, they get to meet people who are like them in stature. It doesn’t matter if the prices are exorbitant for as long as the value is justified with the range of personalized services and perks.

High-end resorts and hotels never use the word sale on their online marketing. They use other terms to hook clients and find much more creative words to offer additional perks rather than the world 50% off.

Affiliation, Power and Influence

Luxury goods should be sold using the right keywords, the right content. The words used should be able to relate to the mind of the buyer. People buy luxury brands to create a sense of belongingness. In the Philippines, if you are able to stay in the Manila Peninsula or Shangrila Hotels, then it means you are well to do- if you are able to own more than 5 expensive bags, then you are part of the clique- the elite society. It is an emotional experience for newly rich individuals to attend expensive balls and attend social events that require them to wear expensive items.

Applying the Science of Pleasure

High-end products and services in the Philippines like Alta Gift Basket offer supreme services. While anyone can just buy chocolates and wines and put it inside their baskets, no delivery service in the country has the ability to get the baskets delivered by a high-end celebrity- or influential person using a chopper or BMW car. It is not the chocolates nor the wine, rather the experience, the influence and the power of experiencing something that regular people are not able to attain are what makes different among others.

The pleasure and sensation as well as the impact and memory of having an influential person deliver you a special gift if the real product.- is the real anticipation pleasure, it serves the purpose of higher emotional needs. For example, you can buy a regular bag for daily use, but once you get a Prada or a Chanel bag, you gain an inner sense of respect and identity.

You are not simply going out with just any bag, you are in fact setting the bar higher but mingling and letting the world know that you are capable of a high-status accessory- it attributes power, not to mention high fashion sense.

Luxury brands take the time to Educate

Unlike typical brands, real high-end luxury brands take the time to educate. The social media pages and Pinterest pages are loaded with inner pages that explain the lifestyle and experiences behind using the product. There is an entire industry supporting it. Cheaper brands are easy to forget and don’t need intricate content, it is for easy consumption and doesn’t need careful analysis. Most cheap brands online just post a simple, general explanation and don’t go the extra mile to cater to their client’s needs.

A high-end brand will always offer something more. For example, a wicker basket is not just a simple wicker basket- rather a wicker basket contains the essence of the weavers, the fashion houses behind them. One piece of Chanel pants are not just pants, there is an entire history that goes with it. There is always a grand story behind, it is more than just spending on something mindlessly.

High-end marketing of baskets- would go to extra lengths of explaining how clients can determine the length and size of the basket they should buy- and if they are really targeting a really hard to target clientele, they would go to extra lengths of creating a creative shoot- and video that best explains what the products are for and how they can be used. It is the stories, the essence, more than the physical that people buy when it comes to luxury products.

Build User-Friendly, Stylish Websites

Today, minimalist websites that are easy to access and load faster is the key. Luxury brands need to establish sleek looking websites that are fast loading. It should not be confusing to navigate, instead it just a breeze to use. This is because the attention span of internet users is limited, you can lose them immediately if the website loads for a very long time. The user should be able to find what they are looking for immediately. The stylistic and creative designs could be reserved for videos and photo campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook. The website should be easy to navigate. The websites should be mobile friendly, visually stunning and very easy to use.

Take time to tell a Great Story

A great story lasts forever before you succeed in marketing a luxury brand you must first establish a great story. The Why before the How. Why do you exist, what is the motivation behind before explaining what you are able to do. Was the brand created to challenge the status quo? What is the essential values and core that the brand wants to imply making it necessary for the brand to exist? Use creative videos and visual images that present and highlight a good story. Explain the brand heritage, the roots, and the vision for the future-

Create A Meaningful Guide

Luxury brands need to create a helpful guide, in the Philippines and many parts of Asia, there is what we call the phenomenon of the new rich. People who are already capable of buying the brand, but still lost as to how they should go about collecting. Luxury brands must take the time to create intricate blogs and story blogs and videos- as well as guide tips on how to properly use the product and even take care of precious items. Vital tips on how they should take care of their Hermes bag investment or how they should properly drink their wine can signal care and concern for clients. It also leads to interesting conversations.

People will value it more if they understood intricate concepts about the brands that they are using. High-end brands take the time to explain, explore, educate, provide helpful guides and hints and don’t rely on outside media to dictate who they are. Luxury brands should instead dictate how the public should write about them and perceive them through customized in-house blogs and write-ups.

Supply content that will appeal to the client, give them something to talk about for the years to come. You can guide an entire guide on how to select the finest chocolates, or how to buy the best scotch or wines in the world.

Maintain Brand Exclusivity Online

Social media pages of Chanel, Prada, and Gucci on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are for education purposes. Despite being online it doesn’t mean that they are no longer exclusive. You cannot just order a Cartier ring, right off the bat right? Luxury brands and services are simply online as a reminder, a way for the clients to look as aspirational products like window shopping- once they are able to do so, they already know where to search, what guides to read. The information was already curated and handed out to them. Having a brand presence online also help you learn about target clientele, what words spark clients interest, what images present a stronger impact. Online luxury brands that have pages, install social media managers to observe and research. It is like having a dutiful agent, looking out for the brand, reporting the feedback so that the product creators would know how what products are highly favored.

Online blogs and content marketing, as well as videos, are high impact, they are much more effective now than ads on TV or radio due to the sheer number of people seeing them on a daily basis. Also, brands who are worried about their exclusivity being affected can start private member groups and concierge services, as well as digitally delivered perks that are not available to the masses. An exclusive email list could also be established, with exclusive newsletters that loyal customers can enjoy. In the present time, most luxury brands in the Philippines are just using Digital media for awareness, but later on as technological advancements and artificial intelligence progresses- the user experience online will definitely be upgraded.

Moola Forum 2019

Philippine Luxury Meet-Up Event Manila

Philippine Luxury Meetup – July 2019 is a Local Luxury Meetup in the Philippines that will feature official announcement about the “Philippine Luxury Conference 2019” and Q&A portion with Moola Forum regarding the Luxury Conferences in Asia as well as the International Luxury Conferences worldwide.

This 4-hour meetup also features meeting with different luxury lifestyle consultants and private wealth advisers to high net-worth individuals in the Philippines, representatives from various luxury brands, founders and owners of new luxury providers, luxury marketers, and HNWIs.

Who should attend?

Our luxury events are always attended by high-net-worth individuals in Asia and/or their luxury lifestyle consultants and private wealth advisers, affiliate luxury marketers, executives of the top corporations, serial entrepreneurs, private equity providers, venture capitalists, investment bankers, and angel investors.

If you work in advertising and marketing for these industries, you should attend Philippine Luxury Meetup – July 2019:

  • Personal Luxury Goods
    • Luxury Fashion
    • Luxury Jewelry
    • Luxury Beauty
  • Luxury Cars
  • Luxury Hospitality
  • Fine Wines & Spirits
  • Gourmet Food & Fine Dining
  • Fine Art
  • Design Furniture and Housewares
  • Private Jets, Choppers, Yachts
  • Private Security (Executive Protection) for Executives & Families
  • Business Technology for Executives

Hosted By

Moola Forum Moderators

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