DTDIY SPECIAL THE 'HOW TO' ISSUE 2012
How to 'Build a Successful Luxury Brand'
The basic principle for companies to build a powerful luxury brand is to identify a niche segment of affluent customers and devise offerings that are valued by those customers, says Manishi Sanwal, the man heading the marketing operations of LVMH’s watch and jewellery division in India
Angshuman Paul | Issue Date - 03/02/2012
Q. Over the last two years, Tag Heuer has forayed into new segments. Won’t such brand extensions dilute your brand-equity as a luxury watch brand?
A. Even though Tag Heuer has forayed into several new segments, we have made sure that the promotion and marketing strategy for all these new products match the brand-legacy of Tag Heuer. Besides, what also enhances Tag Heuer’s brand equity is the fact that all our products are only available at Tag Heuer showrooms and this ensures that there is no dilution of our brand equity.
Q. So what are the time proven principles for creating a luxury brand?
A. Luxury brands are built on the premise of offering high symbolic value to a very selective segment of consumers who are more focused on high status associations than the underlying price. As such, the basic principle for companies to build a powerful luxury brand is to identify a niche segment of affluent customers and devise offerings that are valued by those customers. For instance, there's definitely a market for luxury products in tier I and tier II cities in India, but the problem is that the consumers in these cities are still not aware of several luxury brands.
Q. Do you think brand awareness can be spread through promotional plans?
A. Sure, and that's the reason why we have always had a 360 degree promotional plan for all of our new launches. Then our brand ambassador SRK also has a mass appeal so he is also a way to promote our brands. Further, retailing through your own stores also gives you an ample opportunity for promotion.
Q. It’s said that one of the biggest challenge for luxury brands in India is to choose the right media for advertising as the market is flooded with several communication channels. How can one overcome this problem?
A. You need to have a brilliant media mix. Further, the creatives and messages should not be uniform, they should change according to the media. The reason is simple – the objective of buying a luxury brand varies from person to person.
Q. What has been the biggest challenge for you as a marketer of a luxury brand?
A. I think cities like Mumbai and Delhi are becoming more international and closer to global trends. So our customers are demanding international services. For instance, if a product launch is slated to take place in London, our customers in India demand that it should simultaneously happen in Delhi and Mumbai. But at times we cannot offer the same class of facilities here that we can offer in places like London. Like Formula 1 racing car event recently happened in this country and we had some promotional plans coinciding with the event, but we can not do it the way we do it in Europe.