Meet Katrina James A Photographer with an Artistic Flair Cover

Meet Katrina James: A Photographer with an Artistic Flair

Meet Katrina James, an expert par excellence with 12 years of experience in the field she loves – photography. A wish to change the world led her to take up environmental science but soon she understood that it was through the lens that she can really initiate a change – a change in the way people perceive the world. Be it product photography or portraits, nature or events, her works stand apart due to the sheer happiness they exude. Having worked with the big names in the luxury world, she shares her insight into what she loves the most – photography!

As a woman who grew up in Australia, where should our readers make sure to visit?

Australia is full of stunning scenery, the most memorable holiday till this day is when my parents took me out of school for a month and we took a trip through the outback, it was life changing to me and I think that’s where my curiosity for travel started, the landscape was breath taking. I would highly recommend a visit.

You are currently shooting events and music festivals around the world.  Where are you off to next?

Next stop is Bali to photograph (and participate in) a yoga and meditation retreat in Ubud.

There are stunning portraits on your webpage.  What do you do to help your subjects relax?

Thank you. I treat my portrait sessions as if I was going to meet a friend for coffee sometimes it can be 30 minutes before I even bring out my camera, I love people and hearing their stories is such a treat for me so I try and create a feeling where my subjects feel like they matter to me, which they very much do.

 

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What photo shoot have you been most nervous for?  What did you do to relax?

I was pretty nervous to photograph the Australian foreign minister Bob Carr when he visited Berlin, I got to spend the day following him around Berlin as he met with German politicians, it was a really fascinating experience for me as politics is very far away from my world and there was a lot of protocol I didn’t know anything about.  To be honest I don’t think I relaxed until the day was over.

 

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What is the most important question to ask a photographer that you are thinking of hiring?

I can’t think of one specific question, however I do think it is important to really brief your photographer and give them as much information as possible about what you are expecting of their photography.

What things should the photographer you hired be doing?

Before the event they should be talking to you, asking questions about what is important to you, is there a particular detail that means something to you? How do you plan to use the photographs?

At the event they should be enjoying themselves, they should be making sure they get all the required shots as well as shooting some creative or interesting shots.

 

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What is the best way for a client to help you understand their brand?

It’s really important to talk to your photographer about where you have come from and your future goals, how you see the photos being used and who your audience are.

What makes marketing photography different from other photography that you have done?

Marketing photography is a little different because you need to capture a product or service in its best light. You need to use images to tell a clients story and to make a viewer want to be part of that story.

 

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Can you give an example of how you can use photography to tell a story?

My imagery is all about stories and I hope that each image creates its own story. I recently shot a job for a jewellery designer where I captured images that told the story of her work day, from meeting with her team to spending the afternoon cruising on her boat, the images really help people to connect to you and your brand.

Since we love travel here, can you tell us about your favorite place to take pictures?

For the pure beauty of it Cape Town is a wonderful place to take photos, the light there is incredible it’s the kind of light that moves me to tears, the landscapes are such a contrast from beautiful beaches to dry sand plains and the people are just wonderful.  

 

 

 

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Get in touch with Katrina James via email at katrina@katrina-james.com or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. Or, we could introduce you, just reach out to us!

 


Ten Great Superyacht Blogs To Follow

For yachting enthusiasts who want to keep up to date with everything going on with the world’s most luxury yachts and hottest yachting events, there are several premier superyacht blogs designed to provide insight into this exclusive world. If you are looking to stay up to date with recent news and events, or simply be ‘in the know’ about some of the world’s finest yachts for charter, these are the superyacht blogs to turn to.

 

Charterfleet

Deemed the “essential guide to luxury yacht charters,” this publication touches on everything from the world’s most beautiful yachts, to premier charter destinations, and can even help those interested in yachting learn how to get started. This publication is part of the Boat International Media family, which produces more than 1.4 million magazines to more than 57 countries every year.

 

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SuperYacht Times

SuperYacht Times is the brainchild of several yachting enthusiasts who strive to keep the enthusiasts updated on all of the latest happenings within the superyacht community.  With two publications under their belt, this new, yet thriving publication is becoming the authority on all things yachting.

 

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CharterWorld

The goal of CharterWorld is a simple one, to deliver insight on the best available charter yachts from around the globe. While based in the UK, the company has a massive global reach and offices across the world.

 

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SuperYachts

With a tagline that simply states “luxury yachting and lifestyle,” it is safe to assume this web magazine encompasses all things related to the superyachting way of life. With everything from a broker service, to news and events and articles on lifestyle and luxury this publication aims to keep yachting enthusiasts informed of everything going on in this industry.

 

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SuperYacht World

This publication calls itself the “global magazine for superyacht owners.” In addition to finding the paper editions of this publication in luxury locations, those who are interested in the digital edition of the magazine will be able to subscribe to the SuperYacht World digital edition.

 

 

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Yachting Magazine

The Yachting Magazine covers all types of topics from yachting life, seamanship and boating safety. The magazine is part of the Bonnier Marine Group Network. In addition to their digital publication, the magazine also offers newsletters and other resources for those looking to stay up to date with the yachting world.

 

 

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Boat International

After launching a successful website as a source for boating enthusiasts, Boat International launched their own magazine. The new publication is available in print form, digital edition or can be downloaded through its own iPad app.

 

 

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Yacht Charter Fleet

If you are interested in the luxury yachting experience, then the Yacht Charter Fleet publication is your key to opening up the world of private, luxury yachts. With an active social media outreach and free newsletters accompanying their publication, this web magazine is one of the most comprehensive guides to the world of yachting.

 

 

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MegaYacht News

The online magazine Mega Yacht News is a trusted source for information not only on megayachts but on yacht builders, designers and owners. This independent web magazine is devoted specifically to American owners and buyers.

 

 

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Yachting fans who are interested in immersing themselves in the culture of this luxury community will find that these superyacht blogs are the leading resources for information on the superyacht world.

 

 


Top 10 Luxury Research Firms

Luxury research firms provide high-end brands and companies with the data analyses and advice they need to effectively market their elite services and goods to an affluent market. Information is gained from regular comprehensive research and then relayed to the luxury industry in the form of business insight. We have compiled a list of the top 10 luxury research brands (in no particular order):

 

Wealth-X
Wealth-X has the largest collection of research on the world’s ultra high net-worth (UHNW) individuals. It is a wealth intelligence firm with offices in five continents.

 

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Affluential
Affluential is a platform for research and advice regarding luxury brand management, luxury service design and affluent consumption. They provide unique and innovative seminars and executive education programs by world-class experts in luxury.

 

 

Affluential

 

 

Luxury Institute
Luxury Institute is a research and consulting firm that assists top-tier luxury brands and start-ups to establish themselves as highly profitable enterprises.

 

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Unity Marketing
Unity Marketing is a boutique marketing consulting firm, the brainchild of luxury expert Pamela N. Danziger. The focus is on providing business insight with regards to affluent consumers.

 

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L2 Think Tank
L2 provides business intelligence in respect of the digital competence and performance of brands.

 

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The Boston Consulting Group
The BCG is an international management consulting firm. They provide their clients with advice on business strategies to identify the best opportunities, address their challenges, and transform their enterprises.

 

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Euromonitor
Euromonitor has comprehensive research on the luxury goods industry throughout the world. Industry trends are monitored and analyzed, including market share and market size data. They provide companies with the knowledge that informs effective business strategies.

 

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American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group
American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group have formed a partnership in the form of Luxury Market Insights. They specialize in all things related to addressing an affluent audience: research, consulting, analysis and marketing capabilities. Using the Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, they provide companies with the insight and tools to attract affluent consumers.

 

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Shullman Research Center
The Shullman Research Center is a marketing research and consulting firm that deals specifically with luxury, wealthy and affluent consumers. They provide invaluable insight and data regarding this sector for senior marketers.

 

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Ledbury Research
Ledbury Research conducts market research for the world’s most celebrated brands. They specialize in providing insight about high net-worth individuals for the most prestigious brands.

 

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Luxury Expert Spotlight: Doug Gollan of Elite Traveler Media

Behind every great luxury blog, you will find a great story. Luxury bloggers are real people, not machines, and to successfully work with them, we recommend you get to know them a little better. Through our years at LuxeInACity, we have talked, collaborated and exchanged ideas with dozens of great bloggers from around the world.

Since bloggers rarely talk about themselves – they tend to talk about everyone else instead – we hope to showcase their skills, expertises and opinions in this blog series.

Get to know them, learn from them and hopefully you will find an innovative way to collaborate with them.

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Today's blogger is Doug Gollan the Group President and co-founder of Elite Traveler Media Group, a pioneer in media targeting the global Ultra High Net Worth consumer. He is co-author of "The Sky's the Limit" and a contributor to Luxury Society. He is considered an expert on the super rich and their lifestyle habits. He has been referenced on NBC, CNBC, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is a member of The Luxury Marketing Council and has participated in Northwestern University's "Future of Luxury" think tank and has been a guest lecturer at New York University's Stern School of Business. His blog Douggollan.com  highlights opportunities for luxury marketers to sell more to the ever growing global Super Rich.

 

 

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Every luxury expert has a different story on how they got started in the industry. What is yours?

"It was 2000 and I was running a $30 million dollar group of trade magazines in the travel industry vertical catering to travel agents. Our flagship Travel Agent magazine was a weekly and was large enough to be ranked by Advertising Age as one of the Top 10 magazines in the country by ad pages. Our former owner like many of the wealthy was unhappy with the deteriorating service level of the U.S. domestic airlines.  He had switched his travels to private jets.  Coming from the publishing industry, he noticed that while the passengers on private jets were rich, most of the magazines were targeted to the pilots and the only consumer reading material readily available was local newspapers and magazines, which were sporadic at best.

With my B2B experience in controlled circulation, I knew if we could figure out the distribution, and put together a product that appealed to these folks, we would have a unique and desirable audience.  I was ready for a new challenge and wanted to expand  my knowledge beyond travel, so it seemed like a good idea.  I convinced my colleague who was running sales to jump with me, he did, and we are still at it nearly 15 years later."

 

Tell us about Elite Traveler. Who is your core audience and what marketing opportunities do you offer luxury brands?

"Elite Traveler is positioned as the private jet lifestyle magazine. You now have the private jet, we are about everything else you might enjoy.  We are the first and only publisher to claim private jet distribution and have it successfully audited by a third party on an ongoing basis, in our case BPA.  We have an audience of over 400,000 readers every issue with a Household Income of $1 million or more, about 10 times more than other publications such as Robb Report, Town & Country or Departures.  We have a beautiful magazine, but others have nice magazines too.  The simple difference is our distribution puts Elite Traveler in front of Ultra High Net Worth consumers, whereas others rely on charge card databases, subscriptions and newsstand meaning their audiences are necessarily more mass. 

We have multi-platform marketing opportunities ranging from Elitetraveler.com, with over 300,000 unique visitors per month to Elite Traveler TV, our web based television channel and a global database of private jet owners.  We have private events during events such as the Monaco Yacht Show and Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show where we have readers from around the world.  I think the last point is our distribution is global – we are in over 100 countries, from Nigeria to China to Brazil to Russia. We like to say wherever in the world you’re from, wherever in the world you happen to be, if you fly by private jet Elite Traveler is with you.  In other words, we reach this hard to reach audience. 

In the luxury business, you never know where your next top customer is coming from, or where he or she happens to be today.  Our distribution covers that for our partners making sure they are always in front of them.  Our two month publishing cycle adds value and shelf life."

 

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In what ways has your publication changed over the years? And how has your publication remained successful in light of competing digital magazines?

"When we launched in 2001 we were ahead of the curve in terms of making our information accessible, understanding that our readers were on their private jet, sharing the magazine with friends and family.  We utilize our oversize format with lots of pictures. We are the only magazine in the world that is regularly featuring top suites as opposed to just the generic hotel, but then again, our readers are the folks who are spending $1,000 to $40,000 per night to stay in these places. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

We put in contact information with the name, phone number and email of a hotel general manager or the name of the manager of a boutique featuring the watch or handbag we are writing about.  We use award winning writers and reporters, but challenge them to write in a short-form format realizing time is money. We give you the names of top guides in the places we write about. We give you the names of the manager of the restaurant with the hot table. We are like a friend to our reader, telling our reader, “If you want this bracelet, make sure to ask for Janet and use my name.  She’ll take good care of you.”  

Our format doesn’t have jumps. We follow a format that makes it easy for regular readers to find what they are looking for and our size and heavy paper re-enforce the private jet lifestyle image.  I think a lot of luxury magazines talk to their readers like the storekeeper in Pretty Woman.  We recognize 90 percent of UHNWs are self-made.  They are not buying the products we cover as validation. They are buying them because they want them.  Knowing our readers are the movers and shakers of the world, people who made innovations that changed millions of peoples lives, heads of state and even royalty, top celebrities and sports stars makes us very humble that they read our magazine!"

 

What do you think is the future for print publications, as compared to digital alternatives?

"Richard Branson said the magazine business hasn’t changed its circulation model in 150 years.  Our model of getting the magazine to private jets is different.  We figured out a new way to slice bread, so for what we do I think the sky’s the limit, pardon the pun.  Since the recession, and the end of free money from credit cards and home loans for the mass affluent consumer, marketers of luxury products are more focusing on wanting to reach people who can buy their products regularly, or heavy users in ad speak.  We reach more of this target with less waste than any publisher in the world.  I’m happy to repeat that, but if you look across the business world innovation rarely comes from incumbents. The fact that we were new to consumer publishing enabled us to create a model that the big players missed.  It’s truly amazing.  Advertisers challenge their media partners to come up with a big idea. That’s what we do every day – bringing our partners to the laps of the richest and most influential people in the world on their private jets.  It’s very exciting and fulfilling!"

 

How has the world of social media affected print publications? And what is your strategy when it comes to social media?

We are active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  We have over 25,000 followers.  I think it’s hard to tell what percentage are UHNWs vs. regular folks who want to get a glimpse of the private jet lifestyle.  I can’t say it’s something we do better or worse than lots of others.  We like to observe.  I guess the best way to put it is I think Mark Zuckerberg can rest easy.

 

Many print magazines have established relationships with bloggers. How does this benefit both parties?

It’s not something we have done yet, however it’s something we are looking at.  David Ogilvy once said it takes around a dozen impressions to get the notice of a consumer.  We want to create as many touch points as possible with our readers, yet we also know that it’s impossible to be great at everything.  We don’t believe in vaporware, so we don’t like to dive into things until we know how to make them work for what we do, yet we also know there are bloggers who develop a very loyal following.  I guess the best answer is watch this space.

 

What do you think constitutes a successful marketing campaign? And what are some examples of successful campaigns that have featured in your publication?

Magazines are first and foremost best for awareness and branding.  Today in the luxury market, in virtually every segment - watches, jewelry, auto, fashion, hotels, shelter - there is product overload, meaning creating awareness of what you do and what you offer is more important than ever. Today’s Super Rich are self made and didn’t grow up with luxury brands.  They may know the brand names, but they know a lot less about the products than luxury marketers believe.

Regularly we have advertisers who track sales of jewelry sales in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and real estate in the millions sold directly from the magazine.  We have had presidents of countries spend $500,000 booking a floor of suites after reading about it in Elite Traveler.  We have had royalty place million dollar orders for watches after seeing an ad in our magazine. These are people you can’t reach through credit card databases and you will never get to come to a boutique opening for a free glass of champagne, yet each issue we have over 400,000 readers like this. Yet it is hard to track every sale. 

We also tracked millions of dollars in transactions for watches, jewelry and accessories ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, which for the normal person is a big deal, but for our readers regular shopping. Every CFO will put my picture on the dartboard, but I believe that the overweighting of ROI takes away for the need that luxury companies need to spend more money creating awareness of their ever-growing line of products.  As an example, it wasn’t too long ago Montblanc only made pens, now they wave accessories, watches, jewelry and so on.  Do the super really rich know what you are selling?  I often find sales reps for luxury brands have trouble keeping up with their own product lines.

 

 

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You also blog on a regular basis. What is your main goal as a blogger?

I think the UHNW segment is underinvested by luxury marketers.  The idea that you bring somebody into the brand through accessible price points such as fragrance and one day they become a billionaire and buy $100,000 necklaces is a fallacy.  Today – globally – the best prospects for luxury companies know less about what these companies are selling than the junior manager sitting in her cube flipping through Vogue.  The UHNWs made their money many times in some mundane industry.  They figured out a better way to make widgets.  Chances are they came from a middle class or even impoverished household. Look at Larry Ellison or Lewis Katz. Their early years were spent borrowing money from relatives and using credit cards to invest in their business, not taking fancy vacations.  Their spouse and children probably worked in the business as well.  Now they are rich and they know less about your brand than you think.  It’s a great opportunity, and all research out there shows the rich are getting richer. 

The top 1 percent are going to become the core segment successful luxury brands need to build loyalty with.  The next 9 percent are going to more and more buy less and less in luxury and will increasingly gravitate towards ‘look for less’ solutions.  My blog is about my passion for highlighting the UHNW market and the marketing opportunities.  I also love the spending by UHNWs creates jobs for entrepreneurs and folks who are trying to make ends meet.  When an UHNW has a $3 million party, the money goes to the waiters, bartenders, florists, security guards, black car drivers, those freelancers who support the entertainers, the venue designers, the construction workers who build out the venue, on and on and on.

 

Anything else you want to share with us?

When you love what you do, it’s not a job.  It’s been said again and again, but I can attest it’s true.

 

If interested to collaborate with Doug Gollan or the Elite Traveler Media Group, reach out through social media on Twitter at @EliteTravelerDG or on Google + at +DougGollan or once again, don't hesitate to ask us for an introduction.


MTRIP-Building-a-Travel-App-White-Label-Style

MTRIP: Building a Travel App White Label Style

mTrip is an intelligent travel guide that is completely customizable for the travel and tourism industry. It’s perfect for luxury hotels, tourism boards and tourist agencies. The white label apps provide extensive publicity for your brand, your hotel, or your destination, all whilst acting as an expert tour guide for your visitors and guests.

Utilizing a white label product makes sense on many levels. You can reduce your costs by taking advantage of another company’s technology. You won’t have to invest in creating new technology, developing the infrastructure, developing the product and hiring additional employees. At the same time, there are so many benefits for your brand as well as your clients and customers.

 

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The mTrip app for hotels and resorts provides a 24/7 virtual concierge service that assists guests with hotel amenities and facilities, special offers, bookings, and other related services. It also acts as a local travel guide, providing guests with itineraries and information about local restaurants, attractions, etc. This app also features complete offline map and navigation so users can find their way around without paying roaming fees. Receive even more publicity for your establishment as guests post their photos and journal their trip on Facebook.

Tourism boards can customize the app to incorporate an unlimited amount of tourism content. It also provides visitors with daily itineraries and complete offline use of maps and navigation services to avoid roaming costs. This is a great way to enhance your marketing and boost sales because the app maximizes the visibility of your destination and generates revenue.

The mTrip app is also ideal for tour operators and travel agencies. The app can provide an itinerary, including all the necessary details about transportation, accommodation, tours, activities, etc. It includes content rich travel guides that provide your clients with everything they need to know about a destination. While offline, clients can view their itinerary and travel guide, as well as use the maps and turn-by-turn navigation. Your business will receive even more exposure as clients post photos, status updates about their trip and more on Facebook.

All in all, the mTrip is the ideal white label app for all tourism and travel professionals who want to take their brand and their destination to the next level.

 


Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands

Effective Digital Marketing for Luxury Brands

The word ‘Luxury’ is being used very loosely these days. It seems it is now important to start working on redefining it so that most mundane products will stop receiving the status of luxury items and mere functional will stop being touted as phenomenal.

With the reuse and abuse of the word luxury, it is important for marketers to know that marketing a luxury brand is not only about setting the highest price for its products or making it beyond the reach of people. Besides the pricing and the advertising, effective marketing of luxury brands involves a lot many concepts.

Marketers of luxury brands, rather than aping the successful digital marketing strategies of other brands should concentrate on developing multilevel and multichannel strategies that suit their individual products and brand identities. Moreover, what works for a single product or a brand, might not be completely successful for other brands. While luxury brands strive to be seen as unique and distinct, their digital marketing efforts should also be unique and individualistic, to be successful.

 

Being Seen On Multiple Channels Is the Key

Until a few decades ago, marketers used a single concept to market their products. Sometimes using a single tagline or even a single word, marketers were able to push their products into the market. However, the times have changed and, unless you are marketing automobiles or beer, you have to be seen on multiple channels to compete in this competitive market.

From a supplier, the luxury brand marketer has gone on to become a receiver; opening various doors of customer communication and relationships. Marketers, these days, have to be ready for the communication, ideas exchange and create unique experiences to clients. Nowadays, customers are searching the internet for products and ideas; it is imperative that luxury brands position themselves as a viable online brand as well.

 

Focus on Customer Loyalty

When building the perfect digital marketing strategy for marketing luxury brands, one must take into account brand loyalty and customer loyalty as well. Customers who are loyal to brands advertise your brand effectively; they bond deeply with the brand and tell the rest of the world about its virtues. In addition to concentrating on customer awareness, sampling, trail and purchase, marketers of luxury brands should also take into account brand advocates. Brand advocates are passionate believers in a brand. So, as a luxury brand marketing strategy, it is important to encourage brand advocates, create ways to improve communication between brand advocates and others and try to create new advocates.

 

Connect With People Who Visit You

Using a number of free analytical tools such as Google Analytics, it is possible to connect with people who visited your website. You can easily follow these visitors to your site, regardless of where in the world they are from, you can accurately know the time they spent on your site, the places they meandered to, the products they searched for, the products they best liked, and more. So, when they eventually come back to your website, you will be better equipped to handle these returning visitors with better choices and better strategies to convert these casual visitors into sales.

In addition to these points, to be able to portray your brand as a unique luxury brand, you have to create an online identity that reflects your brand’s offline signature style. Everything from visual elements, graphics, colors, typography and more should be able to enhance motivation of customers and eventually turn visitors into customers.

 

 


Affluential

Luxury Spotlight: Ali Mirza of Affluential.com

As the managing director of  Affluential.com, the World’s First DIY online survey platform for brands to reach affluent consumers, Ali Mirza gets a rare insight and a lot of privileged information on the habits and behavior of the affluent community. This is probably why his personal definition of luxury is spot on - ""Luxury is the ability to make choices and the time to enjoy them." 
 
Although we haven't had the opportunity to try Affluential's services as of yet, we strongly believe that we will eventually opt in. Affluential's offering is unique, targeted and  can be adapted to any level of budget. Why pay for more than what you truly need.
 
To educate our readers, and to learn more about the services ourselves, we asked Ali to answer a few questions. If you are curious about how to best start your own luxury research, read below to find out if Affluential is what you have been waiting for.

 

Can you give us a brief overview of the different services offered by Agility?
"Agility is a full service research and consulting firm that provides a suite of solutions to help brands and marketers gain insights into their consumers, increase marketshare and compete effectively. We offer both qualitative solutions such as Mystery shopping, Focus Groups and quant based solutions such as customer satisfaction, market entry and positioning studies, brand studies etc. In addition we have a full range of syndicated research reports that we produce called the Agility Affluent Insights Service as well as a dedicated social media practice that studies how consumers engage with luxury brands through various platforms."

 

Agitily Research & Strategy
 
You recently launched Affluential.com, a do-it-yourself research platform for luxury brands, tell us about it.

"Affluential.com is the World’s First DIY online survey platform for brands to reach affluent consumers. We have a panel of 38 million respondents across 20 markets and growing. This is a great tool for marketers to get fast results ( less than a week) at a low price point as we bring the entire reach within fingertips of our extensive panel for quick dip stick research. We build our panel through partnering and sourcing opt ins from top tier credit card holders, frequent flyer programs, country club memberships, CEO databases to name a few. Our panel members are incentivized through rewards, cash vouchers, donations to their causes and invitations to unique events held by Agility. We have a large panel quality team that screens and verifies our database through various means such as finger print technology, address and home verification, car ownership to ensure our Affluent respondents are truly Affluent."

 

Affluential

 

What are the most promising markets for Affluential and why do you think this is?

"Many markets in Asia are fast growing with a large population in the age group of 18-35, we call this Generation AAA, Affluent, Ambitious and Aspiring. They are increasingly educated, upwardly mobile and with a large propensity to consume. As such China, India, Indonesia, the US, Brazil, Russia, Vietnam all fall under high growth markets."
 
In your own terms, what is the definition of Affluent?

"Here we have different income levels that define Affluent by household income. Typically we look at the top 25% of household income for Affluent and establish various income levels by country. We also look at the Mass Affluent which is top 40% of household income."
 
In terms of purchasing behaviors, how does an Affluent consumer differ from the Middle Class consumer?

"An Affluent consumer generally has higher discretionary spend and as such is more prone to making emotional decisions on purchasing than a Middle Class Consumer. The research is extensive and their path to purchase is very different, especially if you add cultural differences to the mix. For example the Affluent consumer in China wants to “show off” with their purchases more than say the Dutch Affluent consumer. We have developed a unique framework called the Six Dimensions of Luxury through which we look at purchasing against factors such as willingness to reward oneself and looking for uniqueness."

 

How has the demands of Affluent consumer towards luxury brands changed in the last twelve months?

"Affluent Consumers have a large choice of brands and products to choose from. Given their interaction with various media and engagement channels, these consumers are more discerning in their purchase behaviour. They work hard so they demand the best whether it be in their hotel, their choice of shoes or watches. There is also an increasing move towards uniqueness and customization in their choice of brand. The Lady Boss in Shanghai doesn’t want the same bag as her secretary who already has saved up for the latest brand for example."

 

If you had to give one piece of advice to an emerging luxury brand on how to reach to the Affluent, what would it be?

"Do your homework, too many times brands, especially luxury brands who feel they know everything about their consumer get burnt in new markets. The landscape is changing drastically with social media and new platforms, brands need to know who their consumers are today and who are likely to be their consumers tomorrow. These many be very different from the current view they have. Insights that are timely and relevant will be critical for them to grow share of wallet."

 

Can you give us a tip on what will be on the Affluent WishlistTM for the 2014 Holiday season?

"Based on our research, handbags, watches, spa vouchers, premium alcohol brands and gadgets/tablets will figure high on affluent shopping wish lists."

 
Tell us a little more about the Generation AAA and why luxury brands should take notice?
"Agility we have studied in great detail the new Generation to dominate the Asian landscape, Generation AAA. They are young – aged between 18 to 34. They dominate markets like China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. They have the financial power and the 'attitudinal and behavioural propensity’ tobuy mid- to premium-priced brands. They are the super lucrative segment of the middle class – now and in the years to come.
Aspirational
They aspire for brands that represent who they are and their achievements in life
Ambitious
They know what they want from life and from brands. They have ambition and drive to succeed and taste the best life has to offer
Affluent
They are driven to acquire and achieve– this segment will form the new affluent consumer group in the near future"

 
 
Is social media important for Agility? If so, what is the most effective content to engage your users?

"This is extremely important for Agility and also for the brands we cover. Given the large number of consumers especially in Asia who are on mobile devices and tablets. These consumers are engaging heavily through social media platforms, twitter,Instagram, facebook, Wechat and customized Chinese and local language platforms. A one size fits all will never work in a varied markets where different strategies need to be in place to capture a local market audience. For Agility we need to do research on research, as such our latest insights need to get a large distribution curve. Social media helps us gaining a larger geographic footprint than say local media would achieve."
 
In your opinion, which social media channel does the Affluent audience interact with the most?

"At present this would be still be print magazines focussed on Affluent brands, luxury websites and platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram."

 
What is your take on press releases? Do you find them effective to spread your news?

"If the research is truly unique and the findings relevant and timely, yes they do work and have worked for us in the past."

 

What about bloggers? Do you consider them influential in the eyes of the Affluent marketplace? If so, how do you establish relationships with them to make sure they spread your news?

"Absolutely, as more people tune into social media and opinion leaders, these bloggers are extremely useful to get noticed in a crowded digital market. We share our latest research pieces with these bloggers who in turn use the content in their own blogs citing us as a source."

 

Anything else you want to share with us?

"An important aspect that is sometimes forgotten and overlooked is that luxury consumption should also be viewed with Corporate Social responsibility and environmental impact evaluation. Consumers need to be the voice that shape how brands and companies interact with their environment and society. Luxury has to have a social benefit too for the many underprivileged who still lack basic amenities such as water and shelter. For them these are luxuries."

 
 
If you need any more information about Agility or Affluential, don't hesitate to reach out to Ali Mirza of Affluential.com via email at contact@affluential.com, by phone at (U.S) +1 408 520 9406 , (U.K) +44 20 3289 6213 or (SG) +65 6396 6832 or through us. We are more than happy to make the introduction.


What is a Luxury Brand

What Is A Luxury Brand?

Even a cursory glance through a fashion and lifestyle magazine will give you a glimpse of what is commonly referred to as a luxury brand. Image of shiny goodies in perfect little boxes or couture dresses that look too perfect to be true line pages after pages of eye-candy in these glossy magazines. In front of such a pleasant palette of goods, one has to ask oneself if these brands are true luxury brands or simply a built-up marketing product that offer little more than its propaganda.

The word ‘Luxury Brand’ has been over hyped so much that the roar has become quite deafening and the line between ‘real luxury brand’ and the ‘make-believe luxury brand’ keeps merging every now and then.

So, how can a luxury brand be best defined? No matter how difficult this task may seem, I can confidently state that a luxury brand provides a level of craftsmanship, service and experience that goes above and beyond the industry standard. This definition sounds good, but it somehow does not address the overall conditions of the luxury market. We also have to include the must-have qualities inherent to luxury such as bespoke, customization, scarcity, singularity, emotion, and personalization. So what is a luxury brand? A brand becomes a luxury brand when it offers an experience that is unique and adapted to the individual needs of its patrons on an individual basis.

In light of this definition, luxury brands should never produce mass-consumption products sold in boat loads to satisfy the self-indulgence of stock investors. Obviously, all brands strive to be highly successful and to dominate the world in their market, and I am not recommending that they don't. I am simply stating that the founders and leaders of these esteemed brands must almost remember to stay true to their original core values as they grow to become a conglomerate. It is important that a luxury brand does not sell its soul for the financial gain of a few. Failure to solve the dilemma of growth versus exclusivity can result in long-term viability or even the death of your brand.


Luxury Products

Defining The Characteristics of Luxury Products

Branding a luxury product and creating an effective marketing strategy for a luxury brand, involves a unique type of strategy; one that begins with an in-depth understanding of the characteristics of luxury products. The luxury goods industry is significant and not only has substantial market value, but is also an industry that has experienced significant growth over the last 10 years. Typically, there are four main categories within the luxury market: fashion, perfumes and cosmetics, wines and spirits and watches and jewelry; however, other categories, such as automobiles, have also recently found their way into this industry.

 

Characterizing Luxury Products

Defining what makes a product a ‘luxury product’ can sometimes be difficult, but there are a few key characteristics that can help give a brand or product a luxury label. When it comes to the physical, or functional, components of luxury products, typically these items or brands, can be identified by certain associations tied to the product’s characteristics. The average luxury brand is associated with three characteristics: high price tag, high quality and aesthetics. Typically, luxury brands or products will attempt to associate their brand name with these three associations and to show their target consumers that their brand encompasses these three features. The average luxury brand also has a clear brand identity and signature, places emphasis on product integrity, and offers their products at a premium price.

 

Criteria and Specifications of Luxury Brands

When it comes to defining a line or a brand as a ‘luxury brand,’ it needs to meet certain specifications. Typically a brand can only be defined as ‘luxury,’ within the market, if it evokes the three aforementioned associations within the mind of consumers. Most experts will also define a luxury brand as one that is not distorted by other external influences. This includes the marketing efforts of competitors. When a brand is truly a luxury brand, its image cannot be tarnished by others.

When a brand has emerged as a true luxury brand, it will be a true master of influencing the perceptions of consumers. For example, a Rolex watch will not suddenly stop being defined as a luxury watch brand, because of a marketing effort by Citizen, as Rolex is a true luxury brand. This is why no other luxury watch brands even attempt to discredit the quality of Rolex watches in their marketing campaigns.

 

Building The Luxury Brand Image

It is important to remember that not all luxury products are created equal, there are different levels of luxury brands, ranging from entry level to elite level niche brands. Different types or levels of luxury brand items need to be communicated in different manners. Typically, well crafted marketing communications are considered to be the key to building the image of a luxury brand. When it comes to creating communications for luxury brands, as opposed to standard or premium brands, different types of communications are needed. This typically includes celebrity endorsements, positive public relations and promotional events. By highlighting the main defining characteristics of the luxury brand during these promotional communications, a positive luxury image can be crafted and a strong brand identity can be promoted.

 


Types of luxury products

What Type Of Luxury Products Are You Offering

The concept of luxury is difficult to define, especially since it is an ever-changing and ever-evolving one. Although a Lamborghini may be considered as a symbol of class and luxury to a layman, the same Lamborghini might seem like an ordinary car to a wealthy heir.

Despite the confusions in defining luxury, there seems to be some consensus among industry members that luxury is anything that is desirable but is more than just an ordinary necessity.

Luxury products are, thus, branded, exclusive and desirable products that bring status to the possessor; that is rare and available for a select few. However, if we are to define luxury using these terms and attributes, we would fall short of arriving at the right meaning of luxury products that does justice to the present and evolving market conditions. For example, if we assume a luxury product to be rare, we would be able to find only a few brands within each category of goods. It might not be possible to go beyond Rolls Royce for cars and Hermes for leather goods. Therefore, luxury products should not only be represented by their exclusiveness and uniqueness, but also by its creativity and the emotional value it provides its customers.

If we are to understand the type of luxury products that are offered, we have to first understand the various categories the luxury sector could be divided into. Some of the categories are:

  • Ready-to-Wear
  • Watches and Jewelry
  • Cosmetics and Perfumes
  • Gifts and Wine and other selective products
  • Fashion Accessories sector
  • Hotels and Tourism
  • Automobiles sector
  • Superyachts

While these sectors define the luxury market; it is important to also understand people’s perceptions towards luxury products. Luxury market can be divided into three different levels: Accessible Luxury, Intermediary Luxury and Inaccessible Luxury.

As the name suggests, Accessible Luxury, the first level of the luxury market, is a reachable luxury product that can be accessed by a wide range of customers. These luxury products are produced in large quantities in workshops or factories. The distribution of these mass-produced products is also done on a large scale. Although these products are made on a large scale, they manage to provide the customers satisfaction and experience at the time of purchase. Some of the most common examples of Accessible Luxury products are Chanel perfumes, Swarovski crystals, and Armani sunglasses.

The next level of the luxury market is the Intermediary Luxury. This level corresponds to luxury products that are marked by their exclusivity and limited availability. These products are slightly rare, a little expensive, and are distributed through select channels. Some of the most commonly known Intermediary Luxury products are Prada, Fendi and Versace.

The final and the highest level is the Inaccessible Luxury. This level is the most exclusive form of luxury. It is highly rare, very expensive, and accessible only by a handful of people. These products, mostly, are hand-crafted or tailored products. They make use of some of the most expensive and premium materials. These Inaccessible Luxury products are distributed through a few carefully selected channels. An Inaccessible Luxury product is all about exclusivity, heritage, craftsmanship, creativity and prestige. A few of the most popular Inaccessible Luxury products are Dior, Ferrari and Hermes.

The word ‘Luxury’ means different things to different people, and this relative term could refer to almost anything, depending on the person you address the question to. So after reading this post, what type of luxury products are you offering?