Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine

Luxury Spotlight: Jeffrey Gomez, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Snob Magazine

The founder and visionary behind The Snob Magazine, Jeffrey Gomez is an expert on the exclusive nature of all things luxury. Starting out as a writer for Source Interlink Media and their automotive titles in his college days, he turned to the world of wealth and attained the position of a lead investment broker at a Beverly Hills hedge fund.

But the lure of the world of luxury made him take another turn in his career. Determined to wipe away the inane concept of ’mass luxury’, he started The Snob Magazine – ”a luxury lifestyle publication that provides readers with a highlight of the very best luxuries from around the world”.

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Every expert has a different story on how they got started blogging. What is yours?

I started The Snob Magazine after I left a great career as an investment broker. Having dealt with the super rich for work, I knew the arena and players well. Creating The Snob around that audience was the natural progression.

 

Like most luxury experts, you probably receive hundreds of emails per month from luxury brands who want you to share their story. What makes you decide to work with a brand over the other?

I look for a rich history of a brand. I am particularly interested in the quality of their products and/or services. Too many brands are stuffed full of marketing, but what it really comes down to is service and quality.

 

What is the best pitch you have received from a luxury brand? What is the worst?

The best pitches tell me a story and sell me on why I should pay attention. Set me up with a scenario and lay out for me what is important. The worst pitches are all hype and are quickly deleted. I need substance, not marketing and gimmicks.

 

Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine 1

What is your take on press releases? Do you like receiving them or do you simply discard them?

I hate press releases. I understand that it is an efficient way to get information out, but I don't believe that it does much good for magazines or other publications. Sure TV and newspapers can use the information from a press release to write up a quick snippet, but marketing and publicity needs to be more delicate and specific for outlets if you want to have any real and meaningful coverage.

 

What would make you choose to work with a brand on a giveaway campaign on your site?

I would want cross promotion and marketing. We can get your brand in front of a large and well-heeled audience, but we need help in return. Too often brands ask for something and give nothing in return. It is a two way street and brands need to follow up with their business if we send them customers. Dropping the ball will make us all look bad.

 

If a brand wants to reach you, what channel should they use? Do you prefer email, social media or another means of communication?

Email is the best way to reach our magazine. Social media works sometimes, but it is too familiar and relaxed. This is a business after all.

The Snob Magazine online

 

 

What is the coolest gift you have received from a luxury brand in an outreach program?

I get endless gifts, thankfully! From watches to private jets.

 

Of all the social media channels you engage on, which one do you prefer and why?

I prefer Instagram. I think people want to see splashy images. The ability to comment is also appealing to the public. Having direct commentary to a taste maker makes consumers feel empowered and listened to.

 

Which social media channels does your audience interact with the most?

I think it is a toss between Instagram and Twitter.

 

In your opinion, what does it take to become successful on social media?

Presence and persistence. You can't blog off and on and you can't not answer questions or reply late. We live in an instant gratification era and anything other than timely will lose.

 

Do you monitor your Klout score on a daily/weekly basis? Do you think this social ranking is of any real value to luxury brands?

Social ranking, etc is all bogus. Just take one look at Fiverr.com and you will see that anything can be bought. Marketing and PR people need to focus on the publication and their audience and partnerships with other brands. Everything else is irrelevant.

 

Do you sometime receive compensation from luxury brands, whether it's in the form of cash or incentives, to write about them?

Yes.

Jeffrey Gomez Founder & Editor in Chief of The Snob Magazine 2

 

 

Apart from your managing your magazine, do you offer additional services to luxury brands who choose to work with you?

Definitely. It just comes with having a very wealthy audience. We do everything from private dinners to events, experiences with companies for our audience.

 

Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous through your work as a luxury expert?

Living in Los Angeles, I interact heavily with the movers and shakers of entertainment and politics. A great number of our readers are very famous, but naming names is so passé. Rest assured though, we get emails all the time asking for specific help from some very important people.

 

If you had to mentor a new writer, what is your go-to advice to become successful?

Work, work and work. Keep your nose down and write. Everything else will fall into place. Content is KING!

 

Get in touch with Jeffrey Gomez vi email. Or, connect with him on Facebook or Twitter. Or, reach out to us for an introduction.


MY Anna

Who is Your “Typical” Billionaire?

The latest statistics from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census paint an interesting portrait of the current ‘typical’ billionaire. Marketing strategies for luxury brands need to be constantly tweaked and adjusted in order to be representative of these ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals. So just who is this billionaire to represent all billionaires?

The typical billionaire is 63 years of age and has a net worth of approximately US$3.1 billion. He would have waited until his late forties before he reached the US$1 billion benchmark and was officially considered a member of this exclusive club.

His wealth is distributed as follows:
• 46.9% private holdings
• 28.9% public holdings
• 19.1% cash
• 5.1% real estate and luxury assets

So what does this mean?
• 46.9% private holdings versus 28.9% public holdings
This shows that the majority of the billionaire’s wealth is concerned with his ownership of privately held businesses, rather than publicly held wealth. This indicates that he is confident in the performance of his businesses, exerting a high degree of control over those in which he is heavily involved.

• 19.1% cash
Approximately one fifth of his wealth is cash from previous salaries and investments. He has reinvested most of this in highly liquid, diversified securities. This enables him to invest in new business ventures and opportunities.

• 5.1% real estate and luxury assets
The ‘typical’ billionaire owns four properties. Each of these is worth, on average, US$23.5 million. His global lifestyle necessitates him having several homes around the world. Other luxury assets that accompany the billionaire lifestyle could include a number of things, such as: sports teams, racehorses, yachts, planes, cars and art.


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5 Things to Know about Today’s Billionaires

This year’s Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census has raised several significant factors that are pertinent to marketing to ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals. Luxury brands would do well to take cognizance of these facts as they have an important influence on current and future luxury market trends, amongst other things. So here are 5 Things to Know about Today’s Billionaires:

1. When it comes to billionaires, it is cities that count, rather than countries.
Billionaires are transnational and move from city to city, rather than country to country. This is of particular importance in emerging markets such as Africa and the Middle East. In addition, cities such as London that have a high density of foreign billionaires are becoming increasingly popular.

2. Becoming a billionaire requires entrepreneurialism and private wealth.
This trend is true for both male and female billionaires. More and more billionaires are those who inherited only part of their wealth and then through entrepreneurism became billionaires. Almost two-thirds of billionaires’ primary companies are privately held.

3. This past year, billionaire wealth was volatile and under-performed global equity markets.
Although 500 billionaires were added to this year’s census, the net gain was only 155 billionaires. Many increased their liquidity holdings, waiting for the best time to make further investments. The billionaires who performed best in emerging markets outside Asia were those with diversified portfolios and international investments.

4. US$10 billion is the new wealth ‘ceiling’.
The vast majority of the world’s billionaires are worth between US$1- and US$10 million. Older billionaires, who are in the majority, are transitioning from wealth accumulation to wealth preservation.

5. The number of billionaires is increasingly globally due to wealth transfers to the next generation. 

Some billionaires are already passing on their wealth to the next generation, and this is expected to increase in the future. This increases the number of billionaires but not their total wealth.


Los Angeles ILHA networking open house and Hospitality Launch Cover

Luxury Spotlight: Barak Hirschowitz, President of International Luxury Hotel Association

Meet Barak Hirschowitz, the President of International Luxury Hotel Association, and a leading influencer in the hospitality industry. Beginning his career as a chef, and becoming the best in this field, he went on to establish the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA).

This global non-profit organization has one goal – to improve the standard of service in the luxury hotel industry. And it works to achieve this goal by providing resources for education, training and networking to its members.

He is also the co-founder of Hospitality Recruitment that started in 2004. With a focus on international hospitality recruitment, it assists the world’s best hotels, resorts and cruise line companies source talent.

Here is what he has to say about the luxury hospitality industry.

1. To be successful in an industry, one must be passionate.  How and why did you choose to work within the luxury hotel industry?

I was always attracted to the luxury hotel industry which allowed me to travel and work in the places where people vacation. My hospitality career started in the early 90’s as a chef in restaurants in New York. When I was offered the opportunity to join the team of a new luxury hotel in South Africa, I jumped at it. South African hotels have won best hotel in the world more times than any other country over the past 10 years.  There is something special about the combination of great hospitality, design, food, wine and scenery that sets it apart. I was lucky to be able to spend 15 years in the industry there.

 

Los Angeles ILHA networking open house and Hospitality Launch

2. In 2003, you were voted as one of the Top 5 Chef in South Africa. In your opinion, what makes a Chef stand out from the rest?

The ability to inspire their team, never compromise on ingredients and find their own style.

3. With other key players in the industry, you helped co-found the ILHA. Can you tell us a little about the mission and goals of the association?

The ILHA brings together hotel and travel companies, industry professionals, governments and educators with the common goal of improving standards and promoting innovation in service and design in the luxury segment of the hotel industry. We achieve these goals through education, training and communication in three key areas that differentiate the luxury segment from the rest of the hotel industry: service, design and technology.

4. The ILHA is now considered the largest influencer in the hospitality industry with 185,000 members on LinkedIn. Can you give us a tip on how to grow such a strong community?

The ILHA started in 2008 as Luxury Hoteliers, a small group of around 50 luxury hotel professionals who got together online to share best practices.  At the time, people were still nervous about sharing ideas online with their competitors.  It’s all about transparency and keeping pace with the changing needs of your guests.  Early on our members figured out it was better to work together.  It’s what helped us grow and keeps us growing.  Today, our LI group has over 1000 new members joining each week.

5. For someone new to LinkedIn, what is the best way to get involved within the ILHA community?  

Join the discussions. It will help you stay on top of the industry’s hot topics.  

 

Los Angeles ILHA networking open house and Hospitality Launch 2
6. The ILHA will be hosting the Fast Forward 2020 Conference in Washington DC this September. Tell us about it.

We have invited the luxury hotel industry’s thought leaders to DC to answer some of the greatest challenges facing hoteliers today and over the next five years.  

7. An impressive group of speakers will be giving advice at Fast Forward 2020, what should attendees expect to learn?

This is a must-attend event for anyone working with or in the luxury hotel industry.  We worked with leaders from the world’s top hotel groups to find out what are the greatest challenges they are facing right now.   What type of online and social media marketing is working? What new in-house technology is out there? How are the leading hotels managing their online reputation?  How to attract and prepare for business from new travel markets like China, Brazil and the multi-billion dollar wellness/medical travel? Can hotels benefit from partnering with luxury retail brands? The ILHA Fast Forward 2020 will bring together the smartest minds in the business to share their insights on how best to face these challenges now and over the next five years. Our experts are the leadership of hotel groups, universities, and major travel companies. They represent some of the biggest names in the industry including Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Trump, Michelin, STR, TripAdvisor, LuxuryLink, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Axess Worldwide and more.  

8. Apart from listening to industry leaders, what else can attendees expect at the conference?

In addition to networking opportunities, the ILHA attendees will have access to the Medical Tourism Association’s Congress being held in partnership with our event. This expo will have over 3,000 attendees and will introduce hoteliers to the fastest growing segment of the hospitality industry.

9. What does the future hold for the ILHA?

We are currently developing service training that can be taken regardless of location. It will help hotels located in remote locations train their staff and can help level the playing field for hospitality professionals wanting to move into the luxury segment. Another focus for us is to introduce chapters and local networking events outside the US.

10. As a last question, what is your personal definition of "luxury service"?  

True luxury service needs to be personalized. It’s what sets the best hotels in the world apart from the rest. When the guest leaves the hotel at the end of their stay, they should feel rested yet a little sad as if they are leaving their family behind.

 

Want to connect with Barak Hirschowitz? Do it on LinkedIn and Twitter. Or, reach out to us for an introduction.


Luxury-Study-Boston-Consulting-Group

Luxury Study: Boston Consulting Group

A new luxury study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) reveals important shifts and the related implications in the luxury sector. Based on what consumers identified as luxury spending, the BCG forecasts that the luxury industry will continue to grow in the next two years, despite the lack of growth in many other sectors of the economy.

However, there are both challenges and opportunities facing the luxury sector. Consumer behavior has shifted and introduced an element of complexity in the market. There have been increases in the prominence of emerging-market buyers, and in the growth of experiential luxury. BCG proposes that in response to complicated demands, luxury brands need to embrace four areas of change:

1. New consumers, different sectors and complex buying behavior
It is increasingly common for consumers to indulge in luxurious experiences that are tailored to their particular needs and preferences. Within experiential luxury, the technology sector has grown the most.

Brands need to expand their experiences into consumers’ everyday lives. This includes enriching the selling experience and adopting new business models that embrace the experimental trend. The luxury market is becoming increasingly complex and greater segmentation and customization is necessary.

2. Understanding new geographies and specifics of cities as unique markets
BCG notes that many leading brands are revising their emerging market strategies to align with changes in macro-economic factors, government policies, urbanization, development and tastes.

The implication is that brands would do well to replace their country-level approaches with city-level strategies. To this end, the BCG Local Metroluxe Index forecasts local luxury demand in cities across the world. The BCG Metroluxe Growth Index and the BCG Total Metroluxe Index also provide important information and analyses for brands.

3. Alternative and innovative business models
Companies are benefiting from new approaches that blur the lines between competition and collaboration, and that foster openness and embrace cultural changes.

Luxury brands need to embrace this change by forging stronger relationships with retailers. An effective way of achieving this is through joint ventures. Various leading brands have also adopted different approaches to virtualization.

4. The effects of new digital technologies
The digital domain is of great importance in all sectors, including the luxury market. The boundaries between digital and conventional paths of sales and communication are becoming increasingly blurred.

Luxury brands need to develop their e-commerce competence and take cognizance of the full range of channels that is available to consumers. Brands need to increase their social engagement with consumers and encourage the advocacy of their products and services.

BCG advocates 10 tips for luxury executives:

1. Increase understanding of consumers
2. Adopt city- or cluster-city- level approaches
3. Have a clear travel and tourist strategy
4. Embrace experiential luxury
5. Invest in emerging and long-established countries
6. Use simple, consistent brand architecture
7. Build new relationships with retailers and suppliers
8. Improve e-commerce
9. Devise channel strategies
10. Develop advocacy marketing


10-Reasons-We-Operate-in-a-Virtual-Environment

10 Reasons We Operate in a Virtual Environment

In the modern world, operating in the virtual realm is appealing for a number of reasons. Many successful enterprises are using this alternative world as a platform for enhanced success. Everything from interviews and training to meetings, collaboration and planning can take place without people having to inhabit the same physical space. This has opened up a world of exciting possibilities, particularly for the travel industry. Agence Luxury is one such enterprise that takes full advantage of the virtual office. And here are the top ten reasons why we operate in a virtual environment:

1. Employees and contributors are free to work from anywhere where there is an Internet connection.
2. Travelling the world enables us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the global luxury market.
3. We enjoy flexibility in terms of who we can employ and benefit from hiring from the global marketplace.
4. We have discovered creative and effective ways to collaborate remotely. We use Google Hangouts to communicate throughout the day, Redbooth to organize our operation and social media to maintain regular contact.
5. Not having any offices reduces our overall costs allowing us to pass on the savings to our clients.
6. A successful virtual office means that we are able to work for clients from around the world.
7. The strategic placement of employees around the world gives us a global presence.
8. We are explorers and using a virtual platform means that we are still constantly learning about the world around us.
9. This flexibility benefits Agence Luxury as have the ability to react quickly and efficiently on behalf of a client.
10. We believe that technology is bringing the world together and creating closer global ties. We want to be at the forefront of this movement and working in a virtual world enables us to be at the cutting edge.

Although it might frighten you, hiring a digital marketing agency that has completely embraces the digital environment will give you a new understand of the future. Digital is here to stay, and you can either embrace it or fall behind. We hope you decide to join us as we surf on this great digital adventure.


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.

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-Unity-Marketing

 

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

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-L2

 

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.

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-BCG

 

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.

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-Euro-Monitor

 

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.

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-American-Express-Publishing-Group

 

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.

 

Top-10-Luxury-Research-Firms-Shullman-Research

 

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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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.