Pitch PER­FECT

MAR­KET­ING TO THE LUX­URY BUYER IS A SKILL MOST IN­TER­NA­TIONAL BRANDS HAVE HONED TO A FAULT. BUT CAN THE NEW GEN­ER­A­TION OF SO­CIAL ME­DIA SAVVY BUY­ERS BE SE­DUCED THE SAME WAY? WE CULL THEIR IN­SIGHTS

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Gallery -

We are con­stantly bom­barded with

in­for­ma­tion as our phones, tablets and lap­tops have be­come ve­hi­cles of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The new­est nov­el­ties from fairs like Basel­world and SIHH are in­stan­ta­neously posted on­line, while cre­ative di­rec­tors and CEOS are ac­tively en­gag­ing col­lec­tors di­rectly through In­sta­gram and Snapchat, show­cas­ing not just their lat­est prod­ucts, but also their life­styles, celebrity friends and ex­otic hol­i­days.

This has com­pletely changed the way lux­ury buy­ers con­sume in­for­ma­tion, re­sult­ing in un­con­ven­tional mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, a greater em­pha­sis on celebrity cul­ture and a lan­guage that has been tweaked to suit this gen­er­a­tion’s voice. It has changed the very no­tion of lux­ury, which was for­merly char­ac­terised by an air of rar­efied dis­cre­tion and in­ac­ces­si­ble as­pi­ra­tion. To­day, the haves (and the pseudo haves) are tak­ing to so­cial me­dia to flaunt their lat­est ac­qui­si­tions and ex­pe­ri­ences, bridg­ing that gap be­tween pur­veyor of lux­ury and con­sumer of lux­ury. And this is all hap­pen­ing at an un­prece­dented pace, hurtling into un­charted ter­ri­tory, as the po­ten­tial for on­line growth is still merely at the tip of the ice­berg.

As horology and joail­lerie brands adapt to this chang­ing land­scape, we speak to to­day’s lux­ury con­nois­seurs and dis­cover their thoughts on the pro­lif­er­a­tion of this dig­i­tal world.

Jewels & Time: Would you buy a state­ment-mak­ing jew­ellery or watch that has been worn on the red car­pet?

LY­DIA: “Yes, I would buy it if it was worn by a celebrity, but not a re­al­ity star. I feel that brands en­gage re­al­ity stars to con­nect with main­stream com­mer­cial­ism, and I don’t ap­pre­ci­ate that for heavy ticket and lux­ury items. Lux­ury is not meant to be for ev­ery­one and it should never be too eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble. Jew­ellery worn by re­al­ity stars loses its ap­peal. The only sim­i­lar­ity be­tween a re­al­ity star and a real Hol­ly­wood su­per­star is their num­ber of fans, out­reach and ex­po­sure but there is usu­ally not much depth or tal­ent in the for­mer. I would cat­e­gorise their in­flu­ence as sub-par.”

NYCKY: “I be­lieve at the end of the day, it is im­por­tant to buy some­thing that you re­ally have a lik­ing for, in­stead of just buy­ing it be­cause some­one fa­mous has worn it be­fore.”

VASHTY: “I am not sure if I like the idea of buy­ing an item such as jew­ellery worn by some­one else. But if it was pre­vi­ously owned by

the likes of Au­drey Hep­burn or Grace Kelly then I prob­a­bly think I would.”

TZE TZE: “When I de­cide to buy some­thing, it’s be­cause it ap­peals to me. But if it was worn by a Kar­dashian, then maybe I would think twice!”

J&T: Are lux­ury brands speak­ing the right lan­guage to you, in a way that en­tices your pur­chase?

LY­DIA: “It de­pends if the per­son speak­ing to us is of in­flu­ence, or is a sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive who has been trained thor­oughly about the brand story and is merely recit­ing it. It makes a dif­fer­ence when they can al­ter sales pitches to in­crease a value propo­si­tion to each in­di­vid­ual. That way you are not pre­sent­ing the col­lec­tion or the brand’s motto but re­ally per­son­al­is­ing it to me and mak­ing it clear that a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct is per­fect for my per­son­al­ity, style and val­ues. The best sales pitches are the ones that an­swer the very ques­tion of why this prod­uct is per­fect for me and not why the prod­uct is per­fect, in gen­eral. Lis­ten­ing to and be­ing able to un­der­stand your con­sumer is more im­por­tant than de­liv­er­ing a killer sales pitch that is mass-tar­geted.”

NYCKY: “My pref­er­ence on the mar­ket­ing style de­pends largely on the prod­uct in dis­cus­sion. If it is an item that I am al­ready well-read on, such as watches and pens, I tend to cut through the mar­ket­ing fluff and fo­cus on what ap­peals to me, based on ex­ist­ing knowl­edge.”

J&T: Would you buy a lux­ury item if it is heav­ily mar­keted and ex­posed on so­cial me­dia?

VASHTY: “Sure, why not. My motto is, if you like it, buy it. But never buy any item just be­cause you are fol­low­ing a trend. That is why, when I buy any lux­ury item, I al­ways think, ‘would I be able to wear this in two or three years’ time?’ If the an­swer is no, then per­haps I would con­sider it again.”

RYAN: “Not re­ally. When I do go shop­ping I tend to shop for things that are of good qual­ity rather than be in­flu­enced by mar­ket­ing.”

CHADWYN: “We would not buy a lux­ury item that has been heav­ily mar­keted or ex­posed on so­cial me­dia. De­spite the per­cep­tion of lux­ury be­ing os­ten­ta­tious and showy, so­cial me­dia tends to de­pict a clear alien­ation be­tween the haves and the have nots. The mea­sure­ment of wealth is not solely based on the num­ber of lux­ury items one has.”

J&T: Do you en­gage with your fol­low­ers on so­cial me­dia when you make a big pur­chase?

LY­DIA: “No. I don’t care what peo­ple think about my pur­chase. If it’s a gift for a friend, how­ever, I would ask around for a few opin­ions to make sure I am truly buy­ing some­thing my friend would love.”

RYAN: “Not at all! I think this is very un­nec­es­sary and out­landish be­hav­iour.”

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