By Genevieve Brown A panel of senior marketers from Luxury Car brands were brought together to discuss how brands for millionaires s...

The Millionaire’s club: Behind the velvet ropes of luxury brands @ Social Media Week #smwLUXURY


By Genevieve Brown

A panel of senior marketers from Luxury Car brands were brought together to discuss how brands for millionaires should approach their fans on social media.  

Jaguar’s Steve Cobelli discussed the recent social media drive at the company, and discussed their key routes. Their social media is mainly pictorial based, showing the sexier side of the business. Through this they show R+D projects, they launch their cars. Their Global pages are taken by each market and re-purposed for their local market.

Jaguar recognized the importance of using personalities within the brand to bring them to life, so for those that work on an interesting side of the business, they have a life logging camera that clips to you pocket and logs their day, then this content is used on social media.  However, they have learnt Content is not always king, it needs to be part of strategy – cant just put everything up.

Jaguar react to world around them, for example they climbed on the buzz about British brands and did a campaign tracking Jaguars with Union Jack wrap abounds traveling around the UK, and then Europe.

The key learning from Bentley in social is that for such a premium brand there is a huge need for educating internally.  As everything in social can be seen a huge effort needs to be made not to erode the special brand, and not to release secrets.

High New Worth Individual – over £30 million.   HNWI must be approached in a different way.  Approaching them is harder as they don’t want to be marketed to, they want relationships built on trust and look more to personality, humanity and relationships.  However their media behavior isn’t massively different, they still want to be socially acceptable.  Many have a surplus of money over need – they can afford it, but can they justify it?  This is far more complex to market to.

In China there is a much younger consumer set, there are a lot of young millionnaires new to money and luxury brands.  There is a huge importance with being seen in the right way with the right people, the culture is very celebrity lead.

Exclusive Clubs are a big deal for premium brands, it is important to bring the brand into the right club through partnerships, or to create a club – a space behind a rope, such as online or offline space that is exclusive with a club containing similar people.  A good example to look into is said to be the Good Wood segmentation levels, where there are 11 layers of membership.

Offline partnerships should be used to create content, for example a Bentley racing Bugatti made great You Tube content and helps mix things up and keeps content fresh.

To keep a brand premium the artistic quality of the product needs to be shown.  The craftsmanship behind a product is what makes it premium and keeps the prices high – therefore the craftsmanship and process must be shown.

My conclusion from the event was that HNWI need to be targeted in a much more personal way – each market needs to be targeted differently – things that appeal to China won’t appeal to UK.

Also we need to adopt the approach of Expose. Involve. Learn. – Taking what consumers are saying in social and feeding into R+D. It is important to use the Feedback from social media exposure, Bentley now launch cars on FB and use the feedback to help design and R+D process.

Whilst it was interesting to hear the social media strategies behind luxury car brands, it would have been more insightful if there had been a range of luxury brands giving examples, as to focus on car brands such as Bentley is quite niche.  It would be interesting to have heard examples of targeting HNWI in other markets.

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