The Luxe Equation: How Exclusive Groups Provide Members With Content and Encourage Those to Aspire to Join Them

Creative content marketing builds a brand identity and serves as a solution for client engagement and acquisition. It’s key especially for brands that want to reach one particular audience, be they baseball fans or Chanel shoppers. As an outlet like Buzzfeed shows us, hitting the nail on the head of a niche (or microtargeting) results in incredible sharing numbers, as humans are wont to spread information they think is unique to them.

Though the luxury category is a giant marketing genre, its content marketing has to, on one level, entertain a small population: the rich and elite who will actually indulge in the product on offer. On another level, articles and images give aspirational (read: potential) buyers material with which to fantasize. But by catering to the former group, luxury brands inevitably provide for the latter. Let’s look at a few examples:

SoHo House: Smart, Select Content

The value proposition: Exclusive distribution, reaching members and their close friends.

The method: International private members’ club SoHo House delivers their magazine, House, to its members’ homes worldwide. Copies are also distributed in affiliated clubs and hotel rooms, as well as at select Cowshed spas, restaurants, and Virgin Atlantic lounges. Members feel reminded of their privileged access to SoHo House information when they receive the publication in the mail, while people who chance upon it are likely to become clients. House covers a wide swath of culture-related topics: The latest issue features one article on war reporting, another about fashion disasters. This year the brand launched House7, a private online experience including editorial features, city guides, regional newsletters, and local home pages. Just as each SoHo House is unique to its area and population, House7 provides select information for members depending on where they are. SoHo House is a gathering place for creatives; thus the organization’s content marketing needs to be equally smart and cutting-edge.

Louis Vuitton: Activating Imagination

The value proposition: A multidimensional digital experience, immersing viewers in the imaginative world of the brand.

The method: Last November, model Arizona Muse starred in a teaser commercial for Louis Vuitton. Turns out it was the start of a journey (the campaign is titled L’Invitation au Voyage, after all), and now the brand is releasing a film, starring David Bowie and set in Venice. The film premieres on L.V.’s app. With a bonus interactive Venetian gallery tour online, this campaign welcomes fans and customers into the world of Louis Vuitton. And taking a page from Burberry’s playbook, this campaign shows that Louis Vuitton is bigger than its bags; more than a fashion house, it’s a creative production studio. The effect is more aspirational than direct marketing, but L.V. can afford to spend time and money on making their brand fantasy one of romantic grandeur.

Edition Hotels: Channeling Creative Characters

The value proposition: Focused collaboration to create content that draws in tastemakers.

The method: Ian Schrager and Marriott International just launched their first Edition Hotels, in London and Istanbul. The Edition brand is meant to be a one-of-a-kind experience for guests and in-the-know locals. To enhance these points, Edition collaborated with Nowness to create a short series of videos called On Collaboration. Each video stars a pair of creative people, like musician Solange Knowles and visual artist Toyin Odutola, or fashion photographer Miles Aldridge and Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani. By featuring culturally relevant, influential individuals, Edition imparts that aesthetic on their own brand. They appeal to members of the A-list who might be having lunch with Sozzani next Thursday, and they provide a beautiful piece of informative content for art students who may eventually book a room at Edition Shanghai.

By creating their own content, luxury brands spread their ideological wealth. Each brand’s clientele feels among friends and trusted guides, while aspiring jet-setters get a window into a glamorous world. Marketers who want to get people talking and to build a distinctive brand voice should look to household names in luxury. The ones making the transition into content marketing are doing so in style.

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