Luxury brands 'afraid' of digital and social
Luxury brands are “afraid” of digital and social marketing because opening up information about brands to a much wider audience flies in the face of the exclusive nature of luxury brands, according to Markus Kramer, Aston Martin marketing director.
Kramer, who was speaking to Marketing Week at the Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders last week, took on the first formal CMO role at Aston Martin in 2010. He believes marketing is still a “nascent” discipline in the luxury sector, which explains why many brands are “afraid” of the “massive beast” of digital marketing.
He says: “I believe many companies are afraid of adopting new media too quickly. That’s because it means accessibility of information that you previously reserved for a select few people. It was very valuable for brands to have those inside stories but now it is now available for everyone that wants to look at it.
“Social media means the democratisation of information. Do you really want to do that if you’re at the top of the luxury scale? That’s a question that fundamentally a lot of companies may not have answered for themselves.”
At Aston Martin, social media plays an important role in the brand’s PR strategy and extending the reach of the brand, according to Kramer.
He says: “[social and digital] works for Aston Martin because … we have high awareness but also positive respect that leads to a lot of love and genuine sympathy for the brand. I don’t think some of our competitors necessarily have the same combination. For them it may be more tricky to adopt it [digital marketing].”
He adds that in the luxury market beyond the automotive category, for products such as high end watches, the issue of adopting digital and social media is even more challenging, and warns marketers in these categories against using digital marketing for the sake of it.
“I wouldn’t immediately say ‘go digital, go social’. I’d be very careful to think through why you’re doing it, for which products you’re doing it and what purpose it serves before you go and do it,” he says.
Kramer was speaking at the Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders.