January 10, 2024
By Alyce Panico
In the past year, I have noticed a similarity across a variety of consumer bases – the idea that experiences versus token items are far more coveted than ever before. Consumers are seeking meaningful purchases that offer memories and experiential connections.
In my role as CEO of Luxe Collective Group (LCG), a media planning and buying agency specializing in premium and luxury brand marketing, I am fortunate to touch the worlds of travel, beauty, fragrance, jewelry, timepieces, fashion/apparel, accessories and spirits. The common thread being the people we aim to reach with our brand messages are all seeking a premium and desired experience.
Across all industries within our portfolio, brands are receiving the same messages from their customers – more brand connections and unique touchpoints from all channels.
Making an impression
Audiences want to be communicated from various platforms in a personalized way.
To keep that audience engaged it requires tailored brand differentiation crafted with careful coordination of content alignment mixed with negotiation of the best possible placements.
To attain this level of holistic audience engagement, we must innovate new-to-market media opportunities to accomplish our goals.
Luxury brands tend to take a methodical approach when embracing of innovation in media. Often, that is solely because the preference to get it right takes precedence over being first. Do less, but do it exceptionally well, has always been my preference in guiding our client partners.
Spreading impressions too thin does not make for meaningful branding moments. There is often a story to be told. We need a combination of platforms to tell those stories. We never lose sight of activations necessary across the entire marketing funnel. Without feeding the top, the bottom will run out.
Over the past year, I have enjoyed seeing a return to some traditional media channels. We spend the bulk of our budgets in digital platforms. Performance is paramount and we are grateful we can optimize in real time and learn from billions of data signals our systems offer.
There have never been more advancements in audience-based/programmatic media. Social media marketing has become more challenging with constant changes to the audience allowances across major platforms with stipulations that reset at every iOS update.
That said, the full-funnel approach to media will often include consideration of how the consumer is viewing the ad message. We ask ourselves where we may reach people in uninterrupted, lean-in environments.
A mobile-first approach is often necessary given the consumption habits of the global population. This holds true in premium and luxury marketing.
However, we cannot solely rely on small-screen branding. For this reason, we see many formerly disruptive brands that relied on digital-only campaigns now look toward platforms such as linear television and newspapers.
Why? It is simple – the impact of the brand message is larger, more important by association in non-mobile environments. We need a solid combination of advertising formats to run a campaign that taps into awareness and conversion results.
Time for the big screen
I encourage brands to consider larger-format options for awareness-building success, such as outdoor, TV (streaming or linear depending on audience segmentation needs) and cinema, where in a post-pandemic world this medium offers an escape to viewers and one of the largest screen environments we can offer.
With beautiful video, we can invite consumers into the world of our brand partners. Combined with mobile/digital amplification necessary for reach, frequency, targetability and scale, we reach them at multiple touch points.
Storytelling through media is my favorite part of the job. More than ever, we understand that people are seeking exceptional and bespoke experiences, especially when operating in the premium market.
Travel is a sector in which people are enjoying a new post-pandemic consumption level. Given this is one of the top areas where disposable income goes, the need to stand out amongst destination offerings has never been more important.
Compared to 2019, as an example, global leisure travel is up more than 30 percent as of late Q1 2023. Data tells us that spending on “experiences in destinations across the world” is up 65 percent versus spending on “things” up 12 percent (2023 versus 2019).
THE IDEA OF shared experience translates far beyond purchases. This idea can be the guiding light, for brands of multiple categories, as we look for inspiration in media choices and partnerships as we head into 2024.
When we can share the story behind our brands, we can illustrate the unique elements of the “experience,” creating a sense of community. The brand name anchors the story. However, the story is more important than the logo.