Monday, May 16, 2011

Limit Social Media for Prestige Appeal

Social media marketing is not for every retailer, and for those who do use social media marketing, there are situations in which it’s best for the marketer to place limits on the retailer-consumer interaction.
     Consider the findings from an intriguing study conducted by advertising agency Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, as reported recently in Adweek. The study compared Facebook pages of marketers selling luxury goods with those of marketers selling FMCG merchandise. FMCG stands for “fast moving consumer goods,” characterized by low prices, relatively frequent repeat purchases by consumers, and little emotional involvement from the consumer in the purchase process. Grocery stores sell FMCG merchandise like soft drinks, cleaning products, and toiletries. On the other hand, luxury brands in the study included Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Cartier, and Gucci.
     Here’s what was found:
  • The FMCG businesses averaged about 365,000 Fans, while the luxury businesses averaged more than 1.5 million. And each post from a luxury business received just over 3,000 Likes on average, while the figure was a scant 131 for the FMCG businesses. From this, it would look like the luxury businesses generated more interaction than the low-involvement FMCG ones.
  • However, among the luxury brands, only Tiffany & Co. allowed fans to post to the company page. By contrast, every one of the FMCG marketers allowed the postings. About half the number of FMCG businesses posted surveys and quizzes, either for fun or for consumer research. None of the luxury brands did so. In the end, it looks like the luxury businesses are less approachable than the FMCG businesses.
     Adweek says that’s intentional and probably a good idea. Stanford University researchers have used “Sophisticated-Approachable” as a name for a dimension of store personality. Highly sophisticated retailers are formal, assertive, and ambitious. Highly approachable retailers are casual and sociable.
     Sophistication goes with exclusivity. Researchers at University of Pennsylvania and Southern Methodist University note that customers of sophisticated retailers prefer subtle signals in their purchases. This was learned years ago by Lacoste, which discovered that their crocodile logo stopped portraying as much status when displayed too prominently.
     Customers often pay more for the identical item when sold by a store perceived as sophisticated. If your retail business plan calls for you to sell at higher prices rather than higher quantities, you’d like each aspect of your business, including the Facebook page presence, to be more sophisticated and less approachable.

Click below for more:
Project Your Store’s Personality
Cultivate Store Prestige with Context
Make Your Shoppers Feel Special
Distinguish Customers from Friends
Offer Aspirational Shoppers Subtle Signals

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