Monday, September 29, 2014

Book Tours of Your Esteemed Merchandise

When offering high-end merchandise at healthy margins, you’d like to broaden your market, but not jeopardize the merchandise’s prestige image. A demonstration of the risk and a way to avoid it are offered by a Harvard University experiment.
     The researchers used as their study sample owners of Prada handbags. All the participants were asked to consider a situation where every visitor to a boutique shop was offered, at no charge, a luxury-quality shopping bag graced with the Prada logo. Then one group of the study participants were also told that accepting the shopping bag led to the consumer admiring the Prada brand. The other group of study participants were told, instead, that accepting the shopping bag led to the consumer feeling like a part of the Prada community.
     Next, the study participants were asked what effect they thought the distribution of the shopping bags had on the Prada brand image. The group who’d been told the recipients admired the brand said the gifting had raised the image. These Prada handbag owners said they now had even more pride in their ownership.
     This finding would be expected. However, the other group said they thought the gifting cheapened the image of the brand. Having people consider themselves part of the luxury community without making a luxury purchase had that effect.
     The researchers called the first group “brand tourists” and the second group “brand immigrants.” Other studies found similar results. When potential purchasers of an esteemed item are invited to accept what is clearly understood by all to be a sample given to an outsider who’s just looking, the esteem of the item remains undisturbed and might be enhanced. But if you drop the border restrictions on immigrants, there’s a danger.
     Another study, this one at University of London and Harvard University, analyzed the effects of opening the gates to Ironman. The Ironman events are esteemed for their rigorous physical challenges. When a private equity firm purchased the rights to the Ironman name, they decided that registrants who completed a half-Ironman race also could claim the designation “Ironman.” In addition, permission to use the Ironman branding was awarded to providers of a jogging stroller, a mattress, and a cologne.
     Warning of a dire decay in the brand image, a coalition of Ironmen quickly and successfully pressured for a reversal. A parallel sequence occurred when luxury fashion house Burberry started carrying dog leashes.

Click below for more: 
Stay Ready to Sell Luxury 
Limit Social Media for Prestige Appeal 
Label Freebies as Samples

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