15. Do not sell.
This isn’t arrogance, not at all. The luxury strategy is the very opposite of the volume strategy.
If you pursue the strategy of systematically raising all your prices, as illustrated by Krug, you have to be prepared to lose sales and to lose customers. Most brands don’t dare risk it, or else go running after customers; when you get to that point you’re no longer talking luxury but mass consumption – which of course can be extremely profitable as everyone knows.
Krug did lose some accounts, some importers, it is true. If not supported by the Rémy Cointreau management in the steps it took, Krug’s change in strategy would have been stopped as soon as the first big client walked away. In luxury, not trying too hard to sell is a fundamental principle in relations with customers. You tell the customer the story of the product, the facts, but you do not pressure them into making a purchase there and then.
We said a few words earlier about the campaign BMW had conducted on the internet in the US; a number of the most prominent film directors each made a short-length film around BMW, having been given completely free rein – not a commercial, but free expression. These films were made available on the internet and they very quickly did the rounds in the United States. Commenting on this decision, the marketing director at BMW USA said: ‘When it comes to luxury, the best way of reaching the very well-off is to let them come to you.’
Excerpted in part from: The Luxury Strategy: Break The Rules of Marketing to
Build Luxury Brands by JN Kapferer and V. Bastien, in partnership with
Kogan Page publishing.
Sponsored By: The Brand Positioning Workshop