Class Meets Mass

June 1998


Class Meets Mass

High-class products may seem out of place in the high-volume world of the Web. They aren't

Can exclusive products maintain their cachet when marketed through the democratic equal-access world of the World Wide Web? They can if marketers develop the right on-line strategies.

Prestige companies would be stupid to try to use the Web as a substitute for visiting a store, the way other on-line retailers do, says an article in Luxemagazine. Consumers want the "hands-on social experience of shopping for jewelry at Cartier or shoes at Ferragamo's," the author says. So high-end marketers should use the Web to complement the experience of shopping, to create a kind of aura around the product that supports its underlying message and drives consumers into the store.

Along with the Web, other types of interactive marketing will also become useful tools in enhancing the exclusivity and desirability of prestige products, the author predicts. For example, high-end retailers might provide customized pagers to their best customers or program these customers' cell phones to a toll-free number so they'll know as soon as an interesting product arrives in the store. Perhaps, with the touch of a telephone button or key on a computer keyboard, customers of the future will get instant access to their designated sales associate, assigned to anticipate their every whim.

"Tomorrow's luxury consumers will live in a world of special phone numbers, e-mail addresses, Web-site URLs and passwords they - and only they - will have access to," says Luxe.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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