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Luxury brands

2016-01-08 16:35:44.397858+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

Just some musings in response to a Facebook query about what luxury brands on the web will mean:

I think products can be divided into two portions: The product itself, and the experience of the product. For commodities, the product itself is all that matters. For high end products, yes, there's additional value in the product, but the experience of purchasing and using the product becomes more important.

I'm a fan of a certain brand of high end power tools (Festool). Yes, they're amazingly well engineered, get a lot of the engineering details right, but a good portion of the value of the product is that I go down to my local Festool dealer (Hi, Fred!) and they know my name, they know what I use my tools for, they'll stay past closing time if I can't get there but need something (in fact I think I've got a weekend number for 'em). And I'm just a hobbyist. So the dealer experience is one side.

The other side is, of course, the experience of flashing the brand around. I have a "Festool" bumper sticker on my truck. Occasionally it gets me in conversations. Those conversations are generally very high value (other people who know the brand, know what it means, have common interests to mine).

So the portion that the web can impact is that sales experience. The problem is, of course, that with the advent of big data, Amazon is working to create the same sort of personalized sales experience over the web as you get in person. The huge sample size and ability to cluster customer experience means it's going to be very hard to beat with a boutique product, *unless* you build that personal connection, with real actual sales people.

I think the future of luxury brands on the web is the future of personal brands on the web. Real salespeople who cross over between in-person retail and the virtual space, People who can out-perform the algorithms in understanding customer needs.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Books History Space & Astronomy Consumerism and advertising Work, productivity and environment Machinery Woodworking Festool ]

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