Whether it’s a new product launch or an anniversary celebration, luxury brands strive for a high level of excellence and an exceptional experience for all events. At the same time, they must communicate the key brand pillars of authenticity, legitimacy, and uniqueness. By authentic, we mean being true to their heritage as many luxury brands have gained their status by being rooted in tradition. Legitimacy comes from illustrating a high level of craftsmanship through event details, and lastly, the event must stand out amongst industry competitors. But what judges the success of an event?
Here are the 4 key audiences we keep in mind for events we conceptualize and produce.
1) PRESS & INFLUENCERS. Since most luxury events are private or exclusive, one of the best ways to widen the reach of your event is through successful press coverage, especially since press are often invited to preview the event before it is open to the public. While traditionally the focus has been on print, TV, and radio, more and more we are beginning to see a shift of media outreach towards bloggers and influencers – think of them as the new VIPs. Long gone are the days when consumers trusted messaging and content directly from brands. With the help of influencers, you will be able to publicize your event to new audiences via social media in a way that is organic and noninvasive. Because influencers have a legion of highly engaged and loyal followers, they have a massive impact on brand perception and customer activation and retention.
2) CUSTOMERS. Majority of luxury events are still there to ultimately reach target consumers, in the hopes of strengthening or rewarding a loyal customer base. Today with the advent of live streaming platforms, like Periscope, events can help brands stay front of mind for existing and potential customers alike. By designing and producing an event for live streaming, brands no longer have to confine their customers to a physical space. Even if a brand does a localized, intimate event in London for a specific launch of a high-end fashion collection, a digital experience of the event and brand can help keep the luxury dream relevant for its North American audience.
3) THE INDUSTRY. Events are a form of messaging, and can serve to communicate your brand’s latest products or relevancy to key industry vendors, partners, retailers, institutions, and associations. While it is not a direct audience, it’s an opportunity for industry players to learn more about your brand and a great way to stand out against your competitors.
4) INTERNAL TEAM. Lastly, events can help solidify the bond between a staff and the brand. Oftentimes luxury branding can be very aspirational. Events help bridge the gap between that aspirational quality and a concrete understanding of the brand’s character and goals. We can see how a team’s understanding, of the company they are working for, becomes more tangible as they gain a new relationship to the brand through attending an event. Events are a great time for employee buy-in.
When creating KPIs for your upcoming event, make sure to hit what matter most to the brand, press, participants, and internal team. As I mentioned in this interview with BFM TV, balancing these components are key to an event’s success. It’s not just about what people say about your event, but who says it.