Nothing works better than word-of-mouth with HNWI
Can you imagine Neeta Ambani or Ratan Tata pick a luxury brand because of its pull advertising?
I just can’t.
But I’d still like to know what motivates them to open their loaded wallets, even when, they happen to fall (One imagines) in the non-discretionary high spenders’ category. I am actually intrigued and interested in knowing what influences the rich and the famous to buy a brand.
As Joe Tripodi, chief Marketing Officer, Coca-Cola Company once famously said, “awareness is fine, but advocacy will take your business to the next level,” so let’s just try to read the rich (High Net Worth) consumer’s mind in this blog.
At the onset, lets figure out, “Who do they listen to, if not campaign managers?”
Experts? Family? Peers? – or, as lone rangers, do they always go alone?
I would guess that since they move in certain, exclusive circles, peer to peer marketing (P2P) would be the most effective medium of reaching out to them. The reasons for this are not difficult to guess: they define themselves against people whose goals, experiences and lifestyle match theirs. As they belong to the ‘Classes’ They are least concerned about what they the masses are wearing/consuming.
Aping this mindset, those on the lower rung of the consumption hierarchy are also influenced by peer who help them cut through the clutter. That’s the secret behind the popularity of LinkedIn. From an online resume posting service to an end-to-end personal branding tool, it’s become the perfect launch pad for business peers to find and interact with one another.
How are brands using P2P?
Dettol has been around since the 1950s. It’s become a powerful synonym for an antiseptic liquid, so much so that people don’t say they want an antiseptic liquid, they say they want Dettol. In China, it was slow to grow in popularity so Reckitt Benckiser, the company that owns the brand began to focus on Chinese moms.
It started by distributing 48,000 samples of Dettol to 4,000 influencer moms, prompting them to try one and share 10. The outcome? The campaign reached 46 percent of its target audience. As a result, Dettol’s overall brand awareness increased five times, and sales in China almost doubled to 86 percent.
In P2P consumer advocates become the voice of your brand
Zappos is another interesting case study. Experts contend their sales are driven more by repeat business than by traditional marketing, and if numbers are to be believed last year Zappos crossed $2 billion in sales.
Then there is another illustrative case of Adidas, the team sponsor of the Chinese Women’s Volleyball Team that was most popular in the 1980s before it started sliding into obscurity in the years that followed. Adidas re-established that popularity with a word-of-mouth campaign that raised the team’s profile and positioning.
Today, the ideal medium for P2P campaigns is the digital medium, especially the social networking sites, where it’s very easy to make it viral. The challenge is to create content that begs to be shared. Apple, Miele and Lego do that with aplomb. Consistently refreshing the product experience to build an buzz through early adopters and influential online communities/tribes. Apple does it via its apps store, while Red Bull falls back on celebrities among different target groups to seed the right message about the energy-drink. How cleverly it segments its targets is almost a science in itself.
P2P marketing is simple if you know what makes people tick. The rest is a bit of trial and error.