Talk to any marketer of ultra-luxury goods and he will spend hours extolling the youthful virtues of high-end cars, clothes, pens and personal care products.
But quiz him a little more and you’ll spot the conundrum. The typical luxury goods buyer is 40-plus and, maybe, even in his 50s or 60s. Most young professionals don’t have the means to buy a BMW, a Louis Vuitton or a Rs. 5-crore apartment.
So, how do these brands draw in older consumers by appealing to the youth?
“The desire to own luxury brands manifests at a much younger age. The purchase, however, may take place when the customer has reached the required income level,” said Ashish Chordia, chairman, Shreyans Group, which has brought brands such as Ferrari and Bang & Olufsen to India.
“We almost subliminally presume that older people are outdated and boring. So, brands are wary of wooing them directly,” said Ramanujan Sridhar, CEO, Brand-Comm, a leading consultancy.
For example, when premium German car maker Audi decided to launch its small SUV, Q3, it decided to flash a peppy and bright orange model in its publicity campaigns, instead of the usual somber black or grey. It also roped in actor John Abraham to launch a music video on social networking sites, instead of the traditional commercial on TV. Their tagline: Start young.