The marketing for luxury brands has evolved a lot today as customers are focused on authentic and genuine brands. From focusing on driving luxury, brands in this day and age want to be seen as authentic, according to Abhijeet Sonar, Head of Marketing, India and SAARC at Hansgrohe.
"People are today drawn towards companies that lead with authenticity, morals and mindset," Sonar said.
Talking about how marketing has evolved for the luxury bathroom category, he said, "When Covid-19 started, a lot of people went digital, and that was the need of the hour. Post-Covid, I see that you need to choose the right platforms that connect with your customer."
Sonar said that the audience and their needs have evolved completely. According to him, more and more people are focusing on their homes as the pandemic made people realise the importance of having peace and comfort at home.
"They are focusing on the right things. For example, instead of 3-4 phones, they have one good phone, it's all about investing in what actually touches them. They want the best in their buying capacity," he said.
"People are renovating their homes and there has been a sudden splurge in real estate. People are buying new houses and renovating them. We see that we have sold the most premium showers in India. People want to have good showers, to calm their senses down. It's all about hygiene and being healthy nowadays. They want to spend quality time at home today, and we as a company focus towards fulfilling that need of the consumer. We have seen phenomenal growth in our business in the past few years," said Sonar.
Hansgrohe to focus on print magazines
Talking about its advertising strategy, the company wants to focus on being present at the right spaces and will focus on print magazines and digital to drive growth.
"I see that you need to choose the right platforms that connect with your customer.
For my advertising, I have big support from traditional magazines plus the modern route of advertising. I think it’s important for the mix to be balanced."
"Aspirational products need to be in the right spaces, sometimes you need to move away from concepts like pan-India or national visibility campaigns to focus-building campaigns. This year, we are focused on high-end magazines that cater to the customer base. We will focus on the top 3-5 platforms in the magazine space and the digital front," he added.
Upon being asked if customers still read magazines at the same level as they used to a few years ago, he agreed that though there might have been a slight dip but the retention rates on seeing something in print is much higher.
"I think retention time in a consumer's mind when he sees something on print is much higher than on digital."
"Our customer base is primarily architects and designers. We look at associating with top high-end magazines like AD, Good Homes, Audi and Mercedes customer magazines," etc. Our spends will be 65% on digital and 35% on print," he added.
Further talking about the company's outlook towards competition with companies - like Jaquar, Kohler – and others advertising much actively, he said, "These guys have huge marketing budgets while our investments are focused on key enablers that are driving our growth. We look at focusing on our showrooms and on the customer intimacy journey and that has greatly helped us.”
"While we follow the traditional marketing route, post-Covid there has been a big change towards how markets think. Today, it’s more about harnessing the entire capabilities of the business. It's essential to provide the best experience to the consumer and help it grow and focus on what will drive the growth," he explained.
According to Sonar, marketing today needs to be aligned with sales and business growth. "Earlier we used to make campaigns to just test it, but now it’s all about how you can drive revenue by identifying the key business drivers of that growth."
"My advice would be to be honest about your product and what it delivers. In today's world it's more about being simple than complicated in your approach. The key is to deliver what the customer wants, understand his needs and then create engagement," Sonar said on a concluding note.