Friday, June 28, 2013

Luxury Real Estate Marketing: The Future of Digital Media Is Already Here - Part 2

Photo Courtesy of Luxe Corp, Paris France
 When we were invited to cover the Club eLuxe International Summit in Paris, by our media partner, Luxe Corp - the producers of the event, we did not realize that the future of digital media was already here. In fact, some aspects of the future of luxury real estate marketing are here as well!   

This became abundantly clear when we walked into the meeting room at the Meurice Hotel and encountered the jewelry display case of the future. In a glass-enclosed showcase that was not more than 2.5 ft. wide, and about 1.5 ft tall, were two watches on display.  But, something was different about the clear glass surface in front.  It was digitally interactive.  

You could tap on the glass and multiple models of the watches in the case appeared on the surface. Then, by touching the digital version of the watches, with similar gestures that you would use on your iPad, you could move, enlarge and rotate the 3D images to see the finest product details from any angle. 

In the meeting room was another glass “display wall” measuring over 10 ft. long that you could interact with in a similar ways.  You could even turn the pages of magazines that were displayed.  Imagine window shopping before or after store hours and being able to control the display on the glass window surface by touch or even by gestures! 

Watch this video produced, Luxe TV, who also covered the event

Can you now imagine the window displays of the luxury real estate office of the future? Instead of having framed photos of listings or monitors with slideshows or video, the windows themselves will be interactive.  In fact, it is possible to display a keyboard in the window that can capture leads if a consumer would like to schedule a showing or simply receive more information on a property.  

The future of digital media is already here. Watch for Part 3 of this article series as we share insights from our LOL media partner, Julian Peh, Founder and CEO of White Wave Media Group, who publishes the #1 luxury website in Asia, Luxury-Insider.  His presentation at the Club eLuxe International Summit in Paris was another wow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Luxury Real Estate Marketing: The Future of Digital Media Is Already Here - Part 1

Jewelry Images Courtesy of Bulgari
The Club eLuxe International Summit, recently held at the Meurice Hotel in Paris, on digital marketing for the luxury industry was a grand success! Most of the major luxury brands were represented at the event with participants from 11 countries.  What became abundantly clear to us as participants was the fact that luxury real estate marketing professionals face many of the same challenges as the top luxury goods companies when it comes to reaching high net worth consumers through digital media. It also became clear that the future of digital media is already here! 
Club eLuxe International Summit, Meurice Hotel, Paris, France
Competition for attention was identified as a key issue in marketing via digital media.  Not only do you need to capture attention, you need to hold the attention of your target market. One of the highlights of the event was a presentation by Joerg Zuber, managing creative director of OPIUM effect GmbH, who addressed this important issue. 

According to Mr. Zuber, “Digital lets you work pure alchemy”.  It allows you to “seduce with unconventional beauty”.  In his presentation he demonstrated this principle by showing us a sneak preview of his ANIMATED video of the Bulgari Serpenti necklace, pictured here.

Suddenly, the Serpenti necklace came alive and began undulating across the screen.  Converting the object to an identical animated version of itself enabled the creative team to go far beyond the constraints of mere realistic video. Music was timed perfectly to accentuate the writhing movements of this bejeweled serpent.
Then, the serpent weaved in and out between the letters of the B v L G A R I logo and our jaws dropped!

The palpable difference between the still photo, the traditional product video and Opium’s animated serpent was like showing someone, who had only seen black and white TV, a 3D movie. It was as if the product had a heart and soul that could connect with you on  a deep level making it, “even better than the real thing”, said Zuber. 

Realistic animation is one of the waves of the digital media future and most likely will be utilized to market luxury real estate.  When you think that the Bulgari necklace cost about $250,000 it stands to reason that multi-million dollar homes will soon require digital media marketing that goes far beyond still shots, slide shows and traditional video.

To stand out from your competition, you need to present your luxury properties in such a way that they not only capture attention, but also hold the consumer’s attention.  It is not how much you spend that counts.  It is how well you do it. 

Stay tuned for Part 2 about the Club eLuxe International Summit in Paris where we discuss another mind-boggling aspect of digital media that points the way to the future of luxury real estate marketing.

Reporting from Paris--Ron & Alexandra Seigel,Partners at Napa Consultants, International & Co-Founders of the Language of Luxury

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Belated Thank You to General von Choltitz: History Meets Digital in Paris

The Club e Luxe conference in Paris was held at the historic Meurice Hotel.  During the Second World War, the German headquarters were housed in the Meurice Hotel.  It is in this hotel that General von Choltitz delayed Hitler’s order to destroy Paris.  The Germans had wired the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks with explosives to deter the Allied Forces.  General von Choltitz privately felt that Hitler was insane, opted instead to surrender shortly after the Allies entered the city. 
Thanks to von Choltitz, Paris lives on in all its splendor intact for all of us and future generation to enjoy. Decades later, Ron and I are sitting in one of the loveliest meeting rooms at the Meurice Hotel, Salon Pompadour (note her portrait on the wall), among the top representatives of the world’s premier luxury brands discussing the importance and the latest innovations and strategies in digital media. 

This week we will be discussing the highlights of this event as it applies to luxury real estate marketing and personal and company branding.  We were inspired delighted, and honored to meet our counterparts in the industry.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Luxury Real Estate Personal & Company Branding: Is Your Brand Formal or Informal?

In luxury real estate personal and company branding, brand positioning is determining how best to amplify and clearly communicate the difference between you and your closest competitors. In general, your brand position is the summation, in a couple of words, of what you stand for in the minds of your target market. 

Owning the very opposite brand position of your competition is a very effective way to accomplish this.  In the realm of luxury marketing you are typically dealing with sophisticated consumers or those who are aspiring to become more sophisticated.  So, how do you find opposite brand positions within the spectrum of sophistication?  Here are two French brands that illustrate this extremely important principle of personal and company branding. 

Two heritage brands, Ladurée (founded in 1862) and Bigot (founded in 1913) are famous in France for chocolate and pastries.  The quality of their products is legendary.  Ladurée is predominantly located in Paris, while Bigot is located in Amboise, in the Loire Valley.  If you did a blind taste test you might discover some very subtle differences in the taste of the chocolate.  However, the quality is indisputable in each case. 

Personal preferences in the taste itself may be the deciding factor in choosing one brand over the other.  But, more likely than not the buying decision would come down to the brand position.  Ladurée is FORMAL and Bigot is INFORMAL.  
If you new that both brands would satisfy your sweet tooth, without tasting the actual chocolate, to which brand would you personally gravitate? Why?  

People like to do business with people and companies like themselves. They purchase products based on their personal values.  That is why branding is about facilitating a match in preferential values between purveyors of goods and their very specific target market. 

In the realm of real luxury real estate, the buyer must be in upper demographic to be able to afford a luxury home. Therefore, understanding the precise psychographics of your buyers and sellers, (their priority values and attitudes), is of paramount importance when it comes to branding you or your company.  Just be sure that your brand position authentically represents you and is not assumed just to be the opposite of your competition.  Your ideal clients will see right through that!



Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: How to Run Circles Around Your Competition - Part 5

luxury real estate marketing tip

Providing Stellar Customer Service, as a luxury real estate marketing professional, sparks word-of-mouth advertising because it is remarkable. And, it engenders client loyalty, which is the cornerstone of market leadership. Best of all, it is something that you can train yourself to provide. 
Mastering the art of Stellar Customer Service can help you run circles around your competition. 

In Part 1-4 of this article series we discussed the first four steps to train yourself to provide Stellar Customer Service. Step #5 is the biggest secret of all, the key that can take your practice into the stratosphere!  In the game of luxury real estate marketing we call it “Dwell Well!” 

To dwell means to live; to dwell well means to live well. But, to dwell also has another very important meaning: to fasten one’s attention, to think, speak or write about at length or with persistence; to linger over. If sustained market leadership is your quest you must be absolutely fastidious about what you dwell upon. You must dwell well!   

Choosing what you fasten your attention to on purpose, keeps you on purpose. Allowing outside influences to determine what you focus upon can distract and derail you. This is the biggest secret of the most successful athletes, sports champions and market leaders in all fields of business. 

To understand how this works, think about a time you were driving on a highway to an important appointment and there was an accident on the OTHER SIDE of the road. The traffic flow on YOUR SIDE of the road came to a complete standstill because the people in front of you were rubbernecking; they were not dwelling well.  

Although, the dwell well principle applies to all aspects of your life the area of customer service is a great place to practice it.  When you encounter sub par customer service notice how much time you spend grousing about it. See if you can train yourself to keep that time to a minimum.  Instead of dwelling upon it by complaining, faultfinding, grumbling or griping about it to anyone who will listen, redirect your attention to Step #1-4 of the Stellar Customer Service training cycle.  

Start dwelling on what you appreciate about the brands to which you are loyal. Acknowledge those who provide you with Stellar Customer Service.  Practice the “I’m worth Stellar Customer Service” mindset. And, start spreading the word about others’ Stellar Customer Service.   
Don’t put up with sub-par service; take the time to switch to the best because you know you deserve it. Fasten yourself to Stellar Customer Service as a recipient and you will become a rising star yourself, an expert at providing it.  By insisting on Stellar Customer Service from yourself and from others, you are certain to dwell well. By doing so, you will be able to run circles around your competition.  To dwell well, dwell well! 

View the Entire Series
Part 1   l   Part 2   l   Part 3  l   Part 4   l  Part 5
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: How to Run Circles Around Your Competition - Part 4

Van Gogh's Starry Skies
In Part 1, 2 & 3 of this articles in this series we covered the first three steps for TRAINING YOURSELF in the art of Stellar Customer Service. Here is STEP #4:  Spread the Word about Stellar Customer Service. 

We all know that referrals are, by far, the best source of business for luxury real estate marketing professionals or any business for that matter.  How can you increase the probability of receiving MORE REFERRALS so you can consistently run circles around your competition?

By offering remarkable, Stellar Customer Service you are more likely to spark word-of-mouth advertising.  But, there is more to the story than that. You can become a very powerful magnet for referrals simply by being a person who consistently spreads the word about OTHERS’ Stellar Customer Service.

The most exciting aspect of this is that you can actually test this out for yourself. You can measure your results as you amp up the power of your magnet based on the frequency of your own word-of-mouth advertising and the amount of referrals you GIVE! 

Make it a game; it really can be fun. And, IT FEELS GOOD to do it! By looking for examples of Stellar Customer Service that you can spread the word about you BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE!  You EXPECT TO FIND IT in every encounter you have with service providers.

This phenomenon became very clear to us one day when we received Stellar Customer Service from a waitress at one of our favorite restaurants in Beverly Hills.  We were awestruck when we overheard the people at the table next to us complain that they received horrible service from the very same waitress.

We watched as they brought out the worst in her by hurling insults with a very derogatory attitude. Before we left the restaurant we spoke with the manager and praised the same waitress, not on her behalf to defend her, but because it felt good to do it.

It does not take that much extra time in your day to go out of your way to spread the word about Stellar Customer Service.  The rewards are TANGIBLE when your intentions are genuine and you come from a GENEROSITY OF SPiRIT.  Those who share this value will naturally gravitate to you. And, they will go out of their way to promote YOU. Running circles around your competition then becomes the inevitable outcome.

Watch for Part 5 where we will reveal the biggest secret of all, the key that can take your practice into the stratosphere!  In the game of luxury real estate marketing we call it “Dwell Well!” (Step #5).

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