Art Basel Miami is one of the most prestigious art fairs in the world. This is where billionaires go when they need a painting for the guest bedroom; last year’s most expensive artwork commanded a $5 million dollar price tag. Attendees as Art Basel Miami had more than artwork to look at: there was plenty of sponsorship from the world’s most high end luxury brands.
Doug Gollan, writing for Centurion, made a really interesting point. He argued that luxury brands are actually overexposed in the fine arts and culture world. Shifting some or all of their marketing efforts to other areas – he recommended college football games in particular – might yield better results.
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There’s a lesson here for the independent jewelry retailer. While few of us are selling the equivalent of $5 million paintings, we are in the business of connecting our community’s most affluent members with beautiful jewelry. It’s time to think through where we’re doing our advertising. Sponsoring the local ballet company’s performance of the Nutcracker may in fact connect you with a portion of your customer base and potential customer base – but what about the folks who have money and hate ballet?
It’s important to understand what your most affluent customers are passionate about. If they’re dedicated to sport fishing, for example, sponsoring a local tournament may be infinitely more impactful than stepping up for the ballet. We have to be willing to expand our understanding of what affluence looks like today. There have been distinct generational changes in how this group chooses to spend their time and money.
Fortune Magazine reports NASCAR – for decades, a decidedly down market brand – is in talks with Dior, Michael Kors, and Louis Vutton. Luxury brands are abandoning the opera for something a little more high octane. It may be wise to consider doing the same.