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The word “luxury” denotes a particular air – one of money, status, refined taste, and a sense of classic endurance hard to shake. And yet our two-year luxury brand sentiment analysis delivered some surprises that did just that.

On February 23 new NetBase Chief Marketing Officer Paige Leidig will be on hand at the iMedia Brand Summit on Amelia Island FL to speak about the changing luxury landscape – and what brands need to do to stay on top.

Social media’s role in the brand-consumer relationship

Popularity is not permanent for any brand, no matter how big. If you aren’t keeping up with what consumers want then you won’t maintain your success. The days of reeling in customers with the power of your brand name alone are gone.

For well-established luxury brands this might come as a surprise, but what our report shows is that no brand is disruption-proof. Classic brands are falling behind and newcomers are emerging, redefining what constitutes “luxury” in consumers’ eyes.

Consider new-to-the-list brand Apple Watch. Apple’s new wearable burst onto the scene ahead of Rolex, which fell from #8 to #14 from the first year of the study to the second. And because of the buzz around the Apple Watch, watches overall accounted for 7% of the luxury conversation in the second year.

Meanwhile, who fell off the list entirely in year two? Two major luxury brands: Armani and Versace. This shows exactly how susceptible even the most classic brands are to the changing whims of consumers.

And it’s precisely the reason social media listening is so crucial for brands. When you’re part of the ongoing conversation with your audience, you can better predict this kind of turning of the tides – and likely even prevent it.

Taking it beyond small talk

Paige will explain how using social to create micro-segments can help you join that conversation, and be attuned to changes in trends at the earliest possible moment.

The idea is to go deeper than pre-social strategies allowed. Don’t stop at age, gender, location, occupation, etc. – learn what social users’ dream cars are, their hobbies outside of work, their favorite foods, TV shows, colors, and more. These small details provide the opportunity to connect on a personal level. That’s what all consumers want, but it’s even more important as part of the luxury experience.

And that’s why you want to take it even further, to understand how social users FEEL. What does luxury mean to them? Why do they love one brand and hate another? What is it that moves them to share these sentiments on social media?

Everything you need to know about consumers is revealed by what they share on social – from what they choose to talk about, to the language, slanguage and even emojis they’re using to do it. You just need to know what you’re looking for, and how to put it to work.

Paige will break down these tactics with respect to the luxury market, and how they apply to all brands as well. There’s no one who can’t benefit from getting to know their audience better – and there’s no one exempt from losing consumer love by NOT doing so. They may love you today – but we want to be sure they love you tomorrow and beyond.

We hope you’ll join us on Amelia Island to hear more. But if you can’t, you can download the NetBase Brand Passion Report: Luxury Brands 2016 for the complete analysis of our study – or reach out to add NetBase to your marketing arsenal today.

Image from Steven Depolo

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