by MattBrown Posted on March 22, 2010 at 6:18pm
Recently I’ve been doing some work in the luxury brand sector, and affiliate marketing interest is definitely there, except there is one grave concern shared by all luxury brand-owners I’ve spoken with: devaluation. How does a brand such as Armani or Louis Vuitton get involved in affiliate marketing and the joy of incremental, otherwise untapped markets without devaluing their brand? I can answer whole-heartedly that avoiding distribution in ‘devalued’ channels is manageable, but what does that leave?
Type “louis vuitton” into Google and the second listing directly below the official website is for Handbagsair.com, with the Ad Title:
“Buy cheap replica Louis Vuitton Handbags and Louis Vuitton Bags from HandbagsAir.”
and the Ad Copy:
This demonstrates the issue of devaluation, not specifically with Affiliate of course, but generally with businesses trying to generate sales off the back of the brand names themselves.
I’m not saying that incentives and discount affiliates are ‘devaluers’ – far from it, but how best to reassure the luxury brands and demonstrate opportunity within Affiliate airspace.
A few years back I did some work with Clinique who, while not absolutely a luxury brand, were worried that they wouldn’t be offering voucher codes or cashback, and weren’t keen to have their products displayed on the cheap cosmetics websites who operate out there. Fair enough, but where does that leave them in terms of value-add distribution in the Performance channel?
Are there sites out there who focus on good luxury brand content, with a loyal and sizeable [enough] user base? I am aware that netaporter do a cracking job in the Affiliate space, so in principle there are affiliates who can add real value, but in terms of a ‘from-the-off’ affiliate strategy can we in this industry offer something to the Dunhills and Hugo Bosses of this world?
Be interested in anyone’s thoughts on this matter. If we as an industry are to tap into the luxury brand world, we will need a clear strategy going forwards.
Feel free to leave a comment below.