Events are the best channel to reach our niche audience privately: Nikhil Lamba, Lladró
Luxury and India definitely have a strong connection and the fact that more and more luxury brands are entering India is a testimony to that. Lladró, the luxury of fine porcelain sculptures, has translated many emotions and stories through their handicraft. Nikhil Lamba, COO, Lladró India in an exclusive conversation with Everything Experiential shares more on their marketing strategies in India and how the brand uses experiential marketing to build relationships with it's consumers.
Q- What is Lladró India’s marketing mix?
A- Lladró is a luxury brand which caters to a very niche segment of customers. While in our marketing initiatives we stay in close touch with our customers through digital platforms, but our key tools of marketing are privately held signing events, painting and Sculptor events, wherein our customers get an opportunity to meet one of the members of Lladró Family or the respective artists, and get their piece signed exclusively by them. Moreover, our customers are the biggest marketing channels for us. Word of mouth has worked beautifully for us. Our artwork displayed in client’s home is the platform that markets our product to our potential customers. A lot many times, when our customers gift some Lladró artwork to their friends, relatives, etc., we get a lot of queries again which creates more customers. So events, word of mouth, customer experience at our stores, digital platforms, etc. are from our marketing mix. The kind of experience we give to our customers differentiates us and helps in building connections with customers at different levels.
Q- Which channels do you use maximum to communicate with Indian customers?
A- Lladró is ageless and our products are for a lifetime. The biggest high for any Lladró employee is to see the products live in their customer’s home/offices and that is our biggest tool of communication. We take a privilege in showcasing the product to the customer at their home/ offices, to which they can later decide if that fits in their requirement or not. Lladró has very unique and a limited number of pieces that come in every collection. Lladró collectors own the privilege to see all the new launches privately (on request) well before it gets showcased in the boutiques. Another biggest tool of communication is the Visual Display of the product at the boutiques which enhances the beauty of product while we try to showcase the real look of the product at the display window.
Q- Out of these, which one have you found to be most effective for reaching your audience?
A- Events are the best channel to reach our niche audience privately and keep the exclusivity of the relationship intact. Spending totally depends on the scale of media, we may not follow a one set formula every year. We keep on doing something new every season to nurture our relationship more with our customers.
Q- How important is it to create the perception of exclusivity within your marketing and how do you maintain it?
A- It is very critical for Lladró to be exclusive as we cater to a segment which is highly niche and a product of pride. If we go back to the history of porcelain, it was also known as white gold as owing porcelain is a matter of pride and power. That is another reason why Lladró produces porcelain as well in the workshop in Valencia, Spain. There is nothing outsourced from anywhere to ensure high quality products and clear supervision at every stage. We have a limited supply of the pieces and a piece once created is not repeated. It makes our product more valuable.
Q- How important is experiential marketing for Lladró?
A- That’s the roots of our business, we sell moments, and every product of Lladró speaks a moment of life. From our recent piece “Riding with You” which showcase a couple on a Vespa Scooter, takes them back in their time when they began the journey and today where they have reached with their hard work and passion. Similarly, all our couple pieces depict some emotions between them while they are together. Our Mother and Child collection is an another example of experiential marketing, wherein we understood the minute details of a moment between a mother and child and brought it to life in the form of Lladró Figurine.
Our experiential marketing strategies enable our consumers to see at first-hand how products are made. The visitor program allows our clients to visit the Lladró Factory in Valencia, which is the one and only centre for the production of Lladró pieces. They can watch artisans working on site and visit the Lladró Museum. Every year over 15,000 lovers of Lladró porcelain visit the complex. Moreover, the Lladró Home Decor app is another feature to enhance the customer experience. The app is available for iPhone users giving them an access to the complete and updated catalog of Lladró porcelain figurines. They can here create their own compositions on real scenes captured by them. Thus, a potential buyer can actually see how the piece will fit in real time scenario. This helps them to visualize and choose the right product even before visiting the store.
Q- Share with us few examples of some successful experiential marketing campaigns by Lladró?
A- With every new launch our boutique team shares the product details with clients privately and if requested, we allow our customers to keep the product in their premises to for a day or so to take a decision. And this is completely experience driven there is no condition linked to it. Another example is the Lladró Assurance Program, wherein we give an assurance of a free replacement for a year for every product bought from Lladró boutique, without any condition.
We have also organized some fashion shows where the designers have taken inspiration from the colors, textures and shapes of Lladró porcelain pieces such as Great Dragon, Queen of the Nile, Bridal Carriage, etc.
Q- According to you, how can luxury brands maximize their experiential marketing to reach the people they want to reach?
A- I believe marketers have to be more customers driven in their approach rather than sales driven. Product feature may vary, but the overall experience with the brand is the key for any customer which drives their buying decision. For Lladró, we want to convey the love, and passion of our sculptor’s to our customers and make them feel happy and privileged when they see a Lladró piece and eventually decide to own it. It's about the feel-good factor when you look at something beautiful and that is the kind of experience we believe in giving to our customers.
Q- Which luxury brand, according to you has set its marketing strategy right?
A- Every brand is doing great in their own prospect, my personal favorite is Louis Vuitton.
Q- Do you work with any event agency to organize exclusive events for you?
A- Yes, we do work with agencies from time to time, depending on the requirement of the event. Since we are a global brand everything in terms of event format to branding remains standard across the globe.
Q- What does Lladró look for in an event agency?
A- Someone who understand the customers very well, who have an eye to understand that guest list well and understand its criticality.
Q- How important is the Indian market for a brand like Lladró?
A- It is very important and it can easily be identified by the fact that this year we have High Porcelain product as Lord Shiva, which is a collection from our Spirit of India Range. Wherein every high porcelain product takes a minimum of a year of ideation and creation, it is very difficult and important for the Lladró family to pick one market and dedicate the key resources to make that one product.
Q- What are your expansion plans?
A- We will be coming up with our first new format store in Hyderabad by the end of September and the design of the store is done by famous Designer, Jaime Hayon.
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