Prestige Car Hire

When an important client comes to visit your business, it can make all the difference if you wine and dine them. This is particularly important if it is a new client that you are wishing to bag. This may be their first impression of your company, and the way you treat them will go a long way to deciding on how your business relationship will go forward.

This does not end simply in the boardroom. If the client is coming from a distance to meet you, then you may need to pick them up from the airport. This is one of the first impressions the client will get from you, so how should you proceed?

Some people think that hiring a prestige car for a client arriving at the airport may seem extravagant. For example, the client may think that you are a company that is willing to throw away money on unrequired expenses. They may also feel intimidated that you are clearly trying to butter them up for what you want from them.

These concerns are really very far from the truth though. Hiring a prestige car is generally for a small period of time, and does not cost that much money. As long as you are consistent in your treatment of customers, they will appreciate the extra effort. Do not be thrifty with customers until it is time for them to renew their services, they will see this a mile away and not appreciate the extra effort you have put in.

If you commonly have prestige clients arriving, you should have a prestige car hire company ready to call upon. You will be able to negotiate a discount with the company if you are planning on using their services regularly. In the end, this can make the price of hiring a prestige car with a driver about the same price as expensive airport taxis, or having members of staff taking lots of time out of their day to cater for these clients.

Above this need, you could start to use the prestige car company for your own uses, so that when you go to visit clients and suppliers in your local area the car company can drive you, or you can hire the prestige car. They will commonly be able to drop off the car at your location, ready for you to use. It is a great symbol of your company’s success for your business partners to see.

The Digital IQ of Prestige Brands in China

An exclusive report from L2 and Labbrand

The massive potential for retail businesses in China is no surprise to anyone-least of all prestige brands. After years of annual double-digit growth, China’s booming economy has left tens of millions of consumers seeking new ways to spend their disposable income. In 2009, China became the world’s second largest luxury market behind Japan, surpassing the United States.

Even though these trends were recognizable at least 20 years ago, many prestige brands are still playing catch-up in this diverse and rapidly changing marketplace. With 384 million internet users-more than the U.S. and Japan combined-much of the competition for customers and brand loyalty will play out online. The investment prestige brands make in their own digital competence could be a deciding factor in their ability to survive and thrive in China, and is likely to become increasingly important as the market matures.

What is Digital IQ and How is it Measured?

In July of 2010, L2, a think tank for prestige brands, partnered with Labbrand to measure and rank the digital competence of one hundred prestige brands in China[1]. The measurement methodology, “Digital IQ,” gives each brand a combined score based on website translation, functionality and content, search engine optimization (SEO), social media performance, and digital marketing efforts

Digital IQ Ranking: China

A Closer Look at the Numbers

These rankings reveal several interesting trends and correlations with other available metrics. For example, the eight fashion brands measured show a strong positive correlation (0.72) between Digital IQ and brand value as reported in BusinessWeek’s annual 100 Best Global Brands report[2]. For the six automotive brands measured in both studies, the correlation is also strongly positive, at 0.61. These correlations do not necessarily mean that increasing Digital IQ guarantees an enhanced brand value. Nevertheless, the strength of these correlations suggests that the relationship between brand value and Digital IQ is not arbitrary. It is possible that valuable brands are more likely to have higher brand awareness, and therefore enjoy higher returns on the same or smaller investments in digital. Alternatively, valuable brands may be more likely to have higher marketing budgets and invest more heavily in digital media.

Prestige brands with the highest Digital IQ scores are breaking away from the pack. In mature markets, measurements of digital competence show prestige brands tightly bunched together-

leaders do not achieve significant separation from brands with average Digital IQ scores. But in China, digital Geniuses are not just in the lead-they’re winning big. For example, the five brands in the Genius category boast a mean Digital IQ more than 25 points higher than that of the next five brands. In comparison, brands ranked six through ten show a mean difference of only 13.2 points compared to those ranked eleven through fifteen. Digital leaders start “breaking away” at an inflection point around Digital IQ 120. Brands at the bottom end of the ranking demonstrate a similar but opposite effect-they lag significantly behind brands with average Digital IQ scores.

Fifty-nine percent of the luxury brands in the study of Digital IQ in China were also measured in a separate study of the Digital IQ of luxury brands in the U.S., dated September 2009. Brands measured in both indices demonstrated a correlation of 0.58 between their Chinese Digital IQ and their U.S. Digital IQ, suggesting that digital competence in one market can be leveraged in another. Beauty brands Lancme, Clarins, and Este Lauder show the greatest positive disparity between Chinese and U.S. Digital IQ. This suggests their recognition of the opportunity to build brands in China through digital media. Meanwhile, champagne brands Veuve Clicquot, Mot & Chandon, and Dom Prignon demonstrate the largest negative disparity-none of them support a Chinese language version of their brand site. Negative disparities may speak to inability or carelessness when translating digital competence from West to East.

Missed Opportunities and Winning Strategies

Most prestige brands earning high Digital IQ scores in China share at least two attributes: local relevance and availability across a broad range of media.

Local relevance stems partly from familiarity with Chinese sites like Baidu, Kaixin, and Youku, which can be loosely compared to Google, Facebook, and YouTube, respectively. But brands doing business in China must recognize that for Western sites and their Chinese counterparts, different strategies are required; simply translating site content is often ineffective.

While homegrown search engine Baidu boasts 62 percent market share in China[3], only 39 percent of measured prestige brands come up first in its organic results when searching by English brand name. Meanwhile, 94 percent of brand sites came up first on Google.cn (prior to its departure from China) when using English names. When searching with Chinese names, approximately 30 percent of brand sites are not among the top three search results on either search engine. This indicates the difficulty of brand name translation for many multinational brands. These numbers suggest that many brands approach search visibility with a Google-centric mentality that fails to recognize the Baidu algorithm and other local nuances.

One way brands can enhance SEO is by creating more opportunities for consumer interaction through a combination of social network sites (SNS), microsites, bulletin-board systems (BBS) and e-commerce and mobile websites.

Although many prestige brands are eliciting thousands of user-generated comments, video uploads, blog posts, and photos on popular SNS like RenRen, Qzone, Kaixin001, and YouKu, very few are interacting directly with consumers on these sites. As consumers are increasingly expecting brand communications to be interactive, rather than one-way broadcasts, digitally savvy brands that are beginning to engage directly with users on SNS platforms stand to gain an edge. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW host contests on RenRen, while Dior has a page on Qzone. Digital Genius Lancme boasts an official group on Kaixin001 with more than 250,000 members. Johnnie Walker also hosts a group on the platform.

Four of the brands in the study have invested in branded online communities. Digital Genius Lancme launched an online community called Rose Beauty in 2006 and has four million subscribers. Este Lauder and Clarins also host branded beauty communities. BMW has created a community for the estimated 150,000 BMW drivers in China through its MyBMWClub.cn site. Meanwhile, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche have created simple-interface BBS to help facilitate discussions with avid fans. Although the appropriateness of microsites as a means of online consumer interaction is debatable, efforts from these brands demonstrate a heightened commitment to the Chinese marketplace.

On average, brands that embrace e-commerce boast Digital IQ scores 50 points higher than brands that do not sell online. The size of the e-commerce market in China may have quadrupled from 2006 to 2009[4], but only ten of the 100 prestige brands in the study offer online transactions. The Beauty & Skincare category leads with six of 13 brands selling online. Many prestige brands opt against e-commerce for fear it will reflect poorly on the brand’s premium status and diminish control over the sales experience. However, as fashion brand and China first-mover Ports 1961 is the only foreign brand outside of the Beauty category to sell online, making e-commerce available would be a clear point of differentiation within many prestige categories.

In addition to website enhancements, SEO, and SNS, it is imperative for luxury brands to develop a mobile strategy. There are an estimated 745 million mobile phone subscribers in China[5], and more than one quarter of mobile users access the internet through their phones[6]. China has considerably lower in-home internet penetration than most developed nations, and many Chinese consumers move directly from no internet to mobile internet. Yet, only 42 percent of the measured brands have mobile-enabled sites. Hong Kong brand Shanghai Tang is one of the first luxury brands to incorporate a Chinese language iPhone application.

Conclusion

While at least rudimentary digital competence is essential for prestige brands operating in China, specific digital strategies should be customized based on a brand’s vision and personality, opportunities and positioning, rather than a “check box” approach. As with other brand communication and media, digital strategy should be informed by comprehensive and up-to-date market research, strengthened by sound analysis and concrete brand positioning, and executed with distinctive and compelling creative work. Ultimately, brands with a deeper understanding of their Chinese customers, local competition, and familiarity with their own reputation and strengths will fare better, both online and off.

[1]”L2 Digital IQ Index: China”. Scott Galloway &, Doug Guthrie, June 16, 2009.

[2]”100 Best Global Brands”, BusinessWeek, September 2009

[3]”China Online”, eMarketer, December 2010

[4]iResearch, February 2009

[5]Ministry of the Information Industry, People’s Republic of China, August 2009

[6]”Global Device Insight Report”, Nielsen, October 2009

Things You Ought To Remember In Line With Prestige Car Leasing

Anybody who knows cars would recognize the Rolls-Royce as the ultimate symbol of luxury. Given their limited releases and customized features, Rolls Royce cars on sale fetch anywhere from $250,000 to $450,000. But their value goes beyond scarcity and looks. These vehicles actually boast advanced driving features and powerful engine performance, making them a close competitor of other luxury brands, such as BMW and Mercedes Benz. Some of its most famous series selections include the Rolls Royce Ghost and Rolls Royce Phantom.

Now, given the economic landscape, buying Rolls Royce cars on sale may not be the smartest thing to do. They are, after all, depreciating assets. And given their prices, you might just end up losing comfort, rather than gaining it with an investment that does not generate income, and will only be sporadically used. However, if you believe in it so much, there may be a way for you to satisfy your craving without breaking the bank. There are dealerships today that offer prestige car leasing in order to curb the negative effects of a brand new purchase, giving people a chance to enjoy a charmed life. To ensure though, that you are making the right transactions, here are a few tips you might want to go over.

First, know what you want. Start researching on your options. Don’t just allow yourself to get dictated. Test-drive the models, and then inspect it thoroughly. It would be best to get your own mechanic to survey. But this particular tip goes beyond determining the model of the Rolls Royce car you want to drive. Leasing entails a number of responsibilities and conditions. You could let the dealership offer you their best terms, or you could make your own. It’d be more convenient if you are able to secure the latter, since that would give you the chance to negotiate. As everyone knows, negotiation is the only way one can protect their own interest. Look into the maintenance and insurance requirements, especially, since you are bound to get a car that has been used by different people before. Consider the variables – penalties, extra fees, and interests – things that might affect your ability to honor the contract and the financial plan set out.

Second, take advantage of the competition. Shop around. Ask different resources to give you everything they could possibly offer. See, even though you are just getting prestige car leasing services, the money that entails is still significant. So you have to make sure your business is valued. Don’t look too eager to buy, since that would make agents less interested in winning you over. And don’t just limit yourself to your locality because you might find a better offer in the next town.

Third, work with someone who takes care of you. Affordability will not be much of an advantage if you end up dealing with a sales person who does not treat you respectfully and honestly. Remember that car leasing is tantamount to establishing a long term relationship with a dealer. The last thing you want to do is allow them to get access to your finances, withhold you of support and affection, and then take advantage of you until you lose confidence and quit. And when you think about it, the same thing actually goes when you are out to buy Rolls Royce cars for sale.