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Bentley entices affluent couples with Valentine’s Day gift ideas

January 28, 2013


British automaker Bentley Motors is enticing affluent consumers with a Valentine’s Day gift guide-themed email and online content through which they can locate gifts for a significant other.

Bentley is pushing the collection with an email blast and content on its Web site that highlights gifts specifically for men or women. Both the email and the collection Web site are divided into categories of gifts to allow consumers to easily find a gift for their significant other.

"The luxury consumer is looking for a direct and simple purchasing experience and email marketing is an excellent way to bring them into that experience," said Louis Perez, manager of search engine optimization and emerging technologies at Morpheus Media, New York.

"Bentley can easily reach consumers who are interested in Valentine's Day gifting, but may have not purchased a gift yet," he said. "Attracting them with an email blast and putting Bentley's name out there in this fashion would present a strong opportunity for return.

"The time-sensitive sale is also a great incentive for their consumers to benefit from the sale by making an immediate purchase."

Mr. Perez is not affiliated with Bentley, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Bentley was unable to comment before press deadline.

Making the right choice
The email that was sent out to Bentley consumers is divided into two sections - one for him and one for her.

The section of women’s gifts starts out with an image of the Weekender Bag and a quote from Audrey Hepburn.

Bentley email

Other products listed below include the Ettinger Leather Loop Keyring, Dents Ladies Cabretta Globes and the Cashmere ‘Fading Out Stripe’ Scarf.

On the men’s side, the Cashmere Car Silhouette Scarf in grey is featured alongside a quote from Oscar Wilde.

Bentley email

Other products shown include the Leather Briefcase in black, a leather belt and the Dents Classic Gents Gloves.

A click-through on the email leads to the Bentley Collection’s Web site that has been updated for Valentine’s Day.

The same eight gifts featured in the email are shown across the top of the Web site alongside other quotes about love and romance.

Bentley Collection's Web site

The items and quotes vary for the men’s and women’s products.

Bentley Collection's Web site

Also on the Web site, the collection is listed out by type of item. The categories are Collections, Enthusiast, Apparel, Children, Model Cars and Luxury Gifts.

A gift guide that gives consumers an idea of gifts for a specific demographic or gender, could aid in leading consumers to purchase certain products.

Other luxury marketers have created similar campaigns.

For instance, British jeweler and retailer Astley Clarke targeted male shoppers through a holiday gift guide that is packaged as an email cheat-sheet on gifts for women.

The gift guide was sent out to Astley Clarke customers via email with the subject line, “Men of the world, don’t panic. The cheat sheet is here.” The brand likely engaged its male customers who do not think about purchasing jewelry as often as its female customers might.

Also, department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue got a head start on holiday transactions through a digital gift guide that presented items by recipient, price or designer, which it shared via email, social media and its Web site.

There were quite a few ways in which users can browse the gift guide including items under $150 and products selected by Terron Schaefer, chief creative officer and Saks buyer on NBC’s style competition show, “Fashion Star” (see story).

Love is in the air

Other luxury brands have started pushing their Valentine’s Day gifts as well.

For instance, apparel and accessories label Oscar de la Renta moved ahead of the pack by presenting consumers with its branded Valentine’s Day product guide a few weeks before the holiday to push gift ideas under $500 and a holiday dressing guide.

The brand promoted the gift guide Jan. 23 via email and through the homepage and gift section of its Web site. More luxury marketers will likely attempt to influence affluent consumers’ spending in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day to capitalize on a holiday that centers on gift-giving (see story).

An email reminder for Valentine's Day gifts is a good way for marketers to remind consumers to buy items if they are planning to do so.

"An email blast would allow Bentley to target consumers who are not already shopping and ignite the notion to shop for Valentine's Day gifts," Mr. Perez said.

"The consumer's intent while going through emails is different than those just browsing the Web," he said. "A well-crafted email can elicit emotions to click through and purchase.

"Consumers who are browsing the Web may be looking to shop already and have destinations in mind, while those scanning through their email are more likely to be swayed by an idea or reason to shop."

Final take

Erin Shea, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York