May 31, 2013
Bentley Motors is celebrating its British heritage as a partner for the Coronation Festival July 11-14 at the Gardens of Buckingham Palace along with other luxury brands.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association’s event to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation has drawn more than 200 Royal Warrant-holding exhibitors. Bentley is looking to showcase that it designed and hand-built The Queen’s State Limousine with a large display at the festival and a sponsorship of the Coronation Festival Gala.
“An integral part of the luxury code is the promotion of brands to which you associate,” said Chris Ramey, president of Affluent Insights, Miami, FL. “The Coronation Festival is a special event unlike anything in the United States.
“The takeaway for luxury marketers is that no brand, not even the iconic Bentley brand, can act as an island today,” he said. “You’re either part of the affluent client’s circle or you’re outside their circle, woe be to any quality or luxury brand that chooses its own island.”
Mr. Ramey is not affiliated as an industry expert, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Bentley was available to comment directly before press deadline.
Bentley is one of the main partner brands of the Coronation Festival as well as the gala sponsor.
The automaker will display a variety of its vehicles – historic model included – on the grounds of Buckingham Palace during the festival.
Current models that will be displayed include the Mulsanne and Continental GT Speed Convertible.
The R-Type Continental, one of the historic models that will be on display, was popular during the Queen’s original Coronation celebration.
Bentley’s festival exhibit will also show consumers an inside look at the automaker’s Cheshire, England-based headquarters.
Events such as the Coronation Festival could spark competition between exhibitors to get the most attention from attendees since so many high-end brands will be present.
Jaguar Land Rover, for example, is serving as the official vehicle partner of the Coronation Festival. The brand is the only automaker that holds all three Royal Warrants from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales.
Both Jaguar and Land Rover each received their first Royal Warrants in 1951, one year before the Queen took the throne.
Additionally, The Leading Hotels of the World’s The Ritz London will be an exhibitor at the Coronation Festival in the food and drink category and is offering an exclusive package for the event.
The “Festival Fantastic” package available July 11-13 to Leaders Club members gives them daily tickets to the event where they will receive complimentary Ritz Champagne and canapés. It also includes a two-night stay in a deluxe suite and other amenities (see story).
Inclusion in luxury-focused events is essential in today’s customer-centric marketplace, per Mr. Ramey.
“You don’t sell the affluent – they choose to buy from you,” Mr. Ramey said. “It’s the responsibility of each brand marketer to create an intellectual environment conducive to purchasing their objects.
“Bentley’s presence at the Coronation Festival tells a story and they’re leveraging it appropriately,” he said. “Their absence, had they chosen not to participate, would have told a bigger and more negative narrative.
“There are some parties you must attend.”
Tricia Carr, associate reporter on Luxury Daily, New York