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Just last week, at Taj Jai Mahal Palace in Jaipur, I spent much energy deciphering its ‘Unique Experience Quotient’ – that inspiring adhesive connecting exceptional content to brand affiliation. Royal heritage is after all a subject that cannot be owned by a solitary hotel chain, although possessing prime properties, as there must be distinctive experiences built consistently. This led me to a simple approach for achieving this very objective, not just for hotels but for every luxury category, called the Journeyman Strategy.

Every luxury experience can be simply segmented in three brackets – Possessions, Consumptions and Immersions. The first category includes the clothes we wear, the accessories we flaunt, the art we display and the artefacts we nurture. The second category includes the food we eat, the wine we nurse, the cosmetics driven both by conventional and organic wisdom. The third category consists of the destinations we visit, the first-class airline cabin, the spas we frequent, the hotels we choose to live in and the restaurants we consider dining in.

In each case, Content Marketing thrives on a proven trail of lineage or craftsmanship or quality that is usually generic, with articles, coffee-table books and TV shows owning greater credibility than paid advertising. The contextual placement of advertising as well as usage of the ‘Advertorial’ technique across media is widely practised, nowadays veering towards peer-to-peer digital and interactive conversations. Be it the Pashmina of Kashmir, the Caviar from Russia, the Leather from Italy, the Malts from Scotland, Artisan Spring Water from the Alps, Royalty all over the world or the Michelin Star restaurant serving rare Foie De Gras. Brands of long-standing or earnestly-claimed repute claim primary ownership of such treasures, flaunting their bespoke spurs, but without a Unique Experience Quotient that may be insufficient as a compelling or sustainable advantage.

Taj Jai Mahal Palace forges this connect in an inspired fashion through an intelligent marriage of ownable experience with the need state of its core user group. While certainly being a true-blue palace, this property demonstrates the royal past in necessary moderation, not quite as imposing as Rambagh Palace or Umaid Bhawan Palace in sheer physical stature. Leading logically to a democratic price point and the first-ever real-palace experience for the emerging luxury consumer, genuine yet accessible. This customer normally has young children, otherwise unwelcome in the ‘adult’ palaces, so by sharp design or happy default this becomes ‘The Friendly Palace’, welcoming adults and children to enjoy, without restriction or imposition, a formidable trailer of the high-end properties. By developing this Unique Experience Quotient, aided by great grounds and friendly animals, this property stands out clearly in the cluttered palace space of Rajasthan, as disarming authenticity.

Inspired by the above and several other notable learnings, I wish to introduce the Journeyman Strategy as the route to achieving the Unique Experience Connect. Every consumer of Luxury Products is usually in one of the following stages of his experience journey – as an Established User, Reluctant Affluent, Barrier Breaker and Enraptured Observer. The Established User has both money and interest for the consumption of such categories and is a discerning variety-seeker or a critical loyalist, depending on the luxury. The Reluctant Affluent has the money but not the desire to consume luxury, due to reasons of attitude or deep personal values. The Barrier Breaker is currently operating on the bridge to luxury, consuming entry-level experiences with enormous appetite. The Enraptured Observer does not have the means to consume luxury yet but is enthralled by its indulgence and will jump ship at the earliest instance. Every brand must commence its Content Marketing strategy by carefully selecting the correct segment, sincerely sacrificing the others as a communication target. It may be necessary for the same brand to target multiple segments but clearly through different pieces of content and using customised media.

The luxury trails of Rajasthan can thus be sensibly romanced through any such lens, with differing streams of tonality, personality and styling. Ranging from the finesse of minute elements, crockery and cutlery, to child-friendly gardens to captivating cuisine or the exclusivity in service or manufacturing. This approach holds good for every product in the realm of luxury whether Possessions, Consumptions or Immersions. What needs to change urgently is the obsession of the manufacturer to flaunt heritage and exclusivity without investing in sharper customer understanding. As the customer of luxury is no longer a homogenous entity, the content must be suitably customised leading to inspiring threads of connectivity with the end-user.

In sum, the Journeyman Strategy is a unique and relevant way to design content for the luxury customer, rooted in the deepest-possible understanding of his psycho-economic stature. When done with due sincerity and imagination, the Unique Experience Quotient will be inspirational, profitable and sustainable.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of and we do not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.)