Bauer Media is entering what it is calling a “new world order”, shifting its silo print focus to be a true multichannel content provider, to offer luxury brands more ways to enter into conversations with consumers.
It has partnered with British trend forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, to better understand luxury consumers and how they are interacting with brands.
Traditionally luxury brands have been slow to go digital but that is changing as consumer behaviours evolve.
Speaking at a breakfast held by Bauer at the agency's Luxury Future Forum in Sydney, Hearst Brands general manager, Marina Go, said: “We now have the ability to marry-up audience behaviour across our digital network, not only ensuring advertisers are minimising wastage with ad buys, but more importantly, connecting them with luxury consumers.”
Since its launch in 2015, Bauer’s ‘To Love’ digital network is reaching three million UVs every month. The publisher started grouping together content from its titles around the lifestyle themes Food to Love, Homes to Love, Family to Love and Health to Love, and Go credits the network's success to Bauer’s focus to an “always-on mobile state of mind”.
The Future Laboratory looks at five stages of consumer brand engagement; acquisition and values; discernment and worth; emotion and experience; responsible and awareness; intellectual and poetic.
These stages focus not only on short term goals, but to long time shifts through to 2020. The Future Laboratory co-founder, Chris Sanderson, explains that we are now a ‘trader generation’, grown out of the notion of a sharing economy, with brands like Uber and Airbnb changing how brands think about sharing and luxury.
Sanderson adds it is the move towards an "access generation" whcih will allow Bauer to broker relationships with consumers enabling more meaningful engagement for brands.
“The shadow of the 20th Century is forcing this realisation that we have to form other types of values; these values are no longer centred around the individual or conspicuous consumption," he says.
“What our research is showing is that we are at a tipping point where we are getting to see quite rapid change in luxury."
The Future Laboratory research also found the Chinese market accounts for 35% of luxury purchases, the recent launch of Gourmet Traveller for Chinese New Year proves a move in the right direction for the publisher. Bauer is also launching Crystal Magazine in March, a content magazine for Crown Resorts distributing through Crown-owned properties in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States.
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