Christopher Parr on Luxury Influence

by on October 13, 2011

Award-winning online luxury marketing professional Christopher Parr takes a few minutes to tell Halogen about luxury, influence, and his latest project, Pursuitist. Keep reading for

Can you talk a little bit about where you got the idea to start Pursuitist.com?

  • The idea of Pursuitist.com was to create a travel, style and leisure destination for affluent consumers. For readers pursuing amazing fashion brands, hotels, restaurants, gadgets, experiences, and autos – Pursuitist is a destination site that curates the good things in life. We’ve brought in world-class content producers that have written for Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes, Mashable, Saveur and TechCrunch — remarkable writers sharing remarkable experiences.

 
How has the experience of the site differed from what you expected it would become?

  • It’s been a blast. As I tell my writers — write about remarkable people, products and experiences. We aspire to go beyond the bling – Pursuitist is luxury redefined. We focus on the artisans that make amazing handcrafted products – from a designer at Louis Vuitton to a 2nd generation organic winemaker in Napa. We pursue to tell the story and go behind the scenes.

 
You’re still in beta, right? Any hints as to when you’ll officially launch and what that launch might look like?

  • We officially launched in July. While in beta, the Pursuitist editors have diligently curated a rich list of the good things in life to share with affluent readers. Coinciding with the launch, a few of the new contributors sharing their favorite luxuries include remarkable writers: Shandana Durrani (Conde Nast Traveler, Glamour) visits Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Paul Carr (TechCrunch, The Guardian) features his favorite hand luggage by Marc Jacobs, while Erica Swallow (Mashable) shares the top websites for discovering wine.

 
What is your relationship to the brands you write about?

  • As we’re able to serve up a targeted audience, luxury brands love our platform. We’re also very selective of the advertisers that appear on our site. Pursuitist is truly a targeted online destination for luxury advertisers to connect and engage with affluent consumers. Advertisers have included Burberry, Coach, BMW, Chase Bank, Audemars Piguet, Broadmoor Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel. The Pursuitist is a great place to be seen – as our readers are affluent (65% with an annual income of $75k and up) and influencers.

 
How do you keep your content authentic?

  • There’s a shortage of online destinations for affluent consumers seeking authentic experiences. Plenty of cold bling sites exist, focusing on editorial content with ultra premium and inaccessible luxuries. That’s the void, and why Pursuitist was created — there’s not another site like us. Pursuitist is one destination site with 9 targeted sections (Arts, Auto, Epicurean, Family, Green, House, Style, Tech and Travel) – best described as an online mashup of The Huffington Post and Conde Nast.Our editorial is also different — from our travel journals to our features on amazing artisans and clever destinations. With friendlier and accessible narratives – our readers tell us they feel like insiders, along for the ride.

 
In general, what kind of lift can this kind of content offer brands? Is this something they should focus on getting more of?

  • We’ve also worked quite closely with other luxury brands to organically integrate and feature their products – from Four Seasons, Hermes, Patron, Gucci, Prada, Robert Mondavi Wine, Ralph Lauren, Lobel Steaks of New York, to Chanel. As we only focus on premier brands and destinations, we are selective of the brands we feature. It’s a terrific halo effect – to be “Pursuitist Recommended.”

 
Do most brands react to what you write? How do they respond to your content?

  • They love it. The brands, from Marc Jacobs, Land Rover to Viking Range prefer to re-tweet and link to our editorial on their social channels. (See an example of Marc Jacobs leveraging Pursuitist’s editorial here.)

 
What do you see as the future of Pursuitist.com? Is there anything you foresee in the future that might cause you to shift your strategy a bit, or do you expect the demand for this kind of content to continue?

  • The new social media layer for Pursuitist will allow for our affluent community to share, rank and pursue their favorite luxuries — with an easy sign-on with an existing Facebook or Twitter account. As of yet, there is not a Trip Advisor or Yelp for the luxury category – Pursuitist is positioned to become the premiere destination where the affluent can share and discover remarkable brands, hotels, products and more. When I’m visiting a new city, and searching for a great hotel or recommended restaurant, it’s frustrating to browse through Trip Advisor. We intend to be the alternative – where affluent consumers can discover luxury destinations, products and brands.