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21/05/2009 by

Social Network Elysiants Celebrates Life In Style

Social networks seem to pop-up these days like Obama endorsements towards the end of his campaign. But we hardly see any “vertical” social networks yet. Elysiants is a new social network that really promises to make a difference…


Elysiants is a global, invitation-only, social network for people who celebrate life in style. Elysiants enables them to connect with their peers from all over the world and share experiences with their friends and their favourite brands, charities and hotspots.

Elysiants was launched ambitiously in Hong Kong in November 2008 with support from several luxury brands, such as Aston Martin, Charmonde, Versace, Jaeger le-Coultre and Moet & Chandon and several regional celebrities.

Ruud Smeets, Chief Executive Officer of Elysiants put it this way: “We have extensively researched the needs and wants of people all over the world who live a life of luxury and celebration. They have indicated to us their need for an exclusive, global community where they can meet with friends and peers, share experiences and receive special privileges. “

And this is what makes Elysiants so interesting. It promises to be the first social network that has unwound the Gordian knot of most components that make up your lifestyle: your hobbies, your friends, your brands, your hotspots, your events, your opinions and your charities.

At the basis of Elysiants lies a smart social recommendation philosophy. This allows people to navigate easily and, I must say, playfully, through the lifestyle of other members that share an interest in the good things of life.

So, to give you an example how Elysiants can work: Member Zaid from Dubai is planning a trip to Hong Kong. By means of member search or through his friends’ friends or through his brands’ friends he can find people in Hong Kong with similar style, tastes and interests.

He then can then look at their hotspots in Hong Kong, see who else loves this hotspot, which brands they love etc. and make a better choice on where to sleep, party or eat. If he then connects to one of these hotspots he can receive all kinds of benefits, such as VIP-packages, guest listing, airport transfers etc.

Zaid can then even meet other Elysiants-members in Hong Kong face to face, by connecting with them, chatting or sending them a private message.

Elysiants offers its members quite a lot of added value, simply by the way it is set up and how it allows you to navigate, from people to brands to hotspots to people and back again.

From a business perspective Elysiants hopes to tap into the market where brand involvement is the highest, the market of luxury brands. These companies have long searched for an online outlet where they could spend their money.

But the massive nature of the web caused too much waste, so these brands have been among the last ones to advertise online. I strongly feel that this is about to change with the arrival of social networks like Elysiants.

Product involvement and brand loyalty are two important concepts believed to explain a significant proportion of consumer purchase choices. Several studies have examined the relationship between product involvement and loyalty.

The central premise of the literature examining the relationship between loyalty and product involvement is that consumers who are more involved with a particular brand, are more committed and hence, more loyal to that brand.

High involvement has also been suggested as a precondition to loyalty. Most researchers seem to agree that the cognitive definition of brand loyalty represents commitment and therefore, involvement with the brand.

Within Elysiants brands (and hotspots) are not allowed to place banner advertising. The prerequisite of advertising within the Elysiants community is the activation of a special profile page for a brand or a hotspot.

By means of such a profile page a brand can attract a base of friends, communicate with them, invite them to special events and increase brand involvement, and thus, loyalty.

Hundreds of brands and over a thousand hotspots are already listed and by the looks of it, have already succeeded in gathering a decent base of brand advocates.

So, this is one social network to keep an eye on. Not only is it fun to be a member, but also from a business perspective, it is very interesting to see a symbiosis between brands, hotspots and real people develop.

It’s almost unfortunately, but membership is invitation-only…


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Igor Beuker
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