In marketing we’re always taught to go after the mass market thinking that by doing so we’ll increase profits. (…this is a business after all, right?!) Mass marketing has been practiced for over 100 years now and has undoubtedly changed the world. While it has worked and still works for many large corporations, it’s not working for luxury marketeers across the globe. Luxury marketers are losing footing against less exclusive brands who have adopted a new strategy that targets luxury consumers directly. The famous Apple looking glass strategy from the iconic brand mantra “it just works” has perpetuated into direct interaction with consumers, proving to be a successful approach.
If you’re interested in marketing to affluent consumers, it’s time to think big and expand your horizons beyond traditional channels. To successfully market your brand or product to the luxury consumer, you need a luxury strategy that meets their unique needs.
Marketing luxury consumers can be tricky. After all, they have particular expectations that even the most powerful brand won’t be able to easily meet. That said, follow this advice to help you market to your target luxury consumer and increase sales as a result.
Reach the best-educated consumers
One thing I want to make sure you know right now – regardless of luxury, fashion or premium strategy, in today’s market, successful luxury marketers have learned from their non-luxury colleagues. However, the luxury, fashion and premium strategy I believe have a very strong generational effect. Which of them is going to be more effective on a given segment of the luxury market will depend on how the generations are doing at the moment in history for their own reasons.
If you want to develop a luxury strategy for your brand, you must first understand how the consumer’s luxury behavior differs from his or her fashion and premium-goods consumption habits. This is a crucial part of your business model and understanding the difference is critical in developing a winning luxury strategy. In a nutshell, the luxury strategy focuses on the lifestyle of the top 1% while the premium strategy is focused on the lifestyle of the top 5%.
Even if you decide not to accept the idea of a luxury brand as an idea of something high-quality, or a unique, exclusive status, and even if your business doesn’t fall under this category, there is one thing you can get from this approach: How to improve marketing efficiency.
- The luxury market, with its differentiated products and high price point, has always been exclusive and sought after by producers and consumers alike. While the strategy of using unique practices and heritage to differentiate products has been tested by many brand name companies, we will argue that there is a potential in leveraging this uniqueness to secure your position in the marketplace.
- First thing to do is figuring out what luxury consumers want, how they are thinking, and what their values are. Then you need to know where the marketplace will be. And finally, you need a clear understanding of what marketing tools can help you communicate a message that is right for the marketplace and reaches your target customers, and that meets both functional and emotional desires with them.
- ’There is no better product’, is the main message that luxury companies want to convey. By positioning the brand as the benchmark in terms of quality and offering a world class service (after-sales care, guarantee, assistance, etc.) brands want their customers to think about them first when a luxury purchase is needed.
The twenty-four principles are the “anti-laws” of business and marketing, that is, they are not only opposite to what the majority of businesses and marketers do (that is, they violate all the standard laws), but they have also proved most successful over time.
These “anti-laws” are concepts that can be applied to any business or concept created by humans.
- Luxury is not comparative, forget about positioning, and embrace what makes you, your brand, or your product different.
- A product without flaws is a product with no soul.
- Deliver more than you promise. Creative satisfaction is better than customer satisfaction.
- Schedule exclusive events that exclusively target your most dedicated, most excited customers.
- Don’t react to a low-demand environment by lowering your price.
- Don’t be nice. Be honest and direct.
- Make it tough for your prospects to buy from you.
- Protect those who buy from you. Never give away what is precious and valuable for free.
- Advertising’s job is to brand your company, not to sell products.
- The goal of marketing is to sell to an audience you don’t have.
- Always make your price higher than the perceived value.
- Luxury is not measured in dollars and cents; it’s defined by the experience a product creates.
- The more expensive your product is, the better your profit margin will be.
- Aim for the high ground. Always lead with price points that are higher than popular competitors.
- Do not market.
- Don’t spend your money on celebrities.
- Being close to the arts will help you to recognize a market trend that is going unnoticed.
- Don’t relocate or expand your manufacturing facilities.
- Don’t hire marketers!
The marketing and advertising industry has many “laws”, “rules”, and best practices for marketers to follow. Some laws are good while others are bad. The problem occurs when we start thinking that we should instinctively know which are good and which are bad. I’ve found more than a few people who don’t understand the difference between a “law” and a “rule of thumb”. There’s also the problem of thinking that just because something works for one company in one situation — it means it’s going to work for EVERY company in ANY situation. And if you want to understand why many of these so-called “marketing laws” break down — look no further than luxury brands.
Most marketers think up ever more ingenious ways to give their customers what they want. But this week I’d like to offer a correction. It’s time to stop pandering.
In a world where customers are increasingly in control, excellence in marketing is now encapsulated by one word: “no”. The new rules of marketing allow and encourage us to say no to the entreaties of our customers – and this is good news for business and for social change.
What marketers don’t want you to know is that modern marketing is based on delivering great value to your customers, and then delighting them with minor “gifts” or bonuses thrown in for free. The old sales motto of “give ‘em the old razzle dazzle” should be replaced with “give ‘em the old wow.” Instead of focusing on the product benefits and features, present a short story about the history behind an item, or a story about how the item can make someone feel. Adding a personal touch allows customers to relate to the gift instead of valuing it strictly based on its practical uses.
What is the biggest mistake companies make when marketing their products or services? They aim it at the wrong people, of course. It’s an old rule in marketing – know your target market almost inside out, and as precisely as possible.
Everything follows the law of concentration. This anti-law is often misunderstood by beginners in SEO and Web Marketing. If you are not targeting a particular group of people, your website still has to appear at their place. You cannot exclude somebody from your traffic otherwise your website will suffer from zero visits. It’s important to focus only on people who are interested in what you offer. There is no sense in spending effort on creating content for those who don’t care about it.
The anti-law for luxury marketing is one of the first rules you are given when you enter the industry. You see; A celebrity through an advertising campaign does not convince the customer to buy a bag for say 3K USD, but instead to buy a new perfume that costs 100 USD – for example.
Celebrities can be used in the luxury business if they are brand promoters and personalities in their own right and self-starters. Celebrities who want to wear the company’s product might be a good fit for the luxury brand. Of course, this works better when the celebrity is not imitating someone else or a name-dropping follower.
The statement “I want a Lamborghini” and the statement “I buy a Lamborghini because my neighbor bought one” are two completely different statements. Their subjectivity is not even comparable. The first statement is more about a dream, while the latter is linked to the very real status of our neighbors and this influences consumer behavior much more than other irrational factors such as emotions or assumptions. Also, celebrities have great power themselves to keep up with their own consumption and they too need things like the rest of us. Therefore, it isn’t easy for them to escape from their status symbol role and become selling agents for new customers.
Luxury Strategy is an absolute necessity for any successful luxury company. Without a long-term plan, your marketing is going to fail–no matter how delicious you sell Italian Bacon-Wrapped Scallops Wrapped in Foil with Capers and Fresh Parsley Bagged for Your Convenience. In the past several weeks, four luxury companies have failed to implement such a strategy; as a consequence, they have ceased to exist as we knew them. I’ll explain which strategies work and which do not. This post will also introduce you to how to take one of these strategies and apply it to your market beyond the luxury sector.
The modern consumer is more demanding than ever before and the luxury market is evolving into a high-tech driven dynamic with a new generation of customers and brand seekers. Successful marketing strategies have to adapt to changing times. Luxury products, being the ultimate expression of self-expression and luxury strategy, are becoming less dependent on traditional approaches that favor exclusivity and take a targeted approach to the key target groups within the wider luxury market.
If you want to make your customers feel like they are a part of the luxury lifestyle, then luxury marketing is for you. Marketers in the industry can use luxury strategies to stand out from their competitors by thinking outside-of-the-box. Here are some key marketing luxury concepts to keep in mind when dealing with your clients.
The luxury strategy is about implementing a reliable system that creates sustainable revenue streams by connecting the dots between mass market and luxury consumers. Luxury brands are doing that with unrivaled expertise.
With luxury consumers willing to spend big on quality products and services, luxury strategy won’t work for all businesses. But those targeting the luxury market will find the famous quote by Henry Ford is true: “Luxury is necessity, taken to the extreme.”