When talking about the most expensive cars, exclusive clothing brands known only to a select few, and vacation spots that most of us can only experience by watching a travel programme, there is a tangible tension in the air. It accompanies luxurious products from the initial thought up until their purchase and throughout their period of use. Before a product is deemed luxurious, it must elicit that feeling of ‘want’ in the consumer.
The consumer matures along with the development of marketing
The owners of some of the well-known and recognizable brands understand that the consumer matures along with the development of modern marketing tools and techniques, becoming more nitpicky, but at the same time more refined and conscious of their needs. If we look at the marketing approach and the role of advertisements in building the image of a brand in the last 20 years, we can easily spot the evolution.
Once the main goal was to sell the most volume of a product, so the slogans were based on the idea of a “product for everyone”, further divided by the “price for everyone” criterion. The product was created first and then it was decided who would buy it; customers were convinced that the producer “treated everybody individually, so they should buy their finished product”. Those times are long past, never to return – in the age of instant access to information and online shopping, rationalization and a customer-oriented approach and service became precious added value. Those traits are especially noticeable on the luxurious goods market, where that personalized approach, the understanding of needs and a real tailoring of the finished product are not only welcome, but expected.
The wealthy customers’ market grows, and their needs grow with it
The wealthy consumer demographic is on the rise, each year there are more and more millionaires. This market segment becomes more attractive to luxurious goods producers, which leads to growing competition to acquire new customers. That does not mean that the sale of a given product will become easier, on the contrary. Advertisements can elicit emotions and help consumers reach the mindscape in which the vision of that dreamed-of product is created, but even the most beautiful promotional photos and brilliant TV spots will not invoke the feelings that are necessary for making sales of luxurious goods and services.
What they lack is proper targeting that make the product seem intended for a select few, who, generally, perceive the world in a certain, preferred way. That is why originality and a personalized approach are the correct solutions.
It is good to surprise the customer and, even better, to refer to their character traits or their situation. So, the starting point is acquiring important information about the customer.
If, for example, we, as an exclusive car manufacturer, come into possession of reliable information about a client who likes mountaineering and climbing and has an active lifestyle, we will know that offering him an ordinary limousine would be a misstep. In this particular example a car with a powerful engine, 4-wheel drive and an off-road suspension would make for a far better offer. A giveaway in the form of climbing equipment or a favorite sport’s sportswear set worth PLN 2 000 would be more enticing to such a client than additional car accessories worth PLN 5000.
A proper way of deduction and a certain finesse are a necessity
More and more companies conduct studies to pinpoint the needs of customers – as they are the basis of their shopping habits – and to collect information about them. When a potential client visits a website with a given product, ads of goods of similar characteristics will be displayed. When they browse shoes in their favourite store, an app on their smartphone will inform them that those exact shoes are available at the shopping centre they are passing by. These stimuli are still not enough though, as the salesmen must be sure to supply the product in an appropriate way, with finesse and tact, and with the proper approach. There is a case of a woman who bought a pregnancy test – the system then correctly assessed that she would become a mother. As the market for child care products is very competitive, companies immediately sent product samples to the address of the potential client. This way the parents of the woman learned she was pregnant before she could inform them personally. The response to the product samples was very different from the one expected.
High-quality customer experiences
Let us remember that the luxurious goods market segment also encompasses products that are cheap and available to the average consumer, but priced far higher than similar products with comparable characteristics and properties. Sales and mass-marketing should be tailored to the expectations of individual clients. This is the reason why beautiful models with exquisite figures are more often an integral part of advertisements of exclusive fashion and car products, and not of ads for baby diapers. An expensive sports car will be a better product for a young dad if we throw in a child seat and reassure him that the traction control system and a generous amount of airbags will keep his baby safe. ■