If you’re a startup looking to make a splash in the luxury market, you may be wondering how to effectively attract the high-end crowd to your brand and even better, retain them.
Let’s set the scene; your company has expertly created a product or service which is exceptionally crafted to meet a very specific set of demands. It has a lucrative backstory and has a unique offering only coveted by those living an affluent lifestyle.
So what sets you apart? The success secret with luxury products is; confidence. It requires taking brand risks such as declining certain contracts or offers from wholesalers which have the potential to dilute and therefore devalue your offering. Fresh brands may also harbour an underlying fear of not achieving ‘luxury status’ which also needs to be pushed aside in order to achieve your brand aspirations.
Understanding the customer
Without detailed customer personas, you will struggle to understand personality, demographics, and motivations. Through developing a detailed persona, you can better determine who your customers are, what they want, what their service expectancy is and the types of businesses they prefer to interact with.
You can collect customer insights from market research, current customers and competitor data online. This process takes some time, but overall is worth the resource in order to design the most accurate approaches to marketing.
Marketing to the high-end customer
Designing marketing solutions to effectively propel the awareness of your product into a luxury market is different from other markets. Because the high-end customer isn’t making a purchase decision based on necessity or practicality, your brand will need to make them want the item. It requires evoking an emotional response to drive the ‘want’.
In order to effectively position your luxury product, you’ll need to focus on features and how this elevates their lifestyle. This could mean demonstrating how it will improve their self-image amongst their peers and society, making it ‘Instagram-worthy’ (for the affluent youth market) and utilising the technical details to elevate it above the rest of the market.
For example, if the product includes rare materials such as high-grade platinum or rare stones, this needs to be captured in your marketing communications.
Spend time reviewing competitor activity in line with consumer activity and decipher a route that will set you apart but also make your brand present in your customer’s natural haunts.
Building industry authority
Contending with the huge names in the luxury market is no easy feat, but establishing trust is the ideal starting point. Customers don’t engage or buy from brands they don’t trust, particularly when the products are of high-value. Building authority within your market takes time and consideration.
Your luxury brand can begin by developing content to bolster your credibility in the luxury market, displaying your in-depth knowledge of the customer lifestyle, the product origins and high-quality multimedia designed to address your customers needs, questions and concerns.
Furthermore, luxury marketing should entail a degree of storytelling in order to position your product within their desired lifestyle and make it more desirable.
All of your content should aim to present solutions in a highly visual and engaging way. Moreover, your content should be hosted on social media channels (use your persona to determine the best options), your website and anywhere else where your high-end customers might spend their time – both online and offline.
Create a content plan which identifies key calendar dates, ideas for product stories and visual guides, whether it’s look books or photo editorials, to support your customer journey.
Personalisation is everything
High-end customers expect the customer experience to be tailored to their needs. They’re parting with large sums of money and that means they expect to be catered to. They need to see themselves reflected in your displays, advertising, and the service offering.
Luxury companies are known for going above and beyond this can mean anything from bespoke gifts and handwritten correspondence following a purchase to invitations exclusive events or product launches. These relationships need to be constantly cultivated and nurtured so you can build your product into their lifestyle and become a preference.
Perks also fall into this category and should be tailored to each customer’s needs and purchase patterns. Through an in-depth understanding of your customers, you can build a perk catalogue around offering them access to product ahead of others, events and limited edition versions, which could include personalised options, not available to the general public.
Consider how you can provide a more personalised service to your clientele that aligns with your offering and compliments their purchase decision.
Establishing exclusivity should be a high priority when marketing a luxury product. Even within your customer base, there should be degrees of exclusivity which offers your best customers access to products ahead of others, provide them with services not readily available elsewhere or without invitation and even build new offerings based on your understanding of their needs and lifestyle.
Exclusivity should aim to include your key customers who are loyal to your brand. Their regularity of purchase and willingness to interact with the brand should be considered alongside devising what they will perceive as valuable in terms of exclusivity.
Digitisation and youth culture
More than ever, there are younger more digitally powered affluent consumers who have different ideas about what constitutes luxury. Looking at focussing on the Millennial and Gen Z generation offers a consumer-base larger than their predecessors as well as a longer time period during which to sell to them.
Identifying high-earners who are on their way to affluent and rich status is crucial to nurturing the relationships from an early age. Luxury startup brands should make the effort to understand how their youth audience defines luxury as this often differentiates from the traditional definition. Their younger customers also have the capability to set trends and inspire others, making their position as an influencer invaluable to luxury brands looking to become aspirational to the young and wealthy.
Don’t dismiss Millennials and Gen Z simply because of their age, you can utilise the opportunity to build an evergreen brand which they will favour throughout their lives.
For more information on launching your luxury startup and building a marketing strategy that will propel you to the forefront of the market, get in touch with us today.
Also published on Medium.