09 Aug How do Luxury Brands attract and retain their Customers ?
Many companies dream of attracting more Luxury Customers, the kind who will pay more and not ask for discounts. The lure of additional revenue and profit makes this something very desirable. In this blog we talk about the strategies that luxury brands use to attract more high-end customers.
Having studied some of the biggest brands in the world over the last 5 years, there is a lot of consistency and simplicity in what they all do to attract customers. When we say luxury customers, we are talking about the kind of person who can live somewhere between London, Monaco, whilst still having an apartment overlooking Venice Beach. Of course when in London, they will make sure to pop into The Ritz for afternoon tea or Harrods for dessert !
Here are 5 of the most common tactics (in no particular order) that these brands use and you should consider bringing into your own strategy in order to get that luxury market;
- Luxury brands create a dream;
They do NOT solve a problem or respond to a need. We are now in the luxury space, the concept here is living in “excess”, not “necessity”.
- Luxury brands seldom sell openly;
The product itself is only the commodity, the entire experience you get is essential for the luxury factor, therefore you won’t catch these products in CostCo for instance, you will have to go direct to the supplier or a similar quality location (maybe John Lewis or Harrods).
- Luxury brands create product scarcity
Scarcity is key; price of course means that not everyone has it, but in addition, your customers will love to tell their friends, “there’s only 100 of these made ever and I have one of them”.
- Luxury brands are meticulous in everything they do
There is a lot of attention to detail, in terms of Operations, Manufacturing and Sales. There could be logo’s where you do not expect for instance or the softness of the leather used is consistently high quality throughout the product. Importantly, when you buy the product, you get a service that matches it. This means everyone in the showroom or the support services behaves like they work for a luxury brand. They are Brand Ambassadors and they will behave and dress accordingly as well as pull out all the stops when it comes to delivering a luxury level of service.
- Luxury brands do not sell when advertising;
Advertising is all around brand elevation, or placement, there is rarely a “Sale Now on” advert; it is all about making you aware of how all the things listed above, will entice the customers to buy. As we same earlier, they create the dream, you will come and buy it yourself.
The luxury brand’s marketing strategy will not only target their preferred customer, they will ensure that their marketing reaches beyond their intended audience; those who are not their target market. This strategy supports elevating their brand in the eyes of those who can only dream to afford their luxury items as well as further promoting its exclusivity.
Nordstrom, Inc. is an American chain of luxury department stores headquartered in Seattle and recognised as a market leader in this space. If you look at their website, you get a sense of what they are about. On their homepage, they are not promoting sale items, instead they have a link to a blog talking about “How coveted labels do bold colours and details for the coming season”. In terms of staff as brand ambassadors and service champions, the employee manual at Nordstrom defines it well;
“Use your best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.”( www.nordstrom.com)
When you look at the list we shared above, you can see clearly how the luxury product is being positioned, it is not a necessity, it is clearly a luxury. You can take it, or leave it, but in the customer’s mind, they have to have it. This is key in the messaging and approach to marketing and sales and it is why you will see “Brand Ambassadors” in their stores, not sales people !
If you aspire to attracting more luxury customers, consider which of these tactics, you can bring into your own business. Remember though, this is not a hybrid strategy. You cannot aspire to have a range of luxury products in store, alongside your 99p specials. It is an approach that can get you more revenue and profit, but it needs investment in terms of time, patience and strategy.