I’ll always remember this one lesson I learned about luxury brands.
I once worked for an upscale jewellery store that stocked gold, precious gems and prestige watches – timepieces that sold for upwards of $40,000 per item. Then, the company made the move into selling a lot more silver in order to broaden their market. In the words of Julia Roberts: big mistake. They only served to lose their main client, which was Omega.
So, the moral of the story? It’s about keeping ‘the gold’ and staying away from ‘the silver’. Want more from where that came from? Here are 7 more tips for drawing affluent customers to your business.
The secret is in the signage
Your brand signage/logo should drip prestige and, in order to attract the affluent customer, you need to get it just right. Look at these examples from Icon Creations, a professional signwriter in Melbourne which has worked on designs for Hoyts, Ikea, Dominos and many more. Each of these companies has been provided with an iconic symbol that encapsulates their aesthetic, allowing potential customers to identify and familiarise themselves with the company it promotes.
Call to mind the world’s most successful luxury brands and you’ll think of names such as Cartier, Chanel, Waldorf Astoria and Rolls Royce. You’ll realise that their logos are synonymous with being the original and finest in the field, entirely classic and the epitome of luxury worldwide.
You’ve only got to think of Audrey Hepburn immortalised in film, peeking into that store window featuring items packaged in that shade of blue, and you’ll understand just how branding becomes embedded in the collective psyche of consumers on a global scale.
Scarcity, it’s scintillating
Being exclusive (or stocking products with a limited release) is a great way to draw affluent customers to your brand. What’s the best thing to get someone who has everything? Why, an item that no one else has their hands on, of course. There’s nothing quite as motivating as chasing after something in high demand, especially when you’re a bored rich person.
If something for sale is in short supply it can draw the eye of the discerning customer. Really, all this demographic wants is to feel special. Lesson here: marketing is always so closely aligned with psychology.
Getting all emotional
Which gets me on to my next point, the emotional motivation of the affluent customer and their purchasing decisions. They don’t buy luxury goods because we actually need them or because they fulfil a practical requirement. They do it because of some other reason entirely.
It’s called the emotional purchase.
It might have to do with the lifestyle they are accustomed to, or the warm and fuzzy feeling they get when they buy something bright and shiny and new. Another take away here: it’s always a psychological imperative that underpins the affluent consumer and their buying habits.
More than meets the eye
Go beyond the visual in order to lure the consumer of affluence.
These guys really need a triple-threat to get turned on. What you are selling not only needs to look blindingly awesome, it better damn well smell and feel that way too. The aroma, the texture (even the wrapping) needs to positively drip elegance and be a veritable feast for the senses.
Upmarket perfumes and colognes do this so well.
Sorry, I mean artisanal sprays, lotions and potions. Oh, and don’t forget candles. Sure, we have electricity in these modern times, but for the affluent consumer, a $500 candle is simply a must-have. Laser engraving the glass with your initials is also a necessary component for any healthy ego.
Set some geo-bait
Have you heard of geofencing?
When I first found about this, I’ll admit I started to feel a little like I might be being stalked, but then I felt safe in the realisation that I’m not nearly rich enough to be targeted. Basically, this is about honing in on all those cash cows milling about your neighbourhood.
When they drive by your business, bang! You draw them in with an email campaign, a special offer via SMS (perhaps an in-store competition to win a diamond-encrusted IPhone) or some other such nifty lure. It’s the most new-fangled way to find the customers who have more in their pockets to spend.
Sell the dream
We’ve all heard it said before: you’re not selling a product, you’re selling the dream.
So, while affluent people can get their hands on almost anything with a price tag, they can’t always acquire those things that money can’t buy, things like love, family and friendship, for example.
Sometimes, it’s about selling the spirit of adventure to someone who works too hard to ever leave the office. It might take the form of an advertisement for a sports car, or a 4WD that is all about hooning around or traversing intrepid terrain. This will excite your prospect even if (in actual reality) all they will ever do with their vehicle is sit in gridlocked traffic or park long-stay at the airport. However, the impulse to buy in that very moment is all that matters. Word of advice: your marketing campaigns should always reflect this technique.
How to win friends and influence people
Influencer marketing is yet another way to attract the affluent consumer. This involves ‘it’ people, such as models, public figures, starlets and the like putting up strategic posts on social media that advocate and promote products. It’s proving increasingly effective in capturing the hearts and minds of the interconnected, simultaneously distracted masses worldwide.
Especially on visual platforms like Instagram, influencer marketing hits it’s mark with the luxury market. The jet set respond to the tastes of their own, it’s all quite an incestuous, homogenous state-of-affairs. After all, they need someone to tell them what to like next. And, no one wants to feel like they’re the odd one out. If Gigi Hadid has it, then your affluent customer must have it too.
Drawing an affluent customer base is a lot about what you do (as outlined above), but it’s also about what you don’t do. Don’t work in high volumes (keep things exclusive), don’t lower your standards to include commonplace items and materials (all gold, no silver), and don’t ignore the psychological motivations of your target demographic. Above all, stay classy folks.