According to Luxury Daily, today’s affluent consumers want understated and modest expressions of their lifestyles that focuses on substance over style. Luxury consumers are also looking for brands that tell stories and reflect their personal value system — egalitarian and anti-elitist. In other words, luxury consumers aren’t looking to spend money just to spend it. They want a product that reflects their values. Those values could mean quality and exclusivity or aligning themselves as a brand advocate.
The luxury market may seem like a well-defined niche, but takes more than just creating a customer persona to understand their needs. Not all marketing is created equally. Winning over a luxury consumer isn’t as simple as offering a quality, expensive product. While premium brands focus on the concept of paying more to get more, luxury brands look at the singular, intangible elements like fine craftsmanship. Here are four ways luxury brands are marketing their premium products:
Focus on Heritage and Mastery
Successful luxury brands have a story that relies on its long standing mastery and heritage. Ketel One relies on this concept and knows its consumers are subtly influenced by its heritage. The Nolet family has been running (and maintaining the quality of) the famed vodka distillery for 10 generations. The brand has played off this history by drawing consumers into its story of exclusive craftsmanship, longevity and a worldwide reputation for quality.
Luxury brands focus on the prestige of products to attract affluent consumers looking for an upscale experience or lifestyle. Think about the king of all luxury cars on the market. Ferrari focuses on high performance and impeccable quality. They know their consumers aren’t going to be impressed by using mass media and singular ads. Running a luxury commercial alongside a fast food ad is unlikely to be interpreted as upscale or high-end. Instead, Ferrari invests in Formula 1 events where their target market is looking for an impressive experience built around speed, style, longevity and exclusivity.
Promote a Customized Experience
Luxury consumers don’t want to be treated like a passing customer who makes a purchase and puts it in a bag to take home. They desire a unique, customized experience. Le Labo perfumes offer more than just a spritz-, smell- and-buy purchase. Instead the brand focuses on a unique, handcrafted experience. The brand makes a hand-blended bottle in front of its customers using the finest ingredients. Instead of fading away after a few hours, Labo customers are left with a finely blended fragrance that gently wanes from heavy top notes to the dry down of the perfume.
Keep it Exclusive
While some brands like Ferrari skip mass consumer advertising, other luxury brands keep an open policy on social media. They may know who their target market is, but don’t do much to cater exclusively to them. Mercedes Benz takes a unique approach to social media by launching exclusive online communities. Their Generation Benz community exclusively caters to brand advocates who are ages 35 and under. They treat their advocates like VIPs with access to sponsored events, tickets to the U.S. Open, pre-product launch feedback and live chats with Mercedes-Benz executives to help shape the brand. Their advocates aren’t just VIP customers, they’re folded into the Mercedes-Benz brand and given ownership over its future.