As consumer demographics change from a baby boomer majority to a growing percentage of millennials, luxury brands face new marketing challenges. In this changing consumer age, luxury is taking on a new meaning that’s less about things, labels, and status symbols and more about experiences and personal ideals, like serenity and vitality. Taking these new attitudes toward luxury (and, consequently, luxury purchases) into account, brands will need to adapt their marketing strategies to reach the right audiences.
Here are five effective — and affordable — marketing tips that will help you deliver the right messages to today’s consumers but will still let you stay true to your high-end brand image.
Tip # 1 - Play Semantics
Tip # 2 - Focus on the Shopper
Millennial consumers buy to please themselves, not to impress other people. They define status based on their achievements and who they are. Therefore, “new luxury” is rooted in personal experiences rather than things. Contemporary consumers are more interested in how your products will impact their lives instead of whether they have your logo on a handbag or a shoe.
One powerful way to personalize and enhance luxury shopping experiences is through handwritten notes. Personalized notes give you the perfect platform to congratulate customers on their purchases, show your appreciation, and express your desire to retain their business. Moreover, in a world full of digital communication, handwritten notes will stand out, capture attention, and sincerely get your message across.
Tip # 3 - Emphasize Value
High value is important to today’s consumer. According to a Deloitte study, 39.1 percent of millennials with an interest in luxury products say the single most important factor in a purchasing decision is quality. Consumers today are also less brand-loyal than previous generations — and your competitors know it. Challenger brands promote “brand quality without the label,” demonstrating that they’re tuned in to what the rising millennial consumer demographic wants.
Although your brand may have a long history that includes a label or logo that has carried prestige, your brand also has a reputation for impeccable quality and for standing behind your products. Tout that unique value proposition, and communicate why your products are worth the investment.
Tip # 4 - Use Multiple Channels
Today’s luxury shoppers access marketing messages from a variety of channels, not just television or print magazines. They’re spending time on social media, browsing e-commerce sites, watching videos, reading blogs, and listening to podcasts. They’re accustomed to researching products and looking for recommendations prior to making purchases. In response, luxury brands are changing up their advertising strategies. In fact, one of the key findings in Unity Marketing’s State of Luxury 2018 report is that luxury brands are investing more in digital channels, rather than in traditional media.
Use data to learn your audience’s omnichannel browsing and buying habits, where and how they shop, and the social media channels they use, and align your marketing strategy to effectively get in front of potential customers.
Tip # 5 - Tell a Story
Marketers sometimes fall into the trap of just reporting facts, but not telling a story. In the current consumer climate where experiences are important, you need to tell how your products will impact your customers’ lives for the better, not just report product specs and pricing. If you can share details of how your products are made, especially if your brand is committed to sustainable processes and social responsibility, make that a part of the story. Take opportunities to inform and educate.
Using your customers’ voices to help tell that story can be a smart strategy. Consumers are strongly influenced by referrals and recommendations. A testimonial from a real-life customer can carry a great deal of weight in a prospect’s buying decision.
The Definition of Luxury Marketing Is Evolving
Although the concept of luxury is evolving, there will probably always be an element of elitism. Luxury products are, after all, the ideal, and democratizing them would diminish that perception. But what consumers want from luxury products is changing — they’re chasing better experiences and personal satisfaction rather than collecting status symbols or bragging rights. Show shoppers how your products support their quest to experience luxury on their own terms.