Understanding the Luxury Market


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Understanding the Luxury Market

  1. 1. A industry report from Point to Point L U X U R Y M A R K E T I N G
  2. 2. LUXURY MARKETING Luxury items have been defined as anything people buy that they don’t need. Need is not a precursor to purchase in the luxury market. Luxury consumers buy based upon desire—they aren’t buying a “thing” they are buying to , achieve a feeling, to enhance an experience or to get an emotional lift. Luxury is about achieving a comfortable lifestyle in the material realm—having those things that make life easier, ThE LUXURY more pleasant and more satisfying. Having a luxury lifestyle is not about money; it is about the experiences and MARKET DEfINED feelings that having enough money can bring. People want to surround themselves with things that reflect their personality and things that they enjoy. In the United States, luxury observers note that there are 4 million households that have an income of more than $1 million (ultra high-end luxury sector), and an estimated 48 million households earning between $50,000- $150,000 (driving force behind democratization of luxury). MovING fRoM ThE MAssEs To ThE CLAssEs In the Pressure from the most affluent consumers stimulates and past, when luxury was first introduced to the classes it, slowly accelerates innovation at the high end, which cascades moved to the masses. Nowadays, this happens right away. The downward to lower-priced products—making innovation more notion of luxury has entered people’s vocabulary in large part affordable and available to more people. because of the media. The increased availability of celebrity A LUCRATIvE oppoRTUNITY The luxury market space is a magazines and TV, as well as additional coverage in more lucrative category because many manufacturers and traditional consumer publications means that more people marketers do not understand how to reach this market, or they know what is available. Because of this increased awareness, do it inadequately. Additionally, luxury purchases transcend luxury consumers now have the desire to be a part of something the volatility of the market. more glamorous—not to distinguish themselves from others, but to feel part of the group. According to The Boston Consulting Group, the global market for new luxury goods is currently estimated to be $500 “Consumers are bombarded with stimuli encouraging them million and will reach $1 trillion by 2010. (to buy luxury items)—stores are dream palaces; websites are windows; advertisements have perfected the vision and language of dreaming; and dreaming is the source of innovation. The constant bombardment leads to people being able to visualize themselves as better for purchasing a particular luxury good.” 2
  3. 3. LUXURY MARKETING In the past, the theory of “cocooning” has dominated the way of thinking about luxury consumers. A large portion of old luxury purchasers were empty nesters who put a premium on time and on their home. Traditionally, the luxury consumer profile was: traditional, old, rich, white, male, and inherited wealth. Old luxury was about having and owning—it was a very materialistic view. Luxury equaled exclusivity, which is no longer valid with today’s democratically minded luxury consumer. It was defined by attributes, qualities and product features, and much of the LUXURY appeal was derived by status and prestige. It focused on the “thing” being bought. CoNsUMER TYpEs The old view of luxury is dying out. NEW vIEW of LUXURY New luxury is completely defined boomers age 38-57 entering the empty-nesting stage, which from the point of view of the consumer. It is no longer about corresponds with increased luxury spending. the “thing” people are buying; it is about the experience and Some other types of new luxury consumers are: Silicon feeling the luxury product delivers. How the product delivers or Valley, entertainers, professional athletes, entrepreneurs, trust performs experientially is key with today’s luxury consumers. fund babies, aspirational buyers, even generation X and Y who are The new luxury consumer is better educated and more willing to save in order to buy the best. America’s middle market sophisticated in taste. The Internet, home shows, and is also part of this group as they are trading up to luxury items. affordable travel have exposed more people to other global DE MoC R A T I C A L L Y MI N D E D, N oT I N T o EX C L Us Iv I T Y lifestyles that are not as fast-paced. New luxury consumers are not into the idea of exclusivity; they New luxury consumers: are more democratically minded these days. They are only into | Want it all but are exhausted trying to get it. exclusivity coming from their ability to express a personal point of view, an attitude or their own uniqueness. | Are influenced by friends and cultural figures but have strong tastes of their own. New luxury avoids class distinctions; it appeals more to a value system (i.e. buying new luxury fixtures in the bath doesn’t say | Don’t believe in debt, but don’t let money stand in the way of “I make big bucks;” it communicates “I am intelligent and buying what they want. discerning.”) | Need a lot of understanding. When they get it, they are not only appreciative they are also likely to open up their pocket Today’s luxury consumers believe everyone is entitled to books and spend money. luxury (democratic approach); they believe “luxury is for everyone and different for everyone.” A large portion of the new luxury generation is baby boomers that are known for challenging authority, rejecting the status According to a recent survey of luxury consumers, 90% of quo, and making their own paths. There are 76 million baby these consumers agree that “luxury doesn’t have to be the most expensive thing or be the most exclusive brand. ” 3
  4. 4. LUXURY MARKETING New luxury consumers believe that “if you don’t understand | They have the highest average income of any of the types it, or can’t say why it is worth it, you don’t want to own it, or (excluding X-fluents), and they live in the most expensive homes. experience it, even if you can afford it.” Marketers must give | One-third of their luxury spending is on home-related people a reason to believe why it is worth it to them. luxuries. BREAKoUT of ThE LUXURY New luxury consumers want products that deliver real | They spend the most buying luxuries, about $14K on MARKET BY TYpE technical, functional and emotional benefits. According to average per year. recent research on luxury consumers (based on a two-year | They have a deep desire to find new meaning and establish longitudinal study on luxury consumers with incomes of new equilibrium in their lives. $75,000 and above), there are four groups that make up this market space. They are: | They feel conflicted between roles they play in their inner and external worlds. “ X - f L U E N T s ” = E X T R E M E L Y A f f L U E N T This group spends the most on luxury and are the most highly invested in | They feel blessed they have so much success and have a need luxury living. “The super rich have always distanced themselves to give back to society, e.g. Bill Gates, Ted Turner. from others, but the distance has shrunk. They want to continue | They are not motivated by status or exclusivity when they buy to distance themselves.” The way to reach this group is through luxury goods. continual innovation. | They are democratic in their view of luxury. “CoCooNERs” = oLD LUXURY Forty percent of luxury | They seek connections in all areas of life: political, social, etc. consumers are “Cocooners” who are inwardly directed and focus | They spend the most on personal services that free them from their time and attention on making their homes more luxurious. the drudgery of day-to-day life, so they can spend time out They are disconnected from others and the outside world. More connecting. than 50% of their luxury spending is on home-related luxuries. They only spend about 65% of what “Butterflies” do. Eventually they will evolve into “Cocooners.” “BUTTERfLIEs” = NEW LUXURY Twenty-five percent of LUXURY “AspIRERs” Thirty percent of luxury consumers are luxury consumers are “Butterflies”. They are called butterflies “Aspirers. This group is highly attuned to brands and believes ” because they are coming out of their homes and starting to luxury is best expressed in what they buy and what they own. reconnect with the outside world. They define their | They are driven to buy and display, but are not at the level that personal identity by connecting with the outside world. they’d like to be. | They spend nearly as much on luxury items as X-fluents. | They are driven by the need to have and to own. | They are less materialistic than Cocooners or Aspirers, and | Aspirers spend less than half of what Butterflies do. they understand that things don’t bring happiness. 4
  5. 5. LUXURY MARKETING Today’s luxury marketing and behaviors are driven by a strong sense of “me” It is all about the feeling consumers get from . purchasing, owning and enjoying a product. Luxury consumers want more “specialness” in their experience of luxury. They focus on the experience of luxury embodied in the good or service they buy, not in the ownership or possession itself. Luxury is tied up with creature comforts and feelings of comfort. Consumers will pay a premium to recreate a wonderful emotional experience. All luxury consumers, up and down the income scale, gain their greatest luxury thrills from experiences. UNDERsTANDING LUXURY BUYING When a consumer purchases a luxury item, there is an expectation of better quality, fine details, and better material. This makes the BEhAvIoR luxury consumer willing to dig deeper into their pocketbooks to buy that extra feeling of confidence. Luxury consumers don’t buy luxury for status or social advancement and won’t buy things they clearly can’t afford. The differences within the luxury market are more behavioral than motivational. According to current luxury marketing theory and surveys, affordable travel, consumers are connecting to different global emotions are behind 100% of consumer spending on luxury styles, which affect their desires, and ultimately the luxury items. There are four emotional spaces that influence the goods they pursue. buying habits of new luxury consumers: QUEsTING Questing is defined as “finding fulfillment through ThE RELATIoNshIp 1. Take Care of Me: well-being, relaxation knowledge. Today’s luxury consumers research products ” BETWEEN EMoTIoNs AND LUXURY pURChAsEs 2. Connecting: membership, attractiveness thoroughly before buying. Again, they are exposed to so much 3. Questing: adventure, learning through play more knowledge in today’s world and are going out more and 4. Individual Style: status, uniqueness seeing what other people have. New luxury consumers are drawn to new products and quest for new experiences. T A K E C A R E o f M E A new trend in the luxury market is “self-actualization”—buying enhanced life experiences. The INDIvIDUAL sTYLE Consumers seek products that way marketers tap into this is by focusing on selling a feeling or express their individuality (i.e. finishes, designs, etc.). an experience. Cultural icons like Oprah Winfrey encourage American luxury consumers value exclusivity that comes from this by telling viewers to “take care of themselves.” their ability to express a personal point of view, an attitude and their own uniqueness. Exclusivity for the sake of exclusivity CoNNECTING Marketing to luxury consumers is all about is a European luxury ideal, not an American ideal. connecting with the consumer—knowing them, understanding them and getting inside their heads and hearts. Here is an example of how the emotional drivers come together…A woman soaking in a tub is taking care of herself, Consumers are reconnecting with the outside world and while also preparing for a moment of connecting, wanting to reaching out to establish true connections with others. feel, look and smell good before her dinner date. Because of easy accessibility to the Internet, tv shows and 5
  6. 6. LUXURY MARKETING LUXURY CoNsUMERs LIKE ThE Luxury consumers appreciate superior quality, but they get feeling of buying luxuries on sale and usually search out the IDEA of pAYING LEss a thrill out of paying less for the best. According to a recent lowest price or best value. They are savvy shoppers that know survey: 80% of luxury consumers agree that they enjoy the how to find a bargain. TRADING-Up ThEoRY Based on consumer research from The Boston Consulting Consumers continually seek to achieve greater levels of Group, a major shift has occurred in the retail market. luxury. Once they have reached a level, it becomes ordinary America’s middle market is “trading up” to new luxury and they seek out new luxury fulfillment (questing). Once products (products that possess higher levels of quality, they have experienced luxury they can’t go back. taste and aspiration). “There are 48 million households in America with incomes more than $50K that have the means and desire to trade up to new luxury products.” People are willing to spend a large amount of their income for products that have greater technical and emotional benefits. 6
  7. 7. LUXURY MARKETING Luxury is not defined by brand; if the product carries a luxury label it doesn’t mean it is part of the new luxury market. It is only part of the new luxury market if consumers desire it, but don’t need it, and want a personal or experiential connection to it. The brand of the luxury item is not the primary reason luxury consumers buy it; it only justifies the purchase. So, branding still plays a critical role in luxury purchases. The more extravagant the purchase, the more justifiers needed (good name, in fashion, last longer, etc.). LUXURY pRoDUCTs AND BRANDING It is important that the quality in luxury brands must be very | When asked what encouraged people to buy their last good. However, the level of service, the experience and the luxury item: customer interaction differ greatly between products. This 82% said company brand and rep provides a great opportunity for insightful marketers to 78% said store or dealer brand and rep position their brand. 60% said word-of-mouth sTATIsTICs A survey of 866 affluent customers done in | In luxury marketing these three things working together conjunction with Home & Garden Magazine showed: most strongly influence the consumer to buy: 1. Product brand | While brand doesn’t define luxury, it is the #1 most 2. Dealer/store brand/reputation powerful influencer on the luxury consumer when they buy. 3. Price/value relationship The brand and/or representative of the store where the luxury product is sold comes in at #2. BRAND AND ThE Consumers connect with brands on an emotional level. LUXURY BRAND LoYALTY Brands that create the EMoTIoNAL CoNNECTIoN Luxury consumers buy luxury brands because they want to, strongest connection with the luxury consumer have a higher and because they desire it emotionally (right-brain controlled). brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is about how effectively and The consumer’s passion, loyalty, dreams and desires are all completely the company’s brand satisfies the consumer’s tied up with the brand. Connecting to the consumer on an needs, desires and dreams. emotional level is the key to a brand’s success. “Marketers make mistakes in assuming that brand loyalty is Marketers need to understand their consumers. They should something a consumer does for them, when in reality, brand be asking themselves: What are our consumers drives and loyalty is something the company and the brand do for the desires? How does our brand fulfill their fantasies? consumer (the consumer knows what to expect from the purchase).” The brand is the “contract” between the Luxury product performance is now defined as the quality, company and the consumer written in emotions. design and uniqueness, as well as how it makes the consumer “feel,” and how they experience luxury. 7
  8. 8. LUXURY MARKETING Many manufacturers are having trouble successfully reaching the new luxury market because they fail to understand the infor- mation listed below. For those marketers who “get it,” there is a ton of untapped potential in the luxury market. It is essential for manufacturers, retailers and marketers to find ways to connect with consumers. sUGGEsTIoNs oN hoW To CoNNECT | Must connect why the consumer buys with how to reach them hoW To MARKET | Create two-way dialogues with consumers, potential and where to reach them. LUXURY pRoDUCTs consumers and future ones. “It’s about connecting with the consumer and the things they | Build consumer feedback into marketing plans (e.g., cable care about. Connecting means talking less and listening more, companies talk with viewers, viewers participate in polls, etc.). giving more value rather than increasing price, it’s about being | Must have two-way interconnectedness at every point of involved and passionate about the consumer, rather than contact for the consumer. Company websites, retail stores, waiting for the consumer to come to you.” and the brands the stores carry are all connected in the A great example of “connecting” is Progressive Insurance. consumer’s mind, so make sure the marketing strategy They offer consumers the ability to get quotes online. If a encompasses all these areas. consumer is having trouble filling out the required information, | Manufacturers must upgrade the caliber and quality of any they can click on a button that enables them to talk to a and all people who represent the company and interact with Progressive representative. Once they click on the button, a customers, especially when picking retailers. representative calls them within moments. | Implement strategies that will predispose customers to talk and share positive things about the brand (i.e. word-of- mouth campaigns). Marketing a luxury good is not about selling a thing; it is consumer’s psyche to understand their emotional dreams and about selling an experience, and ultimately enhancing the desires. Then they need to deliver that to the consumer with ThE EMoTIoNAL CoNNECTIoN, MAKING ThE CoNsUMER consumer’s pleasure and enjoyment. Marketers must deliver their product. fEEL spECIAL greater exclusivity by making luxury consumers feel special and Manufacturers must look at the world and their products unique, but not to the point of class snobbishness or arrogance. totally from the consumer’s point of view. They need to ask The consumer’s “passion” for the product is connected to their themselves: experience using the product, so marketers need to connect | How does this product help the consumer? with the consumer’s passion by digging deep into the | How does the product create, support or enhance an experience? 8
  9. 9. LUXURY MARKETING | Into what feelings, emotion or enjoyment does it translate? purchases and won’t buy it if they don’t understand it. | How does it make the person feel to use the product? Marketers need to focus on demonstrating the emotional benefits as well as giving consumers a reason to believe why | Look at product features—what experience do they bring it is worth it to purchase the luxury good/service. Again, to individuals? consumers buy things to achieve a feeling, enhance an The founder of Revlon once said, “In the factory we make experience, get an emotional lift, and fulfill a fantasy. cosmetics, in the stores we sell hope.” Lure customers with emotion, and then “close the deal” by There needs to be a balance between emotional and rational creating a rationale for the purchase. selling. Because new luxury consumers justify their Luxury marketers must continually extend the bar of luxury Some of the key elements to tapping into new luxury are: KEEpING ThE pRoDUCTs fREsh higher and higher to bring freshness, newness and something high quality, attainable price point, sought-after design and AND BRINGING MoRE vALUE extraordinary to the ever-aspiring luxury consumer. To advanced technology. maintain the luxury allure, they must pump up the luxury value of their brand. Luxury marketing is based on building a brand, communicating | A Luxury Brand must tell the story behind a product to KEY ELEMENTs To BUILDING its value, and using the brand as a conduit to connect to make the emotional connection (use rich and graphic A LUXURY BRAND the consumer. Brands succeed when they tap into what consumer targeting). consumers want as much as what they need. Marketers must | A Luxury Brand must be relevant to consumer’s needs— understand why people buy their brand so they can connect meet passions and desires emotionally and physically. with their consumers emotionally. The brand conveys a promise to the consumer that the product will satisfy their | A Luxury Brand must align with consumer’s values— today’s emotional desire. consumers want their consumerism to provide a greater meaning and they look to “do good” when they shop. KEYs To BUILDING A LUXURY BRAND | A Luxury Brand must perform for the consumer—it is | A Luxury Brand must be expansive—big ideas give luxury if it makes the consumer feel special and unique, as marketers places to venture/opportunities to meet in well as performing its material purpose. consumers’ personal lives. 9
  10. 10. LUXURY MARKETING ADvERTIsING To ThE LUXURY MARKET (BAsED to their luxury customers. Connecting to the customer oN A sTUDY of AffLUENT LUXURY CoNsUMERs) encourages repeat purchases/upgrades, and encourages word-of-mouth. Those customers will tell their friends and | Brand ads should tell a story that will be so involving that create a desire for their friends to get the same treatment. the consumer becomes part of the brand story. TIps oN ADvERTIsING | Brand ads should be relevant (deliver meaning to hIGh-END foCUs GRoUps Conducting tactical To ThE LUXURY MARKET consumers’ lives today) to passions, desires and fantasies research is a great way to better understand consumers’ of the consumer. passions and desires. It is important to be creative and to think outside the box. First get a sense of the decisions your | The story must continually be reused, refined, reinvented target market is making across categories and segments, and as values of the consumer change. then design the high-end focus group accordingly. | The message must relate to many people’s lives and be Some examples of high-end focus groups are: expansive enough that it can change with the times. | Invite affluent consumers in for a private showing and Traditional advertising and marketing does not always work cocktail reception of an exciting new line at a favorite for new luxury products. Marketers need to pay attention boutique/specialty store. Get feedback by showing to cultural icons like Oprah, who say “take care of yourself, products with different technical features, different spend money on yourself,” when creating messages for finishes, etc.—think outside the box. consumers. | Give away a complimentary gift with an unrelated purchase. KEYs To CREATING EffECTIvE For example, a store like Coach, who wants to decide what WoRD-of-MoUTh ADvERTIsING new color to start making accessories, can give away a leather | Have a new, innovative concept—what’s hot. keychain in the various the colors they are considering. Let the consumers pick which color they want. Leverage retail | Make it a simple concept—dumb it down so ordinary relationships to conduct qualitative research—make sure to people can understand the concept immediately. reward retailer partners for their help. | Identify and develop dialogue with the most likely | Survey customers at retail locations (i.e. decorative prospects to be your brand ambassadors (those that are plumbing/hardware) to determine their satisfaction most passionate about your product). levels. Assess degrees of customer satisfaction, causes of Manufacturers need to find creative ways to meet the needs customer pain, and reasons for dynamic retail experiences. of their best customers and make them feel special. One idea for connecting to plumbing customers is to send a gift at 1 mo., 3 mo., 6 mo., and a year—towel, massage brush, etc.— 10
  11. 11. LUXURY MARKETING fINDING AffLUENTs There tend to be more liberals MIsCELLANEoUs MARKETING TIps under 40 and more conservatives over 40, so focus on foR ThE LUXURY MARKET subscriber lists of conservative publications to reach | Showrooms/Displays: Showroom/displays need to be visually Affluents. stunning. Sixty percent of consumer decisions to purchase To reach Affluents consider Architectural Digest and were influenced by the retail environment and displays. Bon Appetit. To reach Mass-Affluents consider these | Internet Sales: Internet sales do not play a significant role publications: in the new luxury home market. Today’s consumers are | Condè Nast Traveler smarter and more prepared. They often use the Internet | Gourmet to do research, but less than 15% of new luxury products purchased for the home are sold online. Online retailing | Vanity Fair as yet does not deliver the emotional gratification that new | Food & Wine luxury consumers demand. | Martha Stewart Living | Promotions: Consumers like to get luxury items on sale; | Martha Stewart Living Children luxury consumers want to feel like they’ve won or achieved special status by saving money. Think of creative ways to | Kids: Fun Stuff to Do Together inspire shoppers (e.g., giving shoppers a special goodie bag gives an emotional lift). | Satisfaction: Total customer satisfaction is another key to winning in the new luxury market. 11
  12. 12. LUXURY MARKETING | “Luxury k&b Collection Show: Branding Luxury: Tips on Drive Business Value” by Ray George Marketing Brands Affluent” – www.kitchenbathpros.com | “Business Spotlight: Why Do People Buy What They Don’t | “Metrics for Marketing to Luxury Buyers” Need” by Michael Rubinkam by Andrew Grossman | “20 Ways to Enhance Your Bathroom” – REsoURCEs | “Know-How Exchange—Customer Behavior” – www. House Beautiful Magazine marketingprofs.com | “Splash Out Your Bathroom” – The Journal | “Luxury Buyer Is Still Hot Prospect in Volatile Times” | “Danbury Business Changes American Design” – by Alf Nucifora Fairfield County Business Journal | “Luxury for the Masses—Trends in Luxury Item Spending, | “Bathrooms Make a Splash…These Days Anything Goes” Marketing” by Bob Francis – | “Luxury’s Long Tail” by Tim Manners The Independent | “Paradise by the Bathroom Light” – | “High-Tech Bathrooms: Electronic’s Final Frontier” – www.kitchenbathdesign.com Electronic Design | “The Good Brand” by Linda Tischler | “America’s Take on ‘New’ Luxury” – International Herald Tribune | “The Comfort Zone” – www.kitchenbathdesign.com | “A Stimulating Experience: Today’s Whirlpools, | “Bathrooms to Feed the Soul” – www.moen.com Air Baths…Without Ever Leaving Home” – | “Opportunity Knocks as Consumers Embrace ‘Trading Kitchen & Bath Design News Up’” – www.kitchenbathdesign.com | “Escape to the Bathroom for a Shower of Amenities” – | “Special Bathroom Suite Series Part II—Impulse Buying” Denver Rocky Mountain News – www.pmmag.com | “American Standard Study Reveals What Americans | “Fall Bath Remodeling Report” – www.kitchenbathdesign. Love and Hate About Their Bathrooms” – PR Newswire com | “Research and Markets: Future Trends in Luxury Market | “Marketing to the Mass -Affluent” by Dan Kennedy Analyzed” – M2 Presswire | “Intelligent Bathroom” by Philips Research | “Understanding Your Brand – Aligning Brand Equity to 12
  13. 13. LUXURY MARKETING | Articles by Pam Danzinger (Widely published author and authority on Luxury Marketing www.unitymarketing.com) | “Connecting Replaces Cocooning as New Butterfly Consumers Emerge” | “Eight Things That Every Marketer Needs to Know About the New Luxury Market” | “Meet the Butterfly Consumers: The Evolving New Affluent Consumer” | “The Lesson In Retailing—Let the Consumer Win” | “Word of Mouth Advertising: Entirely Too Powerful to Leave up to Chance” | “Brand Loyalty Starts and Ends With the Consumer” | “Tabletop Companies: Are You Tapping Into the Consumers’ Passion” | “The Six Myths of Luxury Branding” 13 ©2006 Point to Point | 23240 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 200, Cleveland, Ohio 44122 Tel: 216 831-4421 pointtopoint.com
  14. 14. 23240 Chagrin Blvd, Suite 200 Cleveland, Ohio 44122 p o I N T o p o I N T 216 831-4421 pointtopoint.com Point to Point is an advertising and interactive marketing firm that helps our clients identify, bring into focus and overcome complex marketing challenges. Our expertise in branding, interactive marketing, social media, SEO and media planning allows us to solve each client’s unique problems in ways that maximize results. Our goal is always to be a catalyst of change for our clients by moving them from where they are to where they want to be. To find out how we can help you build a more prosperous future, contact us: Scott Moss Director of Business Development 216-364-0432 smoss@pointtopoint.com