There are products and services you need and then there are products and services you “need.” If your marketing doesn’t recognize the difference, then you are not going to reach your sales potential.
When you are offering a luxury item or service, stating the benefits (over features) isn’t enough—there are other products at lower price points that will practically fulfill consumers’ needs. To compel the sale of your luxury brand, you need to focus on your consumer’s experience of both the purchase process and the product/service itself.
Luxury Brand Marketing: It’s All about the Feels
To effectively market your luxury brand, you first need to understand a little basic human psychology.
Back in the 1940s, Abraham Maslow formulated his theory of human needs—the short version: needs are hierarchal. Basic human needs, like the need for food, water and physical safety, must be fulfilled before an individual can focus on higher-level needs, like belonging, autonomy, cognitive challenge and aesthetics.
Luxury products and services are not necessary to fulfill basic human needs. Rather, consumers only begin to look for luxury brands when their physiological needs are satisfied. That means luxury goods are sought to fulfill higher-level needs, which are largely emotional and social in nature. So, to market luxury brands, your messaging needs to target consumers’ feelings and higher-order needs—their need to fit in and their need to be perceived in a certain way, for example.
Luxury marketing, then, is less about trumpeting the benefits or features of your product or service. It’s about creating an experience. Luxury marketing uses storytelling and visualization to help consumers vividly imagine how much better their lives would be, how differently they would feel if they were to choose your luxury product or service.
Tips to Improve Your Luxury Marketing
So, how do you create an experience to execute effective luxury marketing? You create content that targets consumers’ feelings. Strategies for effective online implementation include:
- Matching page content and keywords with user intent
A disconnect between what an online viewer is searching for and where they land is almost certainly going to result in a bounce—a viewer leaving the page to look at other results or refine their search altogether. You can help prevent bouncing by creating content consistent with user intent, which is implied by the user’s choice of keyword terms.
Apart from searches for a specific website or web page (e.g. a search for “Chanel” or “Louis Vuitton”), there are two categories of user intent:
- Informational—a user is looking for information about a brand, product or service. Users who are researching potential purchases perform informational searches, so keyword terms may include phrases like “designer shoe reviews” and “best destinations for luxury vacations.”
- Transactional—a user is looking for where/how to execute a purchase. Common keywords used for transactional searches include “buy…” or “order online…”
Matching page content with user intent means that your luxury brand website must have content developed for users at every stage of the buying process.
- Use active, viewer-oriented language
Your content should help each user visualize themselves with your product or enjoying your service. To achieve this, you need to use active, “you”-centered language.
For example, say you’re selling time at a luxury resort villa. Your messaging should sound more like this:
|Experience the vacation you really deserve. Soak away your workday stresses in your own private lagoon and savor the exotic flavors of five-star cuisine prepared by the finest local chefs. Your Premier Beachfront Vacation is just a click away. |
| White sandy beaches, private lagoons and five-star amenities make for a great vacation, and that’s what Premier Beachfront Vacations offers |
See the difference?
- Use high quality images
Prospective buyers can better visualize themselves enjoying your luxury product or service when they can see the actual product or result themselves. High-resolution images on your website provide a visual experience that can tease the other senses, driving viewers to complete the sale so that they can also enjoy their luxury purchase with all their senses.
- Creating a sense of urgency through time limits or product shortages
Luxury purchases are emotionally driven decisions. Often, the only way that these decisions happen is when people are not given time enough to more rationally, logically consider the purchase. You can create the sense of “no time” by showing viewers the limited product quantity available or limited time to complete the purchase.
When you effectively market your luxury items, your marketing does double duty. Not only does it increase sales and leads, it can improve search engine performance, which contributes to even more sales and leads potential.
One key to remember to make your online content work best toward your SEO goals: apply the same content principles to your meta descriptions. Meta descriptions—the snippets viewers see below links in organic search results—do not themselves impact your ranking. However, they can compel (or discourage) clicks on your link, and click-through rate does affect your ranking. So, when your meta description appeals to your viewers’ emotions through vivid, active, “you”-oriented language consistent with their search intent, they are more likely to visit your site, follow your sales path…and by doing so, make it more likely that others will follow.