Old Luxe and New Luxe

By Christopher Zoukis

Why do affluent customers buy luxury items such as perfume, jewelry, and cars?

Because of the way the products make them feel, and the way they perceive other people will feel about them for having the product. This feeling is exclusivity. It is not about functionality per se, although functionality is part of the feeling of exclusivity. It is not about price and quality per se, although both price and quality also add to the feeling. It is about exclusivity.   Image courtesy fantasymomentsworld.info

Exclusivity commands admiration, respect and the acknowledgement of others when they notice the luxury product. This idea of exclusivity requires that marketing campaigns be carefully planned. Why? According to Simon Black, a director at Design Bridge, luxury has different meanings to different people. Black suggests there are at least two different views of luxury among the wealthy. He calls them New Luxe and Old Luxe. The New Luxe group desires exclusivity that is showy and status-driven. Old Luxers seek exclusivity through traditional luxury, and like to present themselves as “too posh to care.”

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Marketing to Daddy Warbucks

By Christopher Zoukis

What makes a customer affluent? How much money does someone have to make or have to be considered affluent? How is wealth defined? For the sake of convenience, this discussion defines three categories of wealthy customers.

            The moneyed customer.

            The rich customer.

            The ultra-rich customer.

Later on, each of these categories will be divided into sub-categories, such as women, men, same-sex, baby-boomers, and the self-made. But generally speaking, the three basic categories are defined as follows.  Photo courtesy top5s.net

Moneyed customers. The people in this category make $200,000 to $1 million dollars per year. They are usually young professionals, what used to be called “white-collar workers.” More often than not they are highly educated, having graduated from colleges or universities. However, this is not always the case. There are many exceptions. Some have graduate degrees, and many attended professional schools, where they received specialized training in a specific discipline. This group includes doctors, lawyers, computer sciences and dentists. Others graduated from professional business schools. Some are entrepreneurs, who hope to grow their small-businesses into large corporations. In reality, this category is difficult to define, other than the fact that they are motivated to succeed.

This category is experiencing rapid growth, and is in the upper 3 percent based on income. In other words, they make more than 97% of the population in the United States. Unique to this category are the baby-boomers, who are not young. Indeed, they are close to retirement. Some are from blue-collar backgrounds. Nevertheless, they have tremendous wealth.

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