The Arcane Art of Influencing People

By Christopher Zoukis

Forbes reports that the next big luxury purchase among rich, single men may be the $12,500 leather belt, which has a 14-karat gold buckle and princess-cut diamonds. Why? Because as Todd Rauchwerger of J.W. Cooper says, “Besides a watch, most men don’t wear a lot of jewelry. They’ll wear a $20,000 or $30,000 watch and a $3000 or $4000 suit and a 25-cent belt buckle. Why not wear a belt buckle that goes with the rest of the wardrobe?”

The Luxury Institute (LI), a research firm in New York, did a study of rich, single men in the U.S. The LI discovered the average net worth of these men to be $2.7 million. They had an average income of $270,000 and held 45% of the aggregate annual income in the U.S. There are 4.5 million men in this category in the U.S., according to LI. They live what LI calls the “360 degree luxury lifestyle,” which means they are rolling in money. They know the difference between value and price. This means they want value and will pay top-dollar for it. In other words, they want luxury goods and services.  Image courtesy getf.org

Sellers of luxury goods and services wishing to target rich, single men have to be flexible, altering their products and marketing to target this segment.

For example, Thomas Cook Select, a luxury travel company, offers holiday travel packages classed as Premium or Luxury. Many of these packages are targeted at rich, single men. In recent years the average age range for this market has dropped from 45 and over to 25 and over, bringing about an avalanche of growth and opportunity. Many of the packages cater to rich, single men who prefer to vacation in a place where there are no children, because they want a quiet and relaxing experience.

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Marketing Luxury

By Christopher Zoukis

A fascinating example of marketing luxury products targeted at rich, single men is Diageo, which is the world’s leading beverage company.  Diageo has many products that span the price spectrum.  But Diageo concentrates on its luxury brands, treating them like precious loved ones.  Some of Diageo’s luxury offerings include Johnnie Walker Blue, Crown Royal XR, Ciroc Vodka, and Don Julio 1942.

Diageo’s method of marketing bears examination.  The company designed its marketing around its reserve brands, which includes 24 high-end luxury items.  Diageo uses what they call “marketing disciplines” to keep their brands visible to affluent customers, many of who are rich, single men.

For one, they utilize “influencers,” who are high-profile celebrities.  Diageo hooked up with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, because they felt he could influence a segment of their market in a powerful way.  For two, Diageo has a “Guru Influencer.”  The Guru Influencer is whisky expert Charlie MacLean.  Wealthy customers who are “in the know” trust MacLean’s expertise, and therefore value his recommendations.  For three, Diageo uses “Socialite Influences.”  Socialite influences are high-net-worth individuals who have lots of exclusive parties and know lots of elite people.

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