Marketing and Enthusiasm

By Christopher Zoukis

U.S. Census numbers indicate that gays and lesbians live in every part of the United States. Most of them are intelligent, educated, and technologically attuned. Many of them are wealthy. They enjoy spending their money on travel and luxury goods.

For example, Kimpton Hotels and RPhoto courtesy luxedb.comestaurants did a research survey, because they wanted to attract gay and lesbian customers. The result? Lesbian businesswomen, who take frequent vacations and stay in luxury hotels, have the same values, lifestyles and hobbies as their heterosexual counterparts. They enjoy spas, exercise facilities, tasteful interior décor, and personal services, such as massages and facials. Lesbian customers prefer to spend their money at businesses that support feminist causes and other non-profit organizations. 

Kimpton now offers getaway packages to lesbians and heterosexual women, both of which are a steadily growing source of revenue for Kimpton.

Another example is Budget car rental company. Budget instituted a marketing campaign targeting gay men. It was quite simple, but very effective. Budget treats gay partners as if they were married. There is no surcharge for another driver. Gay customers like this kind of treatment. They remember it. Whenever they travel, they come back to Budget.

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Sensation Transference and Marketing

Christopher Zoukis

What does all of the aforementioned information reveal about the affluent self-made customer? For one, they are pretty much the same, regardless of age or gender. All are strong personality types, who have struggled and worked hard for everything they have achieved. Extreme independence sums up their psychological profile. They do not believe in luck, and the words “cannot” and “no” are not in their vocabulary. Whereas when a seller of luxury goods or services says “yes” to them, regarding a request, they keep coming back, because they like and approve of the sellers “can do” attitude.  It reminds them of themselves.  Image courtesy parfumo.net

The affluent self-made like doing business with people who have common sense, specialized knowledge, self-confidence, creativity, leadership ability, and who are self-reliant and get things done. And because they are self-made, they look for value. This means they will negotiate over price, and like to think they’re getting a good deal.

The psychological factor to remember when marketing to the self-made affluent customer is this: they need to “feel right” about a luxury purchase. If they “feel right” about it, they will part with their hard-earned money.  “Feeling right” about a luxury purchase involves a concept called “sensation transference.” Defined by a man named Louis Cheskin, sensation transference is when a customer unconsciously transfers his perception of the way a product is packaged over to the actual product. To put it another way, most customers do not distinguish the package from the product. To most customers, the two concepts – the packaging and the product – are one and the same. Which explains the old adage, “Packaging is everything.”

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Buzz Marketing

By Christopher Zoukis

The problem in marketing to children is how to make and impression on them, how to stand out. Children are bombarded by so much advertising that marketers have to find a way to avoid mediocrity. One way to do this is through “buzz marketing,” which is to utilize the most popular children to create “buzz” about a luxury product. The company provides popular kids with the product, asking them to wear it or use it. In other words, these popular kids are being asked to provide “street-cred” or “coolness” to the product. It is a form of viral marketing and is very effective, because it is easily translated to texting or twittering, and social networking sites.  Image courtesy lushbling.com

Another avenue for successful marketing of luxury products is school. For example, Apple computers are supplied to the computer labs at elementary schools. Apple not only exposes children to its products, but adds to its reputation as a “caring” company. Justice, a luxury brand of children’s clothing, sponsors educational programs at schools. These programs provide elementary students with the opportunity to see and handle exotic animals. Since elementary students are at an age when they are very “animal aware,” the program connects with them emotionally. This connection carries over to the sponsoring brand.

Of course, the internet is an extremely effective method of marketing to children. It is part of their culture, which means they have never known anything else. The internet is part of their daily lives. Children spend hours online without any supervision. Added to this is the fact that most parents have no understanding of how much marketing occurs on websites for children. These websites provide the perfect matrix for creating and building brand loyalty. The most vital factor of online marketing to children might be this: it is easy to track and collect data for future marketing to the same children.

Music, movies, and video games are luxury products that all children grow up desiring. Marketing campaigns on television, radio, and the internet are very effective in targeting young people.

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Pushing The Right Buttons

By Christopher Zoukis

Pawsible Marketing (PM), a marketing firm specializing in luxury pet marketing, believes that quality is the driving factor in luxury pet products. PM forecasts that the retailing sector of luxury pet products will see massive growth in not only brick and mortar stores, but in online stores. The biggest retailers will begin offering luxury products to customers that want even greater luxury and “green” products. PM also sees new companies jumping onto the luxury pet products bandwagon. Most of these new companies will “feel” their way along, because they have no previous experience in the pet market segment.

According to PM, boutique stores will focus more on luxury pet products to niche markets. If their niche market is lucrative enough, and if their marketing is effective, these boutique stores will be acquired by larger companies seeking to expand their offerings.  Image courtesy crystal-fox.com

Green products and services will prove to be a key niche market. Affluent pet owners are concerned about pet foods and products with potentially harmful constituents. So they will seek out and patronize foods, toys, clothing items, medicines, and other products that are pet friendly.

PM also sees affluent pet owners seeking health insurance for their pets. These owners will respond to marketing targeted to the health of their pets, including alternatives such as pet massages, pet acupuncture, pet chiropractic care, pet hydrotherapy, pet nutrition, pet herbs, and pet homeopathy. In other words, now is the time to carefully plan marketing and promotional campaigns in these areas.

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High End Crazy: Luxury Real Estate

By Christopher Zoukis

How does one go about marketing luxury real estate to affluent customers? The first challenge is the size of the group of potential buyers. The more luxurious the property, the more it costs. This means there are fewer people who can afford it. Which, in turn, means that mass-marketing techniques will not work for luxury real estate.  Photo courtesy activerain.com

Usually, mass-market real estate agents try to appeal to customers who already exist. If they do not already exist, the agent tries to create a market for the property. With luxury properties, however, the agent must “go where the market is.” This allows the agent to connect with people who are actively looking for million dollar homes.

The simplest method to connecting with wealthy real estate seekers is by listing the property on luxury real estate websites. These websites already attract individuals in the market for expensive properties. One tip to remember when going this route is to be sure the listing site is international in scope. Think globally, because rich investors do not limit themselves geographically.

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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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