High-end brands should approach marketing, branding and public relations slightly differently than businesses that strive for mass appeal. Luxury brands have highly specific customer personas within a specific income/wealth cohort while other businesses provide value offerings to comparably more people.
Think through your high-end brand marketing carefully, tailor your outreach efforts to your target audience and you will succeed in bolstering your bottom line as time progresses.
Here’s how to do it.
Reasons why Luxury PR and Marketing are Important
High-end brands have highly specific luxury PR and marketing challenges simply because their value proposition is not targeted to the masses.
High-end products and services are custom tailored to narrow audiences who have the discretionary income necessary to afford luxury items. In other words, the goal of high-end brand marketing is not to generate mass appeal and convert everyday people into paying customers.
Rather, the aim of luxury PR and marketing is to convince a comparably small target group of prospective customers to recognize the value offering, become paying customers and prove loyal across the long haul.
Succeed in this endeavor and you will have generated the all-important brand recognition and allegiance that stands the test of time.
In turn, these satisfied customers will spread the word to those in their social, professional and family circles, adding even more people to your customer base as time progresses.
The moral of this story is your target customers might not have any idea your brand exists unless you strategically promote awareness of your unique value offering through savvy luxury PR and marketing.
Make your target audience aware of your brand, communicate in a persuasive manner through marketing and public relations outreach campaigns and you will stand a good chance of winning market share.
Continue to bring more customers into the fold with savvy ads, press releases and inbound marketing and your sales will gradually increase.
Luxury PR and Marketing Strategies: Tap Into the Power of Social Media
To say social media is an important inbound marketing tool would be an egregious understatement. A whopping 74% of Generation Z uses Instagram. About 70% of millennials hop on the “gram” with regularity. As detailed in this informative piece, millennials are on the prowl for luxury products.
The savvy use of social media platforms demonstrates and reinforces your luxury brand’s unique value to millennials as well as members of other age cohorts.
In particular, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest will help your organization connect with your target audience through their preferred online channels.
Seize the opportunity to showcase your luxury brand on these platforms and your coveted customers really will give serious consideration to buying your products/services. This is your opportunity to share images and video of your product, showing exactly how your brand ambassadors enjoy and use your items.
Be particularly mindful of the context in which your products are presented in your luxury PR and marketing campaigns. Portray individuals in the same demographic as your target customer using, wearing and enjoying your products.
This way, those who have not yet converted into paying customers will be able to better visualize themselves wearing or using your products.
Influencers are Legitimate Marketing Tool for High-end Brands
If the thought of paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to a social media influencer to wear, use or promote your product in social media posts makes you nervous, you are not alone.
Relying on a social media influencer is uncharted territory for most companies yet this somewhat risky strategy is paying considerable dividends for trailblazers throughout a wide array of industries.
Keep in mind luxury brands typically market their offerings to those who are concerned about their social standing and ability to fit in with members of certain cliques.
Hire a social media influencer whom your target demographic is most likely to follow, respect or mimic in terms of consumer activity and this strategy is likely to work out better than expected.
The influencer you select to covertly feature your brand or overtly tout it should have a considerable number of followers.
This is not to say the influencer must have thousands or tens of thousands of followers. If the influencer has a couple hundred followers, a relatively small investment in him or her has the potential to convert a third or even half of those followers into paying clients who remain loyal to your brand in the years to come.
The initial investment you make in a social media influencer has the potential to provide exponentially more returns.
The investment will prove especially prudent if those who hop on your company’s bandwagon as a result of the influencer’s presence on social media end up posting information about your luxury items on their own social media pages, in turn converting their followers into paying customers.
SEO for Luxury Brands
Those in the market for high-end brands shop just like regular people with comparably less income and wealth.
The main difference is more money is spent on luxury goods’ comparably high price tag. This means search engine optimization (SEO) is just as important for high-end brands as it is for other businesses that target the masses.
Those who make six and seven figures per year are just as likely to search for coveted items through Google and other search engines as those who make considerably less money. Therefore, it makes sense to weave important keywords, key phrases and local identifiers into your company’s online content.
Implement these industry-relevant keywords into:
- • Blog posts
- • Your homepage
- • Social media
- • Other parts of your company’s online footprint
The optimal keyword saturation rate is 0.5% to 3.5%. Hit this saturation rate, be patient and a spike in web traffic will result in due time.
You Need a Polished Website
SEO is only part of the battle to attract new customers and convert them into loyal brand ambassadors willing to buy your goods/services across the long haul.
You also need a polished website with a distinct personality.
The subtleties of your homepage dictate your company’s online personality. Everything from the font of the text on your homepage to the nuanced graphics you select and the strategic placement of customer testimonials plays an important part in converting potential customers who are “on the fence” into paying customers who come back for subsequent purchases in the weeks, months and years to come.
Above all, your website should make it easy for the visitor to make a purchase.
Include the following on the homepage to encourage visitors to take the important step of converting from prospect into paying customer:
- • Contact form
- • Online order form
- • Persuasive call-to-action
Create a Sense of Exclusivity Through an Email List
It can be said in full confidence that exclusivity is an integral component of luxury PR and marketing. However, plenty of many luxury brands fall into the trap of assuming their target customers are either uninterested in adding their email address to an email list or too busy to bother reading emails from businesses.
Though email marketing is a bit of an uphill battle, it has the potential to prove quite valuable for luxury brands.
Frame your email list as an exclusive perk and current as well as prospective clients will be much more inclined to add their address to the list. Do not reveal exactly what will be transmitted to those who sign up for your email list.
Create a sense of mystery and exclusivity and interest in your email newsletter will dramatically increase.
Furthermore, it is in your interest to alter the content of your email newsletter on a weekly or monthly basis. Do not simply rehash the same format over and over again, assuming those who sign up for your email list will continue reading or even scanning the messages.
- • Provide an informative newsletter one week, a message from the CEO along with information about discounts the next week and a giveaway the week after.
- • Be sure to include perks in your weekly/monthly emails to encourage subscribers to actually open those messages with regularity.
It will also help to create a virtual VIP club that provides loyal customers with access to new offerings, events and additional perks through the emailed newsletter.
Narrow the Audience
Narrowing the online audience through luxury PR and marketing might seem counterintuitive as the goal of every business is to sell as many units as possible.
However, if you were to democratize your offering, it would no longer be high-end. Every luxury brand needs the self-awareness to recognize their target audience is somewhat limited. The masses simply cannot afford to purchase luxury items on a regular basis.
Furthermore, if you attempted to market your value offering to anyone and everyone, it would create the impression that you are a middle-of-the-road brand as opposed to a luxury brand.
Narrowing your audience might seem like a daunting challenge yet it will prove that much easier with a strategic and creative approach.
As an example, the creation of private member groups, specialized services for loyal customers and/or online loyalty rewards encourages those who have demonstrated an interest in your products to continue to buy more.
Provide such perks and your company’s relationship with your audience really will prove that much stronger.
This narrowing of your focus also makes current customers feel as though they “belong” to your brand, providing a communal feel and sense of camaraderie that spurs even more purchases.
So don’t assume you have to continuously expand your customer base to more and more people in order to maximize your bottom line.
Show those who pay for your product/service you genuinely care about them and they will prove that much more likely to continue spending for your value offering. These satisfied and loyal customers will be so impressed with your luxury brand that they proudly heap on the praise for your company when interacting with friends, family, colleagues and other potential customers.
Create a Sense of Scarcity
Convince your target and current customers your value offering is in short supply or in-demand and they will prove likelier to buy it.
After all, something that is low in supply yet widely coveted is likely to sell quickly and for a fairly high price. However, target customers might not have any idea such scarcity exists unless you communicate it to them.
This is not to say you have to lie about your high-end product or service to create the impression there is scarcity when there is little or no scarcity at all.
However, if you can convince your customers that your item is in short supply or that there is strong demand, it will make them feel as though they are acquiring something others cannot obtain.
Nabbing the scarce item creates a special relationship with your high-end brand, generates a lasting impression and sets the stage for subsequent purchases down the line. You can make your product seem more rare than others by slightly altering it with a feature or quality that competing products lack.
In some cases, intentionally limiting the supply of the item when it first hits the market creates artificial scarcity, building much-needed momentum that ramps up demand for the future when you let the floodgates open and sell the item to all interested parties.
An added bonus is the fact that scarcity heightens the chances of your unique product going viral as a result of customer hype on the many different social media channels.
Narrow Your Marketing Focus and be Patient as You Observe the Magic of Inbound Marketing
Above all, luxury PR and marketing should be carefully tailored to those who have a need or desire for your specific offerings.
Tailor your marketing strategies to these individuals through inbound web-based channels, give your efforts some time to generate traffic to your online footprint and your customer base will gradually increase.
However, bolstering your revenue will take some time. Do not expect results overnight. Establish inroads with your target customers, convert them with inbound marketing methods and they will feel as though their own organic web sleuthing is the true cause of their newfound connection to your company and ongoing brand allegiance.
Ready To Take Aim?
In summary, there is no need to shell out thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for costly traditional outbound advertisements on TV, radio, magazines or billboards to reach the masses.
Customize your marketing and public relations campaigns to those whose business you covet and they will eventually transform from prospects to paying clients willing to spread the word about your offerings, providing truly invaluable word-of-mouth advertising that helps your business reach new heights.
By: Frank DePino
Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.