Understanding Your Luxury Audience
Your company deals in luxury products, making you a prestige name that doesn’t sell to the average consumer. As you introduce your latest product, you want to ensure you market it appropriately. That means knowing the consumers most receptive to your company.
Who is the target audience for luxury brands?
According to a 2019 luxury market report, today’s luxury brand target audience is 25 to 44 years old. They comprise 64 percent of this overall audience. Don’t sleep on the younger generation between 16 and 24 years old, also known as Generation Z. They’re another big chunk of your target audience.
In this guide, we will provide a detailed breakdown of the groups in the typical target audience for luxury brands. We’ll also discuss these groups’ respective values as well as provide tips for targeting the different parts of your audience.
- • Breaking Down Your Luxury Brand Target Audience: Who Are They?
- • What Are Your Target Audience Groups Buying?
- • What Values Drive Your Luxury Brand Target Audience?
- • Tips and Pointers for Targeting Your Ideal Luxury Audience
Breaking Down Your Luxury Brand Target Audience: Who Are They?
With age often comes financial stability.
Not only are you settled in a job, but you’ve ascended the career ladder, earning new titles with increasingly higher salaries. You would think then that it would be an older generation that mostly builds up a target audience for luxury brands.
Per data from the report we mentioned in the intro, it turns out that’s not all true.
While you will still want to put in your marketing efforts for consumers in their 40s, it’s actually two younger and thus unexpected groups you should also focus on. These are Generation Z and millennials.
When we say young, we do mean young. Generation Z includes those born between 1997 and 2003, making them 16 to 22 years old today.
- • Of those Gen Z’ers surveyed in the report, only 14 percent of them said they never buy luxury items.
- • A small group, 19 percent, said they rarely do so.
- • An equally sized group, also 19 percent, said they treated themselves to these luxury products regularly.
- • More Generation Z respondents, 25 percent, answered that they occasionally treat themselves to luxury goods.
- • Most of them seem to buy these as gifts for others, as 33 percent said they do.
You might not have imagined marketing your luxury goods to those 20 or younger, but that’s today’s reality. When you think of how this generation grew up, it makes sense. They never knew life without the Internet. Social media boomed when they were kids or tweens and were thus more malleable to its influence.
They’re privy to a lot of brands and companies then. They also have entered the workforce or soon will, meaning they have the disposable income to spend on luxury goods.
Millennials are no longer the youngest kids on the block.
They also encompass a bigger audience than you may have realized. To fit this grouping, your audience would have had to been born between 1983 and 1996. That makes today’s millennials 23 to 36 years old.
The luxury market report surveyed millennials ages 25 to 34.
- • While 16 percent never bought luxury goods and 18 percent rarely did, the numbers only went up from there.
- • Only 22 percent were occasional treaters, down three percent from Generation Z.
- • Fewer bought luxury goods as gifts, 23 percent, a decrease of a whole 10 percent when compared to Gen Zers.
Instead, more millennials are buying luxury items for themselves, with 34 percent saying they do so. That makes this age group your biggest buyers. Per the data, it’s men who spend more than women, with them consisting of 62 percent of that millennial audience.
Although they all didn’t grow up with the Internet, it arrived when most millennials were maturing from childhood.
They glommed onto it quickly. They were also the first to use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. They’re incredibly smart shoppers who know when they’re being sold to.
Now in their 20s and 30s, they have the money to spend as they see fit.
The last group that buys the most luxury goods doesn’t really have an official name.
They’re too old to be millennials, as that group cuts off after you’re 36. This group is also too young to be Generation X, which are those 43 to 56 years old.
That’s why we’ll call this group older millennials. They’re 35 to 44 years old and they’re also another big part of your target audience. Up to 33 percent of them regularly treat themselves to luxury goods. They don’t buy them as gifts often (15 percent).
Make sure you don’t confuse this group for Gen Xers.
Only seven percent of Generation X adults buy luxury products often. Even more of them, 27 percent, said they do so rarely. You’re not likely to make as much of a profit from this group then.
What Are Your Target Audience Groups Buying?
Now that you know who’s buying, it would help as well to know what they’re buying. It seems to vary depending on how often your target audience treats themselves to luxury products.
For those who only do so occasionally, they mostly buy electronics, as 53 percent do this. These items include smartphones, premium headphones, tablets, computers and laptops, and the like. Another 34 percent splurge on pricy food ingredients like caviar and truffles.
The customers who buy luxury goods for others but not themselves lean towards different products. They’ll pick up travel tickets as a gift (30 percent).
They also purchase experiences like VIP event access or glamping, with up to 25 percent reporting as much.
The regular luxury good buyers will also nab plane tickets for themselves (36 percent). They quite like furniture and household items, too (36 percent) as well as automotive and car products (26 percent).
What Values Drive Your Luxury Brand Target Audience?
As you begin brainstorming what your luxury product marketing campaign will look like, you have to consider the values of your target audience. These are the qualities most important to your potential customers.
You also want to ensure your company checks off the values we’re about to share with you.
Then, as applicable, make sure these values appear in your marketing campaign to appeal to the most members of your audience.
Exemplary Customer Service
Today’s customer service is not about calling a number, being asked to wait, and sitting on hold for 30 or 40 minutes. Your older consumers might do that, and some younger ones, too, but you have to offer more than a hotline.
Keep your social media inboxes open.
When messages arrive, try to answer them in real time. A chat function on your website also helps to this end. Maybe you have an employee who mans this or you use artificial intelligence (AI).
Customer service in 2019 is about speed, yes, but also the quality of the interaction.
Make sure you’re fully answering a customer’s question or putting them in touch with someone who can.
Another value you can’t skimp on is immersive advertising, sometimes also referred to as immersive marketing. This all-encompassing form of marketing includes coupons, samples, digital marketing, word-of-mouth ads, public relations, and other advertising avenues.
Make sure your marketing campaign has a well-designed website, a social media presence (more on this shortly), email marketing, online surveys, blogs, radio and television advertising, paper surveys, flyers, and billboards.
Additional Services/Content Offered After the Sale
Sometimes when a consumer buys a product, they also need ancillary services or content. It’s annoying if they have to seek out another retailer for these accessories or secondary services. Your customers will respond much better to your initial offer if you also put forth these additional services and content to buy with their product.
Up to 48 percent of luxury good customers who occasionally treat themselves said authenticity matters, according to the 2019 luxury market report.
That’s far too many people to ignore.
Authenticity is all about transparency and honesty. You don’t have to give away company secrets, but let your customers get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the magic happens. If you make a mistake, own up to it instead of burying it.
Be real and your audience will respond in kind.
Quality Craftsmanship and Materials
Given that you’re a luxury products brand, it almost goes without saying that your customers will expect a certain level of quality. This should be exceedingly high.
The adage that you get what you pay for matters to your audience.
From design to construction, material selection, and everything in between, make sure you have a strong quality control team in place. They must make sure that every product that leaves your warehouse is of the best possible quality.
As we said before, Generation Z has always had the Internet and social media.
Even most millennials find it hard to remember what life was like before online connectivity took over.
You can expect most of your audience to use some forms of social media, be that Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter. You must also have accounts on the major platforms. More than just having a presence, make sure it’s an active one as well.
The luxury market report notes that 29 percent of those who regularly buy luxury goods prefer the company to have a narrative or story. How can you build your luxury brand? How did your brand come to be? Who had a role in it? How has your company grown from those early days to now?
Put this somewhere on your website and tie in your story whenever possible, including in your marketing materials.
Tips and Pointers for Targeting Your Ideal Luxury Audience
The above values should act as a starting point for what to do (and not to do) during your luxury product marketing campaign. In case you need more advice, here are some of our best tips for tailoring and targeting your audience.
Create Buyer Personas
A buyer persona also goes by the name customer avatar. Essentially, it’s like a blueprint for selling and marketing to your customers. In a nutshell, you survey your current customers, your most qualified leads, less qualified leads, and even some referrals and third parties. Then, you take the most common information from those interviews and use it to create personas.
Since your target audience includes those as young as 19 as well as older, more established adults in their 40s, having a slew of buyer personas is to your benefit. Don’t just create these avatars based on age, but also on such values as income and pain points or challenges.
Target by Income with Google Ads
Your typical target audience for luxury brands includes a wide range of ages, as we said, but also income levels.
If you know a product might disqualify some of your audience because of the price, then you don’t want to market to them. Instead, you want to focus on those who can afford it. With income targeting, you can.
This form of geotargeting, which is available on Google Ads, comes from US Internal Service data on household income. By using income targeting, you can market with confidence, assured that the segment you’re reaching out to will have the money to buy your goods.
Use Facebook Ad Targeting
Google Ads isn’t the only company that lets you geotarget.
You can also use Facebook Ads. Now, as of 2018, Forbes mentioned that the social media giant cut out a lot of targeting filters, mostly to avoid discrimination.
To get around it, you want to begin targeting interests your higher-end customers could have, like boating or yachting. You can also use geotargeting to display your Facebook ads to those living in wealthier neighborhoods. Facebook did not change anything pertaining to using job titles for ad targeting, so that’s yet another option at your disposal.
Finding the Best Target Audience for Luxury Brands
If you’re a brand that produces luxury products, finding your target audience isn’t always easy. You may be surprised to hear that the audience skews younger, as young as 19 in some instances. From Generation Z to millennials and those just outside that group, your audience is at different life stages.
By understanding the values they appreciate and then using the marketing tactics we recommended above, you can market your luxury products to your target audience more effectively.
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.