With 20 years in the wedding industry I have always been fascinated by the term luxury. What does luxury actually mean? I discovered that peoples interpretations of this differed, which in itself is a marketing issue because you can no longer rely on using the word luxury within your messaging to convert luxury clientele.
I’m seen so many businesses with luxury in the name whereas the service is anything back. So what does luxury mean?
- Is it being ostentatious?
- Is it being bling obsessed?
- Is it an abundance of crystals and champagne?
- Or is it the experience a customer feels with a brand?
- Is it the customer journey from start to finish?
Pamela N. Danziger
Senior Contributor of Forbes, Pamela N. Danziger, and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury: How new consumer values are redefining the way we market luxury, believes there are 10 specific values that a brand must uphold in order to rightfully be named "luxury."
I would add that luxury is about how you make your clients feel, it’s the journey they go on with you. They want exclusivity from you and impeccable service. This is the backbone of luxury. They need to feel valued and special within the customer journey you curate. Its not necessarily the aesthetics although of course this plays a part of the experience.
Now understanding your place in the market is of course essential, you need to know who you are targeting. Regardless of what business you have, researching your market and IPC is essential for your growth. And not assuming you know what a client wants.
I remember throughout my years training wedding planners I would ask students what type of weddings they want to organise. And often they said luxury, when I ask who their clients will be they reply affluent city works. And in itself that’s ok, but entering the luxury wedding market can be hard, especially as a new planner unless this is a world you already occupy in your personal life. If your world is luxury that it stands to reason targeting the luxury market will be easier for you.
Having luxury within your brand name in itself will not be enough to attract nor convert true luxury clientele.
The change in how consumers define luxury and the new path to purchase is dramatically redefining the marketing strategy. Luxury brands must be very agile and innovative in order to gain the favours of the new luxury consumer."Forbes
Luxury or High Spend?
I think people have got confused with the word luxury vs high spend which I think is what most businesses actually mean. They want to attract high spend clientele.
But let me ask, can you have one without the other?
- Can you have clients asking for a luxury home, wardrobe, wedding but who do not have the “luxury” budget?
- Can you have clients that know what they want, quality workmanship, attention to detail, but not what is “perceived to be luxury” but who have surplus money to make it happen?
Lets think about another angle, would a client with a high budget search for luxury x,y,z on Google or would they search specifics?
Would a founders name depict a personalised service with attention to detail vs a brand name for example? Whether in the wedding industry, fashion or crafter, having a personal name showcases more individuality and limited availability compared to a brand for example. Could this be what others deem as a luxury service?
Luxury is one of the most resilient industries there is. It’s also one of the fastest to rebound after a crisis.Luxe Digital
As mentioned earlier Luxury often means the experience they have with you, from first enquiry to the off boarding how do you make the client feel? Think about the customer experience from initially finding you , to viewing your website & social media accounts (I can guarantee they will do this) to how you handle their enquiry.
Branding is vital for this industry, I’ve lost count of the number of businesses that are targeting the luxury market but their brand is anything but. If this is the market you want to be in, then you better be sure you can back this up.
Millennials and Gen Z drive luxury growth at accelerating rates. Consumers are set to account for 70% of the luxury market by 2025 and contribute 130% of luxury market growth.Luxe Digital
But its not just about your brand images, it’s how you represent yourself as well, do you ooze the confidence and personal presentation to be in the luxury market? This doesn’t mean you need to be wearing designer clothes and shoes, more that you have confidence in who you are and how you present yourself. I had multi millionaire clients rocking up in tracksuits to private members clubs before, so the clothes don’t matter per see.
Clients wanting a luxury service want a totally unique experience, and are willing to pay for the best. They do not want cookie cutter approaches, they want exclusivity. When I was a wedding planner many of my clients were multi millionaires, but I never classed myself as a luxury brand, why? Because my clients never strove for luxury in their weddings, they wanted classical English country weddings. I was hired for my experience in a particular niche and my calm demeanour, my clients were down to earth and they wanted the same from their suppliers. In fact their brief was often “we don’t want anything ostentatious” , it was important to my clients that their friends and family felt welcomed and not intimidated by the theme. So luxury was never in my messaging, ask yourself what is it your clients truly want? And if they went onto google right now what would they type? Would luxury come into the search or would they be typing something else? When I work with clients we spend time on analysing their position into the market so they know where they fit and not where they think they fit.
A little known fact about luxury weddings is this:Monica , I Do Wedding Marketing
It's not about the money. It's about ease. From start to finish your business should equal easy living to luxury clients. Your website should be easy to navigate. Booking should be frictionless. Communication should be reliable and personable.
As we approach 2023 will the term luxury evolve even more?
Want to up-level your business into the luxury market? Book a call with me below and we can discuss how I might be able to help you. Or have a look at the different 1:1 services I currently offer.
Wedding Images: Flowers by Debrah J Flowers