What is the one misconception that brands have when it comes to selling to today's young consumers?
Young consumers are very well-Informed, truly Independent and even irreverent. But brands still very often adopt a Top-Down approach, telling young customers: “Listen to me,” and worse: “Love me, you have to.” Young consumers want to have the freedom to choose; the feeling of making a choice. Brands should adopt a persuasive approach rather than a convincing, dominating approach. What does this mean? Brands should focus on adopting an influential approach with what I call "Persuasive Marketing."
What would you say is the most important factor in influencing a customer's decision-making process when shopping for luxury products?
The most important factor is the brand and what it represents for me as a client. Brands need to have different facets in order to succeed. The history and DNA is important of course, but it needs to go beyond that. Does the brand “mirror” me? Am I the brand or not? Is the brand for people like me, or is it a brand for my mom?
How can brands build lasting relationships with consumers?
Lasting relationships for everything are based on trust. Can I trust this brand? Brands should be able to keep consistent contact with customers. Most luxury brands underestimate the incredible value of sales advisors. They are the face of the brand, not the CEO. I believe that the best brands are represented by the best sales advisors. And the best brands know how to train and take good care of their brand ambassadors. The most valuable sales advisors are always able to keep lasting relationships, and keep brand satisfaction.
Has technology affected the way wealthy consumers buy luxury?
Instead of the digital age, I would rather talk about the information age. Because clients are very well-informed, their expectations from sales advisors are different. Tell me something new, tell me some secrets, tell me something that is amazing. They appreciate being able to interact with sales advisors, as a pair. They want to feel that they are a part of the brand.
How have customer expectations shifted and what are some of the ways brands can address them?
Brands should not give information anymore, but create experiences – relatable experiences. Brands have to succeed in each encounter, whether its in the luxury space of the boutique or on a corporate website. Don’t tell me who you are, make me feel who you are.
Learn more about consumer needs and the information age at the Luxury Society Keynote 2018. Seats are going fast, so register for a spot here now! We can also be reached at [email protected] for all other enquiries.
For more on the psychology of luxury brands, check out Francis Srun's book, Luxury Selling.