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  • Writer's pictureAmy Neilson

Let's Talk About Luxury Marketing In New Zealand

"Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity."
Coco Chanel

Recently, I've been (tentatively) dipping my toes back into the elusive world of luxury sector marketing. Having marketed Sailing Holidays on yachts for a large portion of my career relative luxury and encapsulating the 'luxury' or getting away, time with family and the turquoise blue waters of the Greek Islands was relatively second nature to me. But the real luxury sector is a different place entirely. Following time at Touch of Spice, working with private residences and some of the world's most luxury Airbnb's (priced at around $38,000 per night) I realised there was a different level.

There are a few key things I think it's important to remember when marketing to the luxury sector and seeking out customers who will be happy to pay a premium.

Getting Your Words Right Is Key

Perhaps more than a general consumer, the luxury consumers is likely to be more time poor than anyone. Wording needs to be clear, concise, kind and enticing. You will only have a few seconds on their time. Don't waste their time or show them material that isn't what they are looking for. They won't have time and will simply look the other way. They might not even like to be marketed to, using the word 'luxury'. Get creative and give them other reasons that your brand in a luxury offering (...and here is the challenge) without saying so.

Luxury Consumers Often Aren't Looking For Luxury

Luxury is a really overused word. Often the people dressed in the most flash designer clothes and driving the most outrageous cars are doing so to prove that they have a place in this luxury sphere. Real wealth often lies with the people who don't feel the need to show it off. A conversation with Marine who was a brand ambassador at The Cloudy Bay Shed (owned by the LMVH group - one of the largest luxury brand networks globally) stated that they didn't want the women in the flash dresses. They wanted to women in activewear who had just come back from a hike exploring. They new that their dream customer wasn't tottering around in a pair of heels on the (very grassy) front lawn.

'Rich' People Are Still People

It is important to remember that those lucky enough to have a bulging bank account are (in fact) still human. They still have families, they still work (often hard) at running very successful businesses. It is important to remember that these people are not aliens, but often have the very same core priorities as you and I. This video above filmed at Lodge At The Hills, one of the most expensive residences in New Zealand focussed on the people, spending time together, as one of life's last true luxuries. Yes, the house is beautiful, the grounds stunning and the pool enticing (despite it being 12 degrees on the day of filming!), but the people who came to stay really wanted privacy and the ability to get away from it all with those closest to them.

Networks Are Everything

It's often not enough to approach a luxury consumer as a brand that is a stranger to them. Reaching elite consumers through networks that they are already a part of not only makes you seem more trustworthy but also gives you access to interact with them in a place they are already comfortable. The (aptly named) Luxury Network is one such group that it could be worth you becoming a part of or at least engaging with. It is also crucial to remember that it may not necessarily them that you want to reach, but instead their support team. It is likely they have corporate travel agents, personal assistants and a network of people surrounding them to help them build the lifestyle they lead.

Physical Evidence Of Luxury

Physical evidence of your brands is probably more important than ever at this level or marketing. Images need to be crisp, clear, indicative of exactly what you are offering and also enticing. The image above of Quartz Reef Vintage Rose for example was a step away from their usual images. This luxury offering (at $110/bottle) was almost four times the cost of one of their ordinary bottles of Methode Traditionelle. It required time to bring it to life, with a sense of occasion and poise to indicate to customers that it really was something special.

Last but not least, it is crucially important to remember that culture is still a crucial element to consider. Kiwi's are still relatively humble in many ways and so consider this in the way that you speak to your customers. As Coco Chanel says... true luxury is the absence of vulgarity.

For strategic marketing support follow what we're up to or drop me a line to find out how I can support you in reaching your goals.

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