In the previous section of Marketing Multipliers, we discussed the importance of “connectors.” To appeal to these “connectors,” a couple of guidelines are offered below, along with how to reach affluent customers online, generally speaking.
Marketing to these “connectors” should include documentation. All luxury products and services must be accurately presented. This means full disclosure of products and accessories.
Give “connectors” something to talk about and recommend. This involves “experiences” with the product or service. “Experiences” are best marketed by means of stories.
Hire outside experts to evaluate your online presence. This will allow for an objective perception of what potential customers will find when they visit your website. Is it easy to use? Are potential questions answered? What image is projected? Does the website enhance your brand image?
How to Reach the Affluent Online
Affluent customers desire exclusivity, because exclusivity makes them feel unique. They want something elusive. They want products and services that no one else has. They are willing to spend money to get it. A VIP section on the website is one method of providing exclusivity.
Affluent customers desire an experience, and luxury is an experience related to the senses. The website can enhance or detract from this experience by means of lighting, graphics, and atmosphere. Brand image must be augmented by the online experience.
Emotion must be part of the website. Affluent customers want to feel they are different from the herd. This feeling is influenced by brand image, the luxury promised and fulfilled by the product, and the reputation of the company. The website should provide an emotional connection with the brand.
Where to Find the Affluent Online
Affluent customers tend to congregate at certain sites in different categories. They go to these sites because other affluent people go there.
- Financial sites including Bloomberg.com, Business 2.0, and The Wall Street Journal Online.
- Gourmet food and wine sites attractive to the affluent, including Wine Spectator, Food and Wine, and Epicurious
- For travel information, affluent people frequent Fodors.com, Frommer’s, and Travel + Leisure.
Even at these sites, marketing must be narrowly targeted to the desired group of affluent customer: moneyed, rich, or ultra-rich. For example, if targeting the rich or ultra-rich, sell “futures” of a luxury product by means of exclusive invitations. With wines or artwork, interest and anticipation can be heightened by futures.
Numbered, limited editions are another way of marketing to the targeted group. One-of-a-kind items, such as jewelry or handcrafted timepieces, are suggestions.
A third suggestion for marketing at these sites is to provide segregated, exclusive access to certain goods or services. Offer two or three such events, each one unique, and limit participation at each. This builds “buzz” and engenders eagerness in affluent customers.