The Luxury Consumer and What They Value Most
New trend report presents the lifestyle values of today's luxury consumers -- what matters most to them and how marketers can use insight into luxury consumer values as a platform to build deeper connections with their target customer
VALUE -- It's luxury's new 'black.' Value is what everyone wants, but few understand exactly how to deliver. Is it cheaper price, higher quality? Is it better customer service, more social media, new loyalty program rewards? Each luxury brand manager asking these questions will arrive at different answers, but the place to start is through a deep understanding of their customers and what they value most. Unity Marketing's new trend report The Luxury Consumers and What They Value Most will help.
Today's luxury consumers will be loyal to the brands that speak to their unique lifestyle. What do they hold dear? What is truly important to them? Marketers must put in the effort to find out this information about the target customers, then bring the answers back and plug them into the company, the brand, its marketing communications, website and social media strategies.
This is the process of luxury lifestyle branding. Today, it is no longer enough to know simply the age, gender, income of who your customers are (i.e. demographics) and target those segments in general. Rather, you must understand the customers' values and priorities in order to understand their unique consumer psychology (i.e. "why people buy"). Then, you must use these insights into consumer values to build a connection through marketing and branding messages.
Senior lecturer, Paurav Shukla, at Brighton Business School, University of Brighton, puts it like this,
"Therefore, managers will have to change their core message and value proposition to reflect the market conditions and consumer motivations. The question which managers need to ask is what is the value proposition in the present circumstances most of my customers are looking for and how can I develop and convey a message which reflects consumers' reality rather than the brand's own reality."
Unity Marketing did a deep-dive into luxury consumers' value system
In the 3Q2010 Luxury Consumer Tracking Study conducted by Unity Marketing, we asked 1,364 affluent (HHI average $298,300), luxury consumers (i.e. who bought one or more of the 22 luxury goods and services included in the tracking study) about what they value most in their lives and in their lifestyle. We examined the individuals' personal lives and lifestyle, not just their behavior when they shop and when they buy.
Our research goal: To help luxury marketers get closer to understanding their customers‚ world in all its many dimensions, including the importance of family, health, career, politics, which ultimately influence them in their purchasing behavior.
We looked at the corporate values affluents expect companies with which they do business to exhibit, whether it be ethical behavior, environmental consciousness, how it treats employees, and others.
Finally, we prioritized affluent consumer values within the context of an established research structure adapted from the Kahle List of Values (LOV) scale that includes:
- Financial security
- Warm relations with others
- Self fulfillment
- Sense of accomplishment
- Being well respected
- Sense of belonging
- Fun and enjoyment in life
The resulting trend report gives luxury brand marketers and managers an in-depth look at the lifestyle values and priorities that are of utmost importance to their customers and target customers. It gives marketers greater dimension of understanding than possible by examining their customers‚ purchase behavior alone.
This examination of luxury consumer values provides a context in which to create a meaningful dialogue with customers in order to connect in a personal way with their priorities and concerns. Marketing starts with understanding the customer and understanding the customer must include understanding what they truly value.
Survey Sample Overview
At total of 1,364 affluent luxury consumers were surveyed from October 6-13, 2010. The survey sample incomes averaged $298.3k; net wealth $7.3 million; 46.3 yrs; male 47 percent; female 53 percent.
The chief end of business is to create commercial relationships with customers -- Specifically, we want them to buy what we are selling. But we need more than just a transaction -- we need a personal connection. It is the difference between finding a customer who buys once and finding one who buys for life
Values are the platform on which marketers can build deeper, more lasting connections with their customers. While having a commercial relationship is important, brand loyalty is based upon a true and meaningful connection.
As marketers we seek to build a customer relationship with affluent shoppers. Essentially, we want to attract them to our brands, our stores, our companies in order to make a sale. But making a sale isn't building loyalty -- Executing a transaction with the customer isn't building a relationship. The marketers' goal has to be more than just making a sale; it's about making a true and meaningful connection with the customer.
In order to make that connection, marketers and their brands must engage the customer as a person with a life beyond the store and with values that guide them in the many facets of their lives. It extends far beyond their identify as customers. Therefore we need to engage our customers and potential customers a complete person who is passionate about their life, their family, their career, their society, and also passionate about shopping. Marketers need to engage the customer in all the many facets of his or her life that they care passionately about.
Marketers have to earn the customers' trust and respect. In order to build a true connection with the customer, not just a transaction, marketers need to take a 360° lifestyle approach. Marketers need to understand the many different dimensions, values and priorities of their customers and use that understanding as a platform to build a long term lasting brand connection with them.
This report which examines affluent consumers‚ lifestyles, values and priorities will help marketers build those connections which is fundamental to lifestyle branding.