How to sell to VIP clients
Posted October 17, 2016 by Kristen Pinkman, Ecwid Team

8 Tactics and Common Mistakes of Selling Expensive Products

Ever considered introducing new products to reach a high-end demographic of customers who are willing to spend a bit more than the average buyer…but weren’t sure how to begin?

Selling to the VIP customer demographic isn’t as simple as tacking on a higher price tag and throwing around words like “luxury.”

It takes some real strategy if you want it to work successfully.

In this post, we’ll discuss some VIP customer strategies that can help you ease your way into selling to this new demographic the right way. Let’s get started.

Introduce new products for a new niche

One of the easiest ways to segue into luxury products for VIP customers is to create a bit of differentiation that helps buyers distinguish which product lines are a good fit for their needs and budgets.

Sometimes, this might mean introducing a new product line or sub-brand that caters specifically to the high-end demographic.

For example: Volkswagen owns several different companies that fall under its umbrella of vehicular offerings. Many of their products have mass appeal, but Bentley and Rolls Royce are two sub-brands they own that cater to the wealthy consumer.

By introducing a new product line and/or sub-brand that caters directly to the niche of luxury good consumers, you can maintain brand consistency while still helping differentiate your products.

How to do it: You can create a separate category or even one-page website for premium products in your Ecwid store to test this tactic for your niche.

Remember to differentiate the product

However, it’s not enough to just give your product line a new name and higher price tag and call it a day. If you want to charge more, your new product line for VIP customers should have much higher quality standards than your others do.

Promoting high quality

VIP customers are often willing to pay more for high-end items because of the higher quality standards they’re held to.

Luxury goods are made with careful craftsmanship and attention to detail — and this helps differentiate them from the standard, run-of-the-mill product you can buy at any big box store.

It’s the reason Birkin bags go for thousands of dollars, it’s why Versace couture dresses cost a fortune, and it’s why men and women feel okay shelling out four figures for Louboutin footwear.

So how can you play up the high quality angle to remind VIP customers why they’re paying more for these specific products?

  • Show them what goes into making your products so they can witness the process first-hand. (Example: Hermes did this for their leather handbags.)
  • Promote the benefits and results your luxury products can produce in site copy. Use Starter Site feature to tell your brand’s story and fill the Why Choose Us block with compelling description. (For example, La Mer, a luxury facial cream, talks about its ability to transform a user’s skin.)

  • Talk up where you source your product from and promote a dedication to local or national labor. Upgrade your product descriptions with these benefits of your product. (L.L. Bean plays up their dedication to high quality, American-made products.)

Related: How to Write Awesome Product Descriptions That Sell

Remember to create high-quality product pictures to demonstrate all the details of your product’s design and functionality — VIP customers will want to see what they pay for.

We worked with the software engineers at Ecwid to build the most polished and deeply integrated 360º view App I’ve seen so far — Michael Allen, Imajize

Read The Beginner’s Guide to 360º Product Photography by our friend Michael Allen for a detailed tutorial on awesome 3D product pictures.

Promoting your new luxury goods to VIP customers will be a lot easier if you work from these angles. From here, you’ll want to think beyond the products themselves.

Upgrade your packaging

Once you’ve created an interesting and compelling product for the VIP customer, you’ll want to upgrade your packaging for these products, too. The packaging should help create an experience around the product and add to the luxury product feeling.

So how do you do that?

Consider creating display-worthy packaging

The packaging for luxury products should strive to complement the product inside — and if it’s useful — even better.

Think about how you can construct packaging that reinforces the high level of quality of the product while also being something the consumer can use or wants to keep.

For example: Whiskey brand Glengoyne had custom wood boxes built for their 40-year aged whiskey that the VIP customer could actually use as a display piece when the product wasn’t in use.

Make it feel special

Unboxing a luxury product should feel like a special experience — and that means building layers into your packaging so that there’s more to do than just rip open a shipping envelope.

Use custom boxes, tissue paper, and other gift-style packaging add-ons so that it feels special to open. This shows a dedication to detail that VIP customers appreciate.

For example: Chanel ships orders in heavy lidded boxes and tissue paper closed with a wax seal.

Chanel

Chanel

Related: 5 Packaging Ideas That Will Make Your Business Stand Out

Reinforce an angle through packaging

Another good idea is to create thoughtful packaging for the products themselves that reinforce an angle you’re promoting in your marketing. Maybe that’s that your products are eco-friendly, that they’re handmade, etc.

For example: Little Butterfly London had custom wooden caps created for their luxury baby skincare line that reinforces the brand’s dedication to creating eco-friendly products.

Next, start thinking about the marketing aspect that will help you reach this new demographic.

Invite a celebrity/influencer to be the face of your new line

To add authority and clout to your new product line aimed at VIP customers, consider partnering with a celebrity or influencer to be the face of your new line.

This can be someone who’s respected within your niche, or, if you have the budget for it  you can hire a celebrity to help add legitimacy to what you’re selling.

Having your brand and product associated with a recognized figure can help quickly build recognition and buy-in from VIP customers — because it validates the product.

For example: Rolex partners with A-list celebrities like David Beckham in their advertisements, as this association is a powerful authority-builder with consumers.

David Beckham for Rolex

David Beckham for Rolex

Note: Of course it can be a costly undertaking to hire a recognizable brand ambassador, so you can start with buying a promoted post from a famous Instagram blogger. Remember to pick a profile that is related to your niche.

Instagram bloggers

Advertise in the right places

You’ll also want to re-consider your traditional advertising approach when putting together your strategy for promoting your new line of products for VIP customers.

Think about where VIP consumers are spending time so that you’re promoting in the most appropriate places that can produce return on your advertising investment.

For VIP customers, you might advertise:

  • Via Facebook ads that are targeted around a specific product interest or income level
  • Via PPC ads that display based on relevant search terms, like “high quality gold watch”
  • In local spaces (maybe the mall that includes the high-end stores, in local publications that are targeted to high-income subscribers, or via a direct mail piece that targets high-income neighborhoods)
  • Via sponsored product reviews on trusted high-end bloggers’ sites

For example: Jimmy Choo partnered with blogger MissNewBeauty to promote one of their new fragrances. Not only does this serve as a case study of sorts, but it helps the brand reach an audience of VIP customers who are looking for perfume recommendations.

MissNewBeauty

Comments on MissNewBeauty

Just remember: VIP customers don’t learn about products in the same way your average customer does — you’ll need to re-think your marketing if you really want to reach this segment.

Things to Avoid

Following the steps we’ve outlined so far, you should be on the right track to reach a new segment of VIP customers who are willing to pay more for luxury goods. However, there are also some major no-no’s you should know about and avoid as well.

Don’t lean on luxury language

Some retailers make the mistake of overusing words like “deluxe,” “luxury,” and “elite” to try to glam-up otherwise average products. Keep in mind that VIP customers can see right through this. Instead, focus on quality and experience rather than trying to play up the lingo.

Don’t discount

VIP customers are willing to pay more — and they don’t expect a discount, which can cheapen the experience. Instead of offering sale prices, try adding value and personalization instead. They’ll appreciate the extra care, and will be happy to pay for it.

Don’t try to copy big brands

We’ve looked at quite a few examples from big name brands in this post, but that doesn’t mean you should simply try to rip off what they’re doing and hope it works for you, too.

Create a long-term plan that will help you be better than the big brands…and dare to be different so you’ll stand out.

Don’t launch with mistakes

If you’re investing in marketing to VIP customers, you can’t afford the mistake of a spelling error on your website or poor design that makes you lose credibility.

Double-check all of your assets before going live, and gather feedback from VIP customers along the way to get insight on what works and what doesn’t.

Start Selling to VIPs Today

With careful consideration, a smart strategy, and a willingness to branch out and try new things, you can start selling to VIP customers in a relatively quick timeframe.

Here’s what you need to do right now to get started:

  • Craft your new product line
  • Launch a separate product category or a one-page website
  • Upgrade packaging
  • Find a relevant partner to act as brand ambassador
  • Advertise in the right places
  • Know the mistakes to avoid

Follow these steps, and in no time at all you’ll be catering to the VIP customers of your dreams.