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How to Market a Business Targeting the Luxury One Percent Segment

Tommy Wyher

Marketing a business is difficult enough when dealing with the average consumer. Difficulty multiplies when it is a luxury service or product as with the increased price means the quality and service need to be that much better.

The expectations of the customers are so much higher so it is important to realize this when training staff.

There are a limited amount of those in the top income brackets that can even afford certain products or services, so a few bad reviews by important people could blackball a business depending how vocal the customer is about being unhappy with the quality of service.

The following are some ways to market and manage a business that targets those in the one percent.

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Market an Experience

A service is just a service but if you market this as an experience this can grab the attention of the one percent. Those who can afford luxury services have quite a few physical items so they crave experiences more than material items. If you are marketing a spa it is important to realize these people have been to hundreds of spas. The experience being unique can lead to repeat customers and the word of mouth of the one percent getting around to friends and family members.

Those who have felt they have purchased an experience rather than a service could be enticed to post about this on social media. Social media posts by the top one percent can bring in quite a lot of money as friends and family of the person can see the post then inquire about your service.

Custom experiences with specific requests are legitimate once in a lifetime experiences which the one percent are willing to pay massive amounts for., a luxury airBNB company, has successfully navigated this road, building a multi-million-dollar business.

“Anyone can offer a room for rent, as we can see from airBNB, VRBO, FlipKey, and other sites. But we craft an entire experience around the trip to really differentiate our service. This could include finding that rare bottle of wine, supplying an exotic car to drive, bringing in a top DJ to play a private party, or even hiring a special security detail. It’s important for luxury marketers to realize that the needs of the segment are different and to build memorable experiences to assure customers love you enough to tell their friends,” said Niko Contardi, CEO of eliteLyfe.

Customer Service Couldn’t Be More Important

The fact is that many businesses that market to the average person can bring customer loyalty simply by having the lowest price. Things will go wrong from time to time with your luxury service or product so customer service should be stressed immensely. The target market for luxury services and not as comparatively sensitive to price. The target market looks for a service and experience rather than for a low price tag.

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How to handle customer service:

  • Have a training process that is quite rigorous rather than putting a new customer service agent on the phone with upset clients on their first day.
  • Make sure that you have 24/7 support as paying a premium price comes with higher service expectations.
  • Do not outsource customer service as many customers might become upset as most people can tell if customer service has been outsourced to another country.
  • Monitor customer’s social media if possible as people will complain via tweets or statuses. This might help your company do damage control before an actual complaint is made.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Marketing Only in Your Country

With thousands of people with a net worth of 500 million dollars or more, there is a large market for luxury services to reach. Marketing in luxury magazines, as well as online around the world, can be costly but the profit margins are high in your line of work so it is possible to still be profitable and market around the world.

How to market to those internationally:

  • Hire outsourced marketers in that country that specialize in marketing luxury services/products.
  • Target certain cities as there are a larger amount of one percenters in certain areas internationally.
  • Let an international celeb use your product/service for free then be featured in a commercial or simply letting their social circle know about it.

Hire Luxury Employees

When offering a luxury service the customers expect the staff to be of a certain quality. Requiring education is not out of the realm of possibilities for even the most basic of positions when they deal directly with customers. The customers want to be around other people who they can connect with on an intellectual level or at least have some sort of fulfilling conversation. Hiring for this can be difficult but below are a few tips to get you started.

  • People who have had contact with the one percent in the past like executive assistants to CEOs are a great hire. They have interacted with the one percent in the past and will know what they expect.
  • Have a minimum education requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree. Those with more life experience with highly educated people typically read situations and interact in a much more refined way.
  • Hire detail oriented people who go the extra mile as luxury is all about going above and beyond. Testing this can be done in a mock setting, as assignments can help weed out those who just use detail oriented as a buzz phrase.

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As you can see there are plenty of things to note when marketing a business that caters to the one percent. Everything is in the details so preparation for staff is essential to running a successful luxury business. There are plenty of sayings about going the extra mile but this one “Go the extra mile, it's rarely crowded” is perfect for luxury services. Manage and market your business correctly and you could end up in that one percent one day.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Tommy Wyher Member
Tommy is a writer who enjoys traveling quite frequently. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill means that Tommy is an absolute college basketball fanatic.