Chloë H Ward
Writing to sell luxury in 2022
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
Comms Kick has a number of clients with high-price or luxury products and services, from stately homes, to private education, interiors, open gardens and exclusive wedding venues- and while artists would argue the arts is essential, consumers do usually view it as a luxury too. Now, when even those on six figure salaries are budgeting, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle promoting such things. To be honest, I debated whether to even write this blog. “Oh boohoo, the luxury businesses are having a tough time selling while people choose between heating and eating” I can already hear people saying. The truth is though, the idea of what exactly ‘luxury’ is changes almost weekly – luxury right now could be a £5 hand-made broach as well as an exclusive five figure wedding. Both businesses are selling things that aren’t absolute necessities, people are relying on both businesses for work and for their pension pot, and communities need these businesses to thrive for their own local economy. So, is writing about selling these things over-indulgent? In stark contrast to the headlines, yes. In the context of keeping people in their jobs? Not so much.
So here’s my advice if you’re feeling “icky” promoting your business right now and how to make sure you have copy that truly reflects the quality you are selling.
If it feels like you’re trying to ‘trick’ your customer – you’ve not thought hard enough about the benefits you’re bringing.
The beauty industry has seen a boom in “wellness” treatment bookings – things such as massages and facials, rather than treatments that focus on looks such as manicures. There is no doubt these are luxuries but after two years in and out of lockdown and a meme a day promoting self-care, people have fully understood the investment they are making and the benefits these treatments bring. Can the same be said of your product or service? Start with thinking if you fully understand this yourself. Why should people buy what you’re selling? What will it bring to their life? Why is it better than a value option or not having it at all? When you start to communicate these things your copy will sound less defensive and more positive.
Don’t start copy with questions
Whether you’re writing a webpage, social media content or responding to a press request it can be really tempting to start with a question and then answer it for your potential consumer. However, research shows our brains answer these questions defensively and view them as evasive. For example, “do you make time for yourself?” would be instinctively answered “no but I’m busy earning money”. “Have you booked for…?” might get the response “no, it’s too expensive”. These are fleeting thoughts that people probably wouldn’t have if they were asked to really think about their response, but they’re not. They’re seeing a question while scrolling through their phone or flicking through a magazine and it’s human nature to be instantly defensive. Starting with a question is actually encouraging your audience to find an excuse not to buy from you, so avoid this at all costs!
Don’t be afraid to be conversational
If you’re selling directly to consumers it can really help to make copy more conversational. Subtly reminding people you’re a team of humans never hurts, it shows consumers their money is supporting real life people and that in return they get passionate, caring staff or lovingly made products. This can be really hard if the last time you wrote copy was in school where we are taught to be overtly professional so start off by writing as though you were talking to a friend then add more superlatives and on-brand language as you edit. Brands can absolutely get away with this too – you don’t need to be small to be human! Promoting the unique talents of one individual when promoting Yorkshire Bartender, rather than writing about the brand, is what hooked the press when I worked on PR for this brand.
Get those testimonials…
…or pictures of happy customers if that’s more on brand. Now more than ever you need your target market to see people like them benefitting from your product or service. If you haven’t automated a system for collecting reviews or testimonials yet – do it today!
And speaking of your target market, remember, they are still out there. Things may have changed slightly for them (maybe you need to find new ways of reaching them) but they are still there and the cycle of life – births, marriages, birthdays, anniversaries, education, holidays and so on is still going on. Make sure you’ve thought about what they read, which social platforms they are on and how they communicate with their friends.
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