7 copywriting tips for luxury products

brown leather crossbody bag with white framed sunglasses
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I wanted a copywriting primer on selling luxury consumer packaged goods for a client, so figured I’d share these copy writing secrets. Here goes:

1. Affluent buyers still love bargains. They may have gotten their money by being frugal, says copywriter Ruth Sheldon via Bob Bly, so it’s in their nature. Plus, getting a deal makes everyone feel like a winner and affluent buyers are no exception.

2. They love exclusivity. Consumers of luxury goods want to feel the product or service that you’re asking them to spend big money on isn’t available to just anyone. One-of-a-kind or limited edition positioning helps you do this. Some luxury products take this to even greater extremes, according to The Economist’s article Salesman of the Irrational, by rationing their products. Watchmaker Jean-Claude Biver uses this technique to great success, even restricting supply during boom times, delivering only seven watches, say, when ten were ordered. “You only desire what you cannot get,” he says. “People want exclusivity, so you must always keep the customer hungry and frustrated.”

3. They look for value — and do their homework to make sure they get it. Although luxury car buyers, for example, will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for a car without flinching, you can be sure they’ll carefully evaluate performance, safety, acceleration speeds, etc. to make sure they’re getting exactly what they want. So be prepared to give them the facts they want along with a knock-your-socks off emotional appeal.

4. Make sure your marketing materials are in line with your luxury message. From the Direct Mail Man, when companies offer high-end services that are in line with the industry’s pricing norms but can’t get prospects to bite, often it’s because their marketing materials aren’t giving readers the right experience. To project a brand message of luxury, every part of your marketing and sales strategy must promote a luxury experience. That’s true whether your message is seen online or in broadcast television, outdoor, etc.

5. Celebrity and fame never hurt. Product placements in popular films and celebrity sponsorships are always a good way to go, since they lend that aura of fame, fashion and power to your luxury product.

6. Longer copywriting means more ways to justify the luxury price. Copywriting for luxury goods often uses longer copy to romance the product and its benefits, pay homage to its finer points, and justify a higher price tag. This, of course, isn’t a hard and fast rule, so testing is always valuable. But don’t shy away from taking more time to let the copywriting really paint a picture.

7. Keep some rationality within the irrational. Your product, ultimately, still has to deliver. Putting a high-end claim on a leather bag that’s paper-filled straps break in a month isn’t the way to go. Biver says that, while it’s hard in the best of times to justify spending $100,000 on a watch, if the watch keeps perfectly accurate time and lives up to its ultimate promise, there’s still a rational argument your buyers can use to justify their irrational desire.

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