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Luxury Markets and How to Research Them

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Post Luxury Markets and How to Research Them   Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:30 pm

Luxury market research sounds a lot easier than it is, and while general market research utilizes many well tried and tested techniques, most of these do not apply to wealthy consumers and the products they purchase. When you are researching a luxury market there is often little point in carrying a survey of the general population, because the results will be wrongly weighted.

That is because luxury products are not generally the domain of ordinary people, and those that regularly participate in online or even offline market surveys are not the consumers that will normally purchase luxury products. Sure, they will buy the occasional one or two - maybe as an anniversary present or for a special occasion, but not generally. The wealthy regard what you and I look upon as luxuries for special occasions as commonplace, everyday purchases.

Asking the Wealthy

Hand-made chocolates, for example, rather than a box of the ubiquitous mixed milk and dark, or the $100 bottle of claret rather than the $7 special offer. These are regular purchases for the wealthy, which are frequently too expensive for ordinary people - even on special occasions. Yet the top end of the market has as much need of analysis as the bottom or middle range products, so how do you carry our market research into the purchasing habits of the rich?

The simple answer to this is 'ask them!' Have you ever tried that? Sure, you get some good answers if you ask somebody why they chose a Ford over a Chevrolet and offer them a free sweepstakes draw for answering, but what incentive can you give the rich? They aren't interested in free draws or 50 cents for each survey! So what's their incentive - and why do you think they will even bother to give you an answer?

The Power of Market Research

In fact, many wealthy people appreciate the power of market research in motivating businesses to develop better products and fill in all these gaps in the market. They will answer questions and offer their opinion on the quality of certain luxury goods and why they buy what they do. However, they are fussy about who they say it to, and if you decided to carry out a survey of luxury markets tomorrow you would find it extremely difficult to begin.

As explained, that's not because they don't participate in surveys, but more because they don't participate in surveys with you! They don't do online surveys, and are not in the slightest interested in the goodies offered for completing them. They participate because they appreciate that what's in it for them is not so much the freebies, but an improved product or a new service they haven't been able to find.

Luxury Markets Need Luxury Research

Luxury markets need luxury research, and there are market research companies that have painstakingly built up lists of rich people willing to give their opinion or even answer directed questions regarding what they purchase now and what they are thinking of buying in the future - and why. What's wrong with existing products or services, and what improvements would they like to see?

What aspects of various products influence their purchasing decisions, and what improvements or additions would persuade them to change from one brand to another? This type of market research on expensive products is extremely valuable to ordinary manufacturing companies seeking to broaden their reach to the wealthy, or for luxury service providers looking to steal customers from their competitors.

Priceless Information

Knowing why the wealthy make the decisions they do is priceless information, and those businesses that are based totally upon luxury items can base their entire future marketing strategy on information such as this. That is why those marketing companies with lists of wealthy consumers willing to cooperate in market research, particularly in the luxury markets, are so essential to such firms. How does such information help you?

• It can help you understand their opinion on the current marketing situation and also what they expect over the immediate future. You can use their forecasts when planning your own marketing strategy.

• If you can establish their planned spending over the coming year in terms of your product range, then you can use that as guide to make sure you are in a position to meet their needs.

• Rather than try to judge their future expenditure and buying habits from historical data, you can use their own projections for the future to give you a significantly more accurate estimate.

• With information obtained directly from your potential customers you will be in a better position to meet their needs at the right time, and so likely be ahead of your competition when it counts.

Researching luxury markets is a job for a specialist company that has built a list of wealthy people interested in providing the information required so that their own needs will be more accurately and completely fulfilled.

Their incentive is being able to purchase the luxury goods they want, and having a say in the improvements and developments needed to achieve that. There are such research firms available online that target luxury markets and that also have willing and wealthy subjects that will help with the research you need to stay ahead in the race.

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