Viewpoints

Icon

Random thoughts

Selling Luxury 2: Superyacht Ownership in the Post Recession Era

Big boats: Offshore finance | The Economist.

This article in The Economist points out the almost sorry state of the superyacht category. only 173 sold last year, down 27 from the year before. This is unfortunate for the makers of superyachts and it is a sign of the times.

More notably, however, is the fact that Roman Abromovich has been reduced to renting out his $660 million boat (including crew of 75) to members of the lumpen proletariat for around $2 million/week.

The article also points out that some superyacht owners send their captains to Tunisia to fill up on cheap gas — the Paul-Allen-Money* equivalent of going to Buffalo to buy gas.

* If you don’t know the expression “Paul Allen Money,” I’m afraid you will have to go to the linked article to find out.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Selling Luxury 1: Secret Fears of the Super-Rich

Secret Fears of the Super-Rich – Magazine – The Atlantic.

Two blogs on the super rich in honour of a conversation I had yesterday on the subject of luxury. Luxury is an experience, not a thing; luxury marketing, which is often confused with selling expensive stuff to rich people, is dependent on the ability of the marketer to activate an intrinsic experience in the target’s soul, which is difficult enough, but it needs to be done in such a way as to yield a profit to the marketer. Which is why luxury marketers generally default to doing nothing more than selling expensive stuff to rich people.

The two items below demonstrate the difference — although they both are extreme in the extreme:

0,000 Blancpain 1735

This $800,000 Blancpain stainless steel watch looks, let’s face facts, not much different from your run of the mill $250,000 Patek Philipe or, Heaven Forbid, $6,000 Rolex (or, for that matter, $100 Timex). But, it’s value comes from the intricacy of the manufacturing (it takes a year to make), and I imagine the owner gets a great deal of pleasure in knowing the degree of “complication” he is wearing. This, in my world, is luxury — not for what it is but for how it is experienced. Marketing this requires a subtle understanding of what makes the target tick (sorry, I couldn’t resist!). Compare it with this:

0,000 Crystal Tourbillon

This diamond encrusted watch is by Jacob and Company, and costs roughly the same as the Blancpain (well, it costs $900,000, but what’s a hundred grand between friends when we’re talking about quality?). The value of this is entirely extrinsic (not entirely, I mean it probably has a good enough mechanism that ensures it keeps time, even though it’s probably impossible to actually tell time because of the “design” of the face).  I imagine the person buying this is doing so because it is expensive, more expensive, he might think, than any others (he would be wrong — Vacheron Constantin have a leather strapped watch for $1.5 million in case you were wondering: http://www.powersaversearch.com/content/expensive-watches/2.asp). It is, to him, very publicly expensive and clearly telegraphs this to everybody around him. Selling watches to the person who buys this is simply selling expensive stuff to some guy who can afford it.

Which is the difference between marketing luxury and exploiting the rich!

On the other hand, the rich beg to be exploited, as my next blog shows.

Filed under: Behavioral Economics, Uncategorized, , , , , , ,

Do they do it because they’re stupid or because they enjoy confusing people

Trying to get from the parking at the Eaton Centre to anywhere you might want to shop is almost impossible. Here’s how it works:

After parking, in the foyer outside the elevator, a bright, helpful design-forward sign guides you to where you might want to go:

Helpfully, at the elevators they have a smart, designer sign telling you where to go for what. To get to Canadian Tire, I will press “Retail”. Cool

Hello! What’s this? The elevator buttons? No “Retail”! No relationship to the helpful sign at all. Help. How do I get to Canadian Tire?

Oh, wait. They have this "map the elevator buttons" guide right next tot he elevator buttons. What a relief. But, wait, still no Canadian Tire. What to do?

The real message is that the architects and designers know the problem, they see the mistake they made, but they’re too lazy or too cheap to make it right. Besides which, once a shopper has gone to the trouble of parking they’re not going to turn back just because they have trouble finding out where the store is. So who cares!

Filed under: Are they stupid or just mean: design idiocy in action, , ,

Twitter Updates

  • @RogersHelps is there a cable problem in Toronto m5r 2 weeks ago
  • Really @BBishopAirport Disturbingly confused lost & found! If you found my stuff give it back to me. Otherwise admit you don't have it 1 month ago
  • @AnnCoulter thats a lie Ms Coulter and you know that. Why do people like you have to lie to make your point? 1 month ago
  • @HPSupport if you don't want to fix my computer just say so.Keep the $100 if you need it. Just tell me what's going on.Totally unacceptable 1 month ago
  • No Canadian good enough to lead luminata? Are we really so inferior we need an Ozzie to run our festival? Sad! @metromorning 2 months ago

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 155 other followers

%d bloggers like this: