A person’s sense of time and its relation to one’s sensitivity to sensual experience are critical to their appreciation of luxury. This being the case, the major focus of luxury marketers should be the in-store experience. This is where luxury products and their presentation can best be admired.
The implications are three-fold:
1. The store’s interior layout and product displays must be designed to slow the perception of time, to increase a customer’s intensity and persistence of focus, and to excite the imagination.
2. The demeanor and expertise of the salesperson must be as artful as the artisans who make bespoke luxury products. This entails conversational abilities to build a narrative with the customer that intertwines the product story while eliciting the customer’s story such that the two become metaphorically linked. This takes time and skill, and can only be done in-store.
3. Luxury websites should be designed to motivate people to visit in-store. While luxury marketers’ websites can be better composed to simulate a direct contact with the product, the nature of handmade luxury demands a face-to-face and hands-on customer if a visit is to be converted into sales and loyalty.
If the consumer’s shopping experience is as luxurious as the product itself, brand is built, probability of sale heightened, and an increase in the number of items a consumer purchases per in-store visit is maximized. In-store must be made to feel a bit like “in studio.”
Dr. Bob Deutsch, a cognitive anthropologist, is president and founder of Brain Sells, a strategic branding consultancy in Boston, MA. (Photo by UggBoy)