Consumer Psychology

The Biggest Myth About Luxury Clients

A couple of years ago I was quoted in an article in the Tennessean on how "millennials are driving a dramatic change in the food economy." In the piece, the author also shares that Costco is now the number one seller of organic produce in the United States, beating out Whole Foods.

This isn't exactly surprising since:

  1. Costco is more ubiquitous than Whole Foods, and

  2. the average household income of a Costco member is $100,000+.

This is a good reminder for people who sell luxury goods and services in any industry: luxury consumers rarely buy luxury in every category across the board.

Believing that luxury consumers buy luxury all the time is the number one myth I see my clients and others working in the high-end of the wedding industry buy into. Their thought process tends to be that if a person is wealthy, they'll spend a high dollar amount on everything. This simply isn't true, and embracing this fact can help you understand your clients better and sell more effectively.

Wealthy people often stay wealthy because they're smart with their money. They will spend more on what they value, but they are often not into spending just because the price tag is high.

Costco markets to a higher-end demographic because people with higher incomes like to save money. Similarly, Ann Taylor has consistently outperformed among high net-worth shoppers over the past several years. Ann Taylor. Not exactly the first brand that comes to mind when you think of luxury fashion. And yet, these high net-worth women will often pair their Ann Taylor dress with Prada heels and a Balenciaga handbag.

A bride or groom hiring a luxury wedding planner may not see the value in having a high-end cake designer, and vice versa. Value is personal to each client, and part of the initial meeting is sussing out the priorities each couple has.

You can be expensive, and people will pay you handsomely, as long as you're showing the value of what you bring to the table. What you bring to the table goes beyond your portfolio: stylish, beautiful work is now the bare minimum standard, not a competitive advantage. (Don't believe me? Scroll through any wedding hashtag on Instagram. Gorgeous work for days.) If you weren't talented, the potential clients you meet with wouldn't have reached out to you in the first place.

Dig deeper than talent and price, and focus on selling that. In the luxury end of the market this is more important than ever.

Originally published August 2016

How To Sell Effectively So You Can Book More Weddings

Ever been copied?

Me, too.

About five years ago a friend sent me a link to a YouTube video of a respected colleague giving a keynote speech at a conference. She wasn't just giving any speech – she was giving mine.

My content.
My research.
Even a couple of my jokes.

All being presented as her own.

The saying "it shouldn't matter who gets the credit" is sometimes true, but not when it's someone else taking all the credit for your work.

I knew I had to start working on something new that others couldn't pretend they found on Google Scholar or by reading a few books.

So I did.

For the past almost four years now I've been researching what would become WedType™, the first ever buyer behavior model for lifestage milestone events, conducted with scientific processes.

I kept it under wraps until earlier this year because, as any research psychologist will tell you, sometimes what you end up finding after coding all the data is a big wad of . . . nothing.

Fortunately, that wasn't the case here.

What I and my tight-knit research team found was that there are significant personality shifts when it comes to milestone events such as weddings, babies, bar and bat mitzvahs, etc. We also found that for weddings, the shifts aren't just in the brides and grooms, but in the people closest to them as well.

Since millennials grew up with group-focused education, peer feedback is a key part of their behavior process. Because of this, it's more important than ever to know how to effectively sell to every person in the room.

That's where WedType comes in.

Everything you've ever heard about selling to personality types? It's based on research not done on lifestage events. It's helpful-ish, but it still never quite fits when it comes to selling to brides and grooms.

This is because that personality research is done by studying how people go grocery shopping, buy shoes online, shop at the mall, or buy products for their company.

With WedType, we are able to show you exactly how people behave when it comes to wedding decisions. And it is VERY different than how they make daily life purchases or shop online. 

You no longer have to settle for helpful-ish. We'll show you the personality shifts and how the four wedding buyer types behave. And we'll show you how to effectively sell to engaged couples during this time in their lives.

No one else has this info, because no one else has done this work. It is our "blue ocean" so to speak. And I am incredibly proud of it.

If you're interested in having us train your team on WedType, drop me a line. I'd love to chat.

Photo by Samantha James Photography, from the Trouvaille Workshop a few weeks ago where I had the privilege of sharing an abbreviated version of WedType™ with a group of talented wedding planners and florists.

Introducing WedType™ – The First Wedding Buyer Behavior Model

Earlier this week I was honored to speak at the VOW New World of Bridal educational event for bridal shop owners and managers at AmericasMart in Atlanta. During my talk, I introduced WedType™, the first wedding buyer behavior model

While there are many buyer behavior models on the market, none of them really took a deep dive into how consumers behave during lifestage milestones, such as weddings, new babies, or buying a home. While there are companies who serve these various lifestage milestones, the consumer behavior is often described by lumping all those buyers together: "This is how brides think" or "This is what new parents want." When people went further, they would try to plug in other consumer behavior models, which never quite fit because they were researched based on everyday normal buying behavior, not milestone events. 

WedType™ is made up of four wedding buyer types: Seekers, Drivers, Researchers, and Lovers. Each segment makes decisions differently when it comes buying, and each interacts with each other differently. With the Millennial generation and Generation Z valuing group decision making, understanding the different perspectives of the people in the room is more critical than ever, and it goes beyond simply understanding which generation they are a part of. 

WedType™ is something we've been working on and testing here at Think Splendid for the past several years, and in the past year we've been using it privately in our business and sales training sessions with clients. This week, I was happy to unveil it publicly for the first time. 

I am very proud of the WedType™ wedding buyer behavior model we've developed and stand behind it 100%. Because it is based on our proprietary research, it is not something you will find on Google or from reading a book. In fact, we are the only company on the planet offering this in depth training and insights.

If you would like Think Splendid to train your team on WedType™ and how to better understand and sell to brides and grooms in a way that no other training can provide, we'd love to work with you.