They are the Very Important Customers, those who do not care about price, because they want absolutely customised and more than exclusive products. But that’s not enough: they demand the utmost discretion to satisfy their particular desires. Luxury needs them so much that it not only dedicates reserved boutiques to them but also builds shopping experiences for them that have only one purpose: to create an emotional connection
With the wealth they possess, they can afford to buy almost anything. So they go in search of excitement, experiences, and exclusive products. Their desire is to turn money into a dream. Consequently, luxury brands aim to please them. This ultra-rich are classified in the clientele group called VIC, or: the Very Important Customers. They represent 1% of the world’s population but hold a disproportionate amount of global wealth. They are tycoons, entrepreneurs, professionals, heiresses, and board members. And they have particular desires.
The special wishes of the VIC
Not just an iconic handbag that you buy after months of waiting or an ultra-luxury car. They want very special and, above all, unique products, made ad hoc by luxury brands. But neither the brand nor the customer is interested in publicising the operation. “Because exclusivity also passes through the total absence of communicative emphasis. Those who demand extreme luxury do not live for the logo and do not need to let the world know what they possess. they want it for themselves, full stop,’ Alexandra Della Porta Rodiani, founder of the luxury circuit Oligos, tells the Italian daily Il Giornale.
Not least because of the Chinese consumer crisis, luxury brands are pampering VIC to retain their loyalty and make them spend more and more. NSS Magazine writes that 3% of MyTheresa’s top customers account for 30% of the entire business. How do you capture a VIC? Sometimes, the (already loyal) VIC themselves refers relatives and friends. Another strategy is similar to that of casinos: hotel suites and expensive complimentary champagne to increase the frequency of their visits. Brands like Louis Vuitton, Farfetch, Stadium Goods, and Dior often form special teams to take care of these relationships.
So does Saks Fifth Avenue, which accompanied some of its VIC to the Oscars ceremony and Wimbledon. In contrast, Gucci hosted film screenings in the Royal Suite of London’s Savoy, with dinners in the company of its CEO Marco Bizzarri and the president of parent company Kering, François-Henri Pinault. Givenchy invited some of its top American buyers to the Save Venice charity gala in New York.
Alexander McQueen organised a multi-day experience in New York, including a private fashion show. For its part, Brunello Cucinelli opened Casa Cucinelli in New York, a boutique exclusively for top clients. Chanel said that starting in 2023, it will open shops in major Asian cities reserved only for VICs to pamper them. No queues, a special welcome and a personalised relationship.
At luxurysociety.com, well-known luxury consultant Andrew Wolmark argues that the most important element is to build the proper emotional connection with VIC. How? By offering customised services and products. VIC wants something that ‘money can’t buy‘. In other words: something interesting, attractive, and custom-made for that specific person. Something that 100% reflects their passions and way of being. Once this connection is made, the game is played, and the money is secured. (mv)