Platinum is more expensive than gold because it is rarer. Similarly, a platinum level of service is more precious than the “gold standard” of service offered by most sales professionals. The Golden Rule states: “Treat other people as we would wish to be treated ourselves.” It is the rare sales professional, however, who knows and lives by the Platinum Rule: “Treat other people as they would wish to be treated.” The difference comes down to a small, but meaningful, change in perspective.
The month of December is traditionally one for giving and receiving gifts. It seems fitting then, as I try to select the perfect present, that I’ve spent most of the month addressing the question “What is Luxury?” (see “Is the term “luxury brand” overhyped?” and “More on What is Luxury?“).
We may have to leave the year with the question unanswered, or at the very least, we may have to settle for a paradox, according to a recent article in The Economist: “The Modern Luxury Industry Rests on a Paradox.”
I thought it fitting to wrap up the year with this article. It covers all aspects of the luxury question from many perspectives: age, geography, politics, world events, and social climate. Continue reading “It’s All About That Service!”
This seems to be the week to address the question “What is luxury? (See “Is the term luxury brand overhyped?”). That’s why I’m happy to report London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will explore the luxury iquestion n an upcoming exhibit “What is Luxury?” from April through September 2015.
According to the V&A website:
What is Luxury? will interrogate ideas of luxury today. It will address how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity…The future of luxury will be explored, asking questions about the role that time, space, privacy, well-being, social inclusivity and access to resources and skill may play in determining our choices and aspirations.
Luxury has been defined as something that is pleasant to have or experience, but is not a necessity. The concepts of exclusivity and rarity can also factor into the definition of luxury. Value, on the other hand, is determined by the relation of price to perceived benefit. But if luxury is not a necessity, then how do we determine its value? Continue reading “The Value of Luxury”
Last week I visited a well-known electronics retailer to purchase a new tablet. The battery on my own tablet was no longer holding a charge and I thought I’d try some of the new models. I visited this specific retailer knowing they had various test models on display. Of course, the devices were cabled to the display stands to prevent pilfering—this makes sense. However, as I picked up a test model an alarm went off. It wasn’t loud enough to be heard throughout the store, but it was loud enough to be annoying. I spotted a salesperson and asked for assistance. Her reply was that she wasn’t authorized to disable the alarm and I would have to wait for a tech person. After a few minutes a tech person arrived and shut off the alarm. He warned me, however, the alarm was quite sensitive and would probably go off again. He suggested I visit another area in the store dedicated to that manufacturer. I waited there approximately 10 minutes as the single salesperson assisted another customer. Frustrated, I returned to the original display and picked up a different model tablet. Guess what? More alarms! I left the store.
In an article originally written for Retail Week, Martin Newman complains that he does not receive the same level of luxury service when purchasing an expensive Balenciaga handbag online as he would in the store. To be clear, Mr. Newman purchased the bag through fashion etailer Matches Fashion, which guaranteed him next-day delivery within a three-hour window. Mr. Newman wanted the handbag to be delivered within a one-hour window and felt he should be accommodated considering the price he was paying for the handbag. (I’m not sure who quickly he’d have received the bag if he’d purchased it at www.balenciaga.com directly.)
What are your thoughts? Do you feel you receive better service from a luxury brand when you visit the physical store than when you buy online? Please add your comments below.