In order to attract high end customers, you must first understand the many faces of the luxury customer.

The Four Faces of the Luxury Consumer

To attract high paying clients, you must first understand the luxury customer. The luxury customer is a fickle person. She wants what she wants and she will always find the money to pay for it. Her fickleness, however, is a consequence of her multiple personalities.

You see, the customer who consumes luxury has four different personas, each requiring a different strategy to gain her attention.  To build a luxury brand that draws the patronage of  high end consumers, you’ll need to understand all four faces and design your strategy to address the needs of each face.

These four personalities are not women by accident. Four out of every five luxury purchases are either made by women or controlled by women. While men certainly enjoy luxury purchases of their own, women shop more frequently and spend more than men.

Knowing these four personalities of the luxury customer is essential in developing a luxury brand, as selling to each one requires a different strategy.


luxury customer lilith

The first personality, we’ll call Lilith. Lilith has been wealthy for quite a long term. She’s considered “old money,” “blue blood,” part of a dynasty of wealth that spans generations. She’s never had to first face of luxury customerworry about money a day in her life because she’s always had it. And because she’s always had it, and has always been able to afford anything her heart desires, she chooses her purchases carefully.

Think about it: if you could have anything you want at any time, are you going to chase after the latest and greatest thing? Or are you going to choose your purchases carefully, buying things that last so you don’t have to worry about replacing it too soon? For Lilith, time is the greatest luxury and she doesn’t want to waste it by having to spend it shopping for replacement products.

Lilith and her husband are the ones who drive the old Volvo, the vintage Mercedes, the Lexus with 200 miles on the odometer. They spend their money only when they must. New fancy gadgets don’t mean much to them unless they see how that gadget is going to make life easier for them.

Lilith will wear designer clothes, but they’re purchases she made five years ago, choosing styles and brands she knew she wouldn’t need to replace any time soon. She chooses designers whose quality is irreproachable: St. John’s, Chanel, Armani.

Lilith is the hardest personality to win over for an untested luxury brand. She’s loyal to her chosen brands because she knows they will never fail her. But when you win her as a customer, you have her for life – provided, of course, your products are of a quality that will endure her lifetime.


second face of luxury customer

Ava is the next personality of the luxury customer. Unlike Lilith, Ava’s family name isn’t on a building at some Ivy League. Ava is first generation affluent, and her wealth came from pure, old fashioned hard work. She may have come from a middle to upper middle class family, but she certainly didn’t grow up with the world handed to her. She’s a self-made millionaire, who steadily rose to her current status through determination, perseverance and a lot of hard work. This journey has made her very conscious of how she spends her buyer

While Lilith is content to carry her 1956 Hermes Kelly bag (a gift passed down from her grandmother, of course) until the end of time, Ava happily devotes herself to collecting handbags from brands she loves. She walks into her oversized closet, where there’s one new Hermes handbag from every season since she earned her first million. You see, before Ava became wealthy, she always wanted a Hermes bag. And now that she can afford it, she treats herself with a new one every season.

But Ava doesn’t spend carelessly. She thinks about her purchases. She’s the one who will pass a Cartier window regularly to stare at a yellow gold, diamond bezel Cartier Ballon Bleu, awaiting the day she has justification to make such an extravagant purchase. Although she can easily afford to buy it now, she remembers just how hard she worked to get to where she currently is and refuses to make large purchases unless they’re reward for achieving another goal.

Ava is loyal to her brands. Unlike Lilith, however, Ava is willing to take a risk on new brands and will usually update her wardrobe seasonally. Rarely does she make a large impulse purchase. But when she does buy, she does so for things she loves, and things that fit her personal sense of style.


third face of luxury consumer

The luxury customer’s third personality is Venice. Venice can be classified as new money. Unlike Ava, Venice wasn’t raised with any money. Her new found wealth can be attributed to many things – some hard work, but mostly luck. She’s hit the jackpot and she wants to buy herself everything she never had as a child.

Venice is the one who buys the first release of everything. She wants it new, big, bright and expensive. luxury buying customerVenice likes to wear her new found wealth for the world to see. And when she’s in a good mood, she is beloved by all the salespeople up and down Madison Avenue and Rodeo Drive. Her cell phone number is on speed dial by the most ambitious salespeople, who know to call her whenever the newest Christian Louboutin or Tom Ford anything hits their store.

Venice doesn’t live for the future – she wants everything now. And just as quickly as she’s bought everything, she quickly becomes bored with them and wants everything else. She doesn’t put much thought into having her own personal style; she only cares that she’s wearing the latest and greatest luxury items and that people look at her with envy.

Venice is the luxury brand’s best customer. While Lilith will only buy when she has no other choice, and Ava will buy seasonally, Venice will buy every single day if given the opportunity.


buying luxury customer

The fourth and final personality of the luxury customer is Delia. Delia is not wealthy, and may never be. But she loves luxury brands. She adores the Venices of the world, devours Vogue magazine everyfourth face of luxury month, and makes Pinterest boards featuring what her favorite celebrities are wearing.

Delia is the one most likely to follow a brand on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms. She watches online videos of their runway shows. She fantasizes about one day being able to afford all of these luxury brands.

But in the meantime, she treats herself with small purchases here and there. She saves up her money to buy a pair of Chanel sunglasses, splurges on Cartier perfume, a Hermes scarf, a Tiffany key chain. She buys the most affordable item she can from her favorite luxury brands so she can feel the emotional rush that a luxury purchase creates.

It is for Delia that luxury brands always have an entry level luxury item. They await the day she graduates into either a Venice or an Ava. And when she does, she will do so buying one of the most expensive items they make. Even if she never makes it, she will continue her splurges on accessible luxury items.