Reaching the Luxury Consumer
Reaching the Luxury Consumer

At last month’s DFA Summit, members of the Decorative Furnishings Association and industry professionals gathered to discuss the state of the luxury market and strategies for reaching the luxury consumer. The presentation began with an introduction by DFA Co-President, Cary Kravet who stressed the importance of designers and showrooms working together to generate sales. An in-depth recap of the meeting was shared on The Editor at Large blog and from it I’ve chosen to share a few key points; all of which I believe apply to your business as a designer as well as ours as a design destination.

To start with a little good news (who doesn’t need a little of that?), impressive statistics are coming from the housing market and shed light on the current financial and mental state of the retail consumer.

According to Paul Boomsma of Luxury Portfolio
Real Estate was up 20% in Q1 over last year
Sales of vacation homes were up 23%
Re-sale prices were up 40% since 2009
$500k+ homes are selling at a faster rate than $300k

As we all know, marketing luxury products and services requires careful consideration, especially when up against online resources. Speakers at the Summit offered suggestions, and while these were directed at design centers and showrooms, they are most definitely goals designers and showrooms alike can keep in mind:

Creative, quality marketing + Offer a seamless shopping experience + Exceptional service + Educate the consumer

Major design centers across the country are implementing new strategies for reaching consumers, among them are events that welcome the public, advertising campaigns with inclusive, rather than exclusive messages and re-vamped marketing efforts. KDR is following suit. This year, in anticipation of our 2013 print advertising campaigns, we invested in high-quality photography taken in our St. Louis showroom by well-known photographer, Alise O’Brien.

KDR is using print advertising in all three markets to reach consumers; St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, Kansas City Spaces and Artful Living.

We’re welcoming consumers into the showroom for design events such as the upcoming Thayer Coggin Road Show; an event that is as enjoyable as it is educational. And we’re constantly working at improving our marketing efforts, much of which has gone on behind the scenes. We’ve worked to streamline the technology used to communicate with our customers, including a consistent feed from Design Digest, the KDR blog, and by the end of the year we hope to begin work on the new KDR website.

Hopefully you will find a tip or two here that inspires you to revisit your own marketing efforts, or it might simply confirm that you’re already on the right track.

Until next time…


Emily Faber
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