In general, every empty seat at a sporting event or concert is a missed opportunity:
- For Revenue
- To engage your customers
- To win new customers
- To build the best experience for your customers
I could go on, but the key thing is that to create the best possible experience for our guests, we need to find a way to ensure that we get people into our buildings.
One area that has undergone a tremendous shift over the last few years is in the area of luxury and premium seating.
More and more, venues and teams are finding that they are having to shift the perspective they have about selling the luxury and premium experience.
In many cases, these changes require the team to undergo costly renovations and rebuilds that are often great, but only offer short-term solutions to the challenge.
In looking at the landscape of premium marketing, there are a number of marketing first ideas that can help drive more people into the premium seating areas and, hopefully, cut down on some of the more expensive solutions and generate more demand, a better experience, and more revenue.
Stop Just Checking Boxes on Features:
I’m not sure if every team lists their “buffet” or “private bathrooms” but too many do.
One of the core failures of sports marketing today is the idea and, seeming, need to check boxes and just point out the stuff that modern corporate or luxury buyers consider essential.
I don’t know of a corporate buyer anywhere that doesn’t expect a private entrance or cushier seats.
That’s the minimum they expect.
What people are buying is the experience of the luxury box or luxury seating area.
Instead of selling your buffet, focus on the experience, the connection, the emotion of coming to a game and sitting in the best seats in the house.
When you land on the Tesla homepage, Tesla talks about “Experience Tesla”.
For far too many sports teams, when you land on their premium seating landing page, you’ll get a list of options or a long list of features.
What about the experience?
What about visiting you is special?
Thinking That You Are Your Market:
In the days when I was working with the American Express Centurion Card on some of their ticket programs, I came to realize pretty quickly that what I thought of as luxury or premium was far outside the realm of what Centurion Cardmembers thought of as a luxury experience.
Recently I had a chance to catch up with one of the people I worked with on that project and we talked about the service expectations that we have versus what our clients might have.
And, the big idea that came out of that was that we have to realize that we aren’t our market. Our market is going to see things in a much different way than we ever could.
This means that things we think are luxurious or special might not be at all meaningful for our customers.
It means that what we think is a throwaway, might be impactful.
This pops up in the marketing challenge for most premium experiences in many ways.
Go back to the top and look at the example of checking boxes on features.
But it also comes across in the way that we lay out our landing pages where it can often feel like just sitting in the club or a luxury box is enough.
It can come across in an emphasis on things that are meaningless to premium buyers like free food and drink.
The key here is to think about what is meaningful to your buyers, not to you.
How do you know?
You can talk to them. You can talk to other retailers that serve these clients. You can shop where your customers shop.
If you want to change your view of premium quickly, take a quick trip to the Four Seasons in Miami on Brickell Avenue or the George V in Paris.
Even if it is only for one night, it will twist your head about what is premium, luxury, or special.
Not Putting Enough Focus on Feeling:
I talked earlier about the tagline “Experience Tesla” and the expectation that talking about experience sets for people.
To quote my son, “that’s a true fact.”
Somewhere along the line, we’ve gotten very comfortable with too much sports marketing being dry and unemotional.
There’s a truism that likely should hang above everyone’s desk, everywhere in the world, that goes: “People buy with emotion and justify with logic.”
This is true if you are in B2B sales.
This is true if you are in B2G sales.
This is just true!
A little secret is that the more someone is protesting about how logical they are, the more likely they are being emotional.
The thing about selling and marketing premium experiences is that you are playing on the emotion of the person buying the ticket, the box, the experience.
When I wrote a few years back about having sold $10M in tickets one, the underlying idea was that I never sold one ticket, but I sold a tremendous amount of experiences and opportunities.
Still, true all these years later.
Why is this important?
Because I focused on the emotion at the heart of the buy.
I wasn’t selling a guy Yankees’ tickets behind the Yankees’ dugout. I was selling a guy on his first baseball game with his son in New York.
I wasn’t selling someone a premium package at Radio City Music Hall, I was selling someone a holiday experience that was once in a lifetime, like the first time they would visit Disney.
This goes on and on and on.
The reality is that most luxury and premium marketing fails because we’ve been convinced that we can measure everything, that every decision has a certain amount of logic, and that everyone wants the same things.
None of these are true.
Every buyer wants to feel unique and special.
Every buyer has an emotional connection to the purchase.
And, every buyer wants to have the best experience possible.
Am I wrong? Or, am I reflecting on something you are seeing?
Let me know in the comments below.
Wait! There’s more: If you want a FREE premium marketing and sales audit, email me firstname.lastname@example.org with premium in the subject line.