Just a few weeks ago it was our 10th anniversary – well, 10 years since we were married but 35 years to the day since we met, it just took us a while for us to be sure! Anyhow, we decided to have a special day at the Limewood Hotel in the New Forest – it’s a relatively new 5 star jobby, with the restaurant run by Angela Hartnett (Gordon Ramsay’s protégé, ex of Claridges, Michelin Stars etc), a super-expensive luxury spa, top-of-the-range room rates and so on. So you would expect it to be good. Very good.
And the great news… it was. Extraordinarily good in fact. They made it extremely easy for us to spend our money with them – and so we did, willingly.
What the guys at Limewood have understood that, in an area saturated by mediocre hotels catering to the holiday trade, or hen and stag nights, that there will always be some people who don’t want run of the mill, affordable, ordinary or generic. Some people want exceptional and are prepared to pay for it. Whether it’s for a week’s break or just one special day; everyone wants ‘the best’ some of the time.
And the Limewood understands that, in order to create an exquisite experience, you have to have an eye on the detail. The detail counts for a lot.
Now don’t get me wrong – Limewood isn’t posh or snooty. Far from it in fact. They cultivate an air of relaxed country house living – people strolling through the restaurant on their way back from the pool or gardens; open house to guests in the kitchen; colourful wellie boots freely available for a stroll in the grounds. But what’s absolutely clear here is that, however informal it may appear, nothing at Limewood happens by accident. Their informality is precise and very clever. You just want to stay for days.
Even when we registered for the spa the necessary forms you always have to fill in were beautifully branded (not some rush job on a photocopier) and were accompanied by a fabulous ‘twig’ pencil. Now that’s attention to detail.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this isn’t relevant in your market. It’s relevant in EVERY market. Some of your customers will spend a lot more with you if you let them.
There is no shame in making some of what you sell exclusive and only affordable for a few. Some people want a fantastic experience so don’t be the one who makes it hard for them to spend their money with you.
And if you work in the ‘luxury sector’ you would do well the read Dan Kennedy’s ‘Marketing to the Affluent’ – it will make you think differently.