Luxury Content Marketing

There are bowls. And there are bowls. The first? A white ceramic number from Crate & Barrel: classic, shiny, clean. As tableware, it’ll do.

Then, you spot its Tokyo cousin: a matte white oval, remarkably smooth. It’s built like a weighty egg, with curves settling comfortably into the bend of your palm. Rimless on top, and ditto below: all the better to tip, rock, swirl your entitled soup.

The first bowl retails for $3.96. The second? A doozy at $58. I don’t know. Can you get them to spring for a set of four?!

Depends. How deeply did your luxury content marketing team mine the reader’s lust?

Successful luxury copy doesn’t justify premium pricing: it insists on it. As a travel writer, I spent years trammeling through golden bathrooms and eating my weight in foie gras. My job was to waddle out of there, return stateside, and get my readers to relive it all in living color. Here’s how I did and do:

1. Burrow in. You can’t just reel off thread count (800) and material (Egyptian cotton), and expect the ground to yawn open and a magic carpet to appear. You’ve got to work it. Does the cotton channel silk? Does its tautness smooth into a sheen? How does it enhance the float of a serious pillow-top? Only by diving nose-first yourself can you transport the reader.

2. Endow it. Coffee tastes richer when sipped from a mug with heft and handfeel (yes, a word). Sorbet gets a royal bloodline. Your hotel elevates living. Don’t be cheesy, but do get (a tad) entitled.

3. Turn it over. You can see it, feel it, taste it. Then you can turn it, study the underside, poke the thing that juts, give it all a thorough sniff. Imagine it on a basketball court, in a baby bird’s nest, atop a mountain in snow. Take it for a picnic, a ride with the top down. Tickle it; luxuriate. Then watch what your reader does next.

4. Go intense, then serene. Drummers will understand this one. Invest, then pull back. Dive strong, then swim away.

5. Don’t take it too seriously. More worthwhile than gold is perspective.

So use your copy to stage a juicy conspiracy. And don’t forget to wink, because even the pampered will want occasion to smile.


A champion of high-end content, Jean is a living tribute to copywriting for humans. In 2012, at a TEDx talk, she declared her now widely viewed “War Against Bland.” The visionary founder of MarketSmiths, Jean leads her growing team to captivate, inspire, and motivate readers. She has helped thousands of global clients generate revenue from words (up to 12,000% ROI), and transformed the writing of hundreds of seminar attendees at the SXSW Interactive Festival (2014 and 2015), SXSW V2V (2014), the Small Business Summit (2014, NYC), and other venues.

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