Marketing to Snobs

While we were traveling to WordCamp Kansas City, Rosie told me I was a tea snob. True, I was bypassing the teabags in the hotel room for my preferred brand, an ample stock of which I had brought with me. Equally true, I choose which restaurant to visit for breakfast based on the quality of tea I’ll find there. And it’s not just brands; the equipment and processes used in brewing the tea also matter.

Does that make me a tea snob? I don’t quiz waiters or berate baristas or exhaust companions with lots of tea-related information they don’t care to hear. But I do have high standards. That says something about me as a consumer. I care about the quality, I’ll read and pay attention to large amounts of information, I’m willing to try new things if a trusted adviser recommends it, I know my own mind and am unlikely to have second thoughts later, and I don’t much care what it costs to get what I want.

In some ways, the snob is the ideal consumer.

And this doesn’t only apply to CPG digital marketing. We’re working right now on a website for a realtor. He’s exceptionally knowledgeable about his community, he has won high honors in his field for more than a decade, and he has an astounding conversion rate.

He told us frankly that he doesn’t want any of the basic “Why you need a realtor” or “How we’ll sell your house” information on his website. He doesn’t want the first-time homebuyer to contact him. “It’s just as much trouble to work with a $60,000 house as a $2,000,000 house,” he explained. He only wants people who will value his services and bring him the profit that meets his needs. He’s looking for knowledgeable, discerning people who do their own research — and will be appreciative when he can show them that his knowledge has value far beyond their own research.

So how can you reach out to snobs in your own field?

  • Don’t let your goods or services be a commodity. Even if you’re selling something very common, you can stand out with some aspect of your product. If it’s not something amazing about the goods, it can be your service, the causes you support, the unique delivery channel you use, or your packaging. We’ve seen that with products as common as coffee, shaving utensils, and water, so don’t think you can’t do it if you want to.
  • Provide lots of information. Someone who’s buying a pair of socks at the local discount store just wants to make sure they’re the right size and color. A sock snob who’s buying high performance socks for a special backpacking trip wants to know that you sourced your wool in Peru. Make sure your website offers all the details.
  • Don’t focus on price. Snobs of this specialized kind are not determined to pay a high price, but they know what things cost, and the price won’t be a determining factor unless it’s too high or too low. A woman who’s accustomed to paying $72.00 for her face cream will be nervous about spending $8.99, so there had better be a good reason if your goods are a fantastic bargain. Ditto if you’re charging $150.00. So don’t lead with the price — it can only be a neutral or a negative, not a reason to buy.

Are you a snob about the writing on your website? If so, you should consider working with Haden Interactive. You’ll never see us calling strangers out on their grammar or the quality of their content, but we definitely have high standards. Email Rosie to talk about your needs.







Leave a Reply