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Amusing Tales

Rockefeller Didn’t Rock My Boat

“It’s all about the view” said Alex, charm personified.

Alex had glided over to me at the private viewing and evening reception for the Du Parc Kempinski private residences in the heart of the Swiss Riviera.

I turned to look at the view:

kempinski du parc

Admittedly, it was spectacular.

But, you know for a 2 bed apartment with a starting price of £4million I have certain expectations – a half decent view is something I would take as a given.

And maybe I’m spoilt – but I’ve seen better views.

So I told him.

Unflappable, as only a professional from Knight Frank could be, Alex continued to soothe and sell.

Because, not only does this multi-million pound apartment buy you spectacular views, it buys you an “exceptional lifestyle” – an “unprecedented standard of Swiss living”.  The ad on the wall expounds to me the benefits of such a lifestyle:

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But somehow I am left feeling flat.

The grand lobby, home cinema, wine cellar, golf club membership, Davidoff cigar lounge, fitness and wellness centre, Rockefeller living, Kempinski 5 star service and promise of a “quintessentially elite service” just feel a bit *meh*.

Of course, quite obviously I am not a target customer – target customers are High Net Worth Individuals, which means at least £10 million cash, or Ultra High Net Worth which is £100 million cash at disposal.

So maybe I just didn’t “get it”.

I sipped my Laurent Perrier some more and looked around me.

138kempinski du parckempinski du parc

I had multiple life-size images of Claudia Schiffer, 2 giant iPads attached to the wall and a plastic looking model of what the “exceptional living” complex looks like.

It’s no wonder I was unimpressed: I used to work in marketing selling pints of beer for a few quid and we would have put on a better show than this.

At this end of the market, when you’re worth so much bloody money you expect and demand more.  You expect to be dazzled and wowed.  You expect a show.  You expect a full-on experience.  You expect more than a few posters, giant iPads and a model building.

You want to feel the coolness of the Swiss environment, you want to smell and taste the crispness of the air, you want to really feel and experience the quintessentially elite service and 5 star appeal of Kempinski – and handing out duck canapes, no matter how delicious they are – just do not cut the mustard.

But, of course, a High Net Worth or Ultra High Net Worth will most likely not attend an event such as this.  If you’re lucky, they may send an intermediary.  But, even that intermediary needs to be impressed. That intermediary needs to buy into the “why’s” of this exceptional living to go back and report to the boss.

Rockefeller Estates may well have created a luxury development “tailored to the needs of enlightened lifestyle connoisseurs”.   But, personally, I think somebody in their marketing department needs to be enlightened!

 

4 comments
  1. David Whelan

    mmmm. having read this article and some of your others. I think you do yourself a huge discredit by not knowing what you are talking about. 1. The view that you have seen better happens to be one that has inspired greater writers/authors and artists than whomever you are. I would love to know where these better views are as you seem to just raccount your opinion without really substantiating it for example. The views of Montreux are known to have inspired Charlie Chaplin, Freddie Mercury, Tchaikovsky, Shania Twain, Diana Ross, and was the inspiration for Deep Purples’s “Fire on the water”. Your views (likely of an aberdeen estates) inspire well only you. Parts of Montreux and Vevey are listed as Swiss Heritage sites and nearby is the Unesco listed partimonial vineyards of Lavaux which date 700 years. The better views you talk about are where exactly? And those pints of beer you used to sell, which incidentally you are no longer selling are where exactly? And so on and so on. All talk with nothing but hearsay, conjecture and an opinon by someone who has no clue. You probably think the Montreux Jazz festival only plays jazz…..? Sloppy journalism with no follow up and massive misinformation. Stick to scottish estates.

    1. Sam

      David, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      My comments are with regards to the actual event itself. I used to work extensively as a brand consultant for Guinness around the world and thus do have experience in marketing.

      Personally, your insights into the “views of Montreux are known to have inspired Charlie Chaplin, Freddie Mercury, Tchaikovsky, Shania Twain, Diana Ross, and was the inspiration for Deep Purples’s “Fire on the water” are fascinating. Your points about “Parts of Montreux and Vevey are listed as Swiss Heritage sites and nearby is the Unesco listed partimonial vineyards of Lavaux which date 700 years” are wonderful key insights into the area which should be woven into the marketing story.

      In my opinion (and it is just my opinion) if you want to really sell the view, I personally feel it should be more heavily sold than just being a large, rectangular photo poster on the wall. Selling a view should be more experiential – you should feel like you are actually “in” the view. There are many ways in which this could have been done – one simple solution could have been a circular 360 degree wrap around to get the audience to experience the thrill of the view.

      Please note, I do not claim to be an expert on this area, nor the product being sold. However, the whole point of this blog post is with regards the marketing of such a prime piece of real estate. In my mind, there is a massive opportunity for a wonderful, inspiring story – the details of which your reply shows are the case – but which have not been leveraged in this example.

      P.S. With regards to me coming across as a “sponge” that tickles me. I wanted to find something positive to say about the event – and the fact is the champagne and canapes were rather good!

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