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Feel the power, be empowered

Extraordinary refrigeration power is what put Sub-Zero on the map in 1945, when it was the first company to offer a freezer that had a below zero cooling capacity. The brand also led the industry with air purification to eliminate ethylene gases given off when fruits and vegetables ripen. “That was something we picked up from NASA when we worked with them,” Jones explains.

But for the wealthy, the concept of power is more than just sub-zero freezing and BTUs in the stove. It is using the power of the appliances to empower the owner to achieve mastery of the kitchen experiences he or she desires.

For that the Sub-Zero website has a series of videos entitled “The Conversational Chef” featuring Coleman, its corporate chef, who takes the viewer to restaurants to unpack their secrets of gourmet cooking, then shows how to achieve the same results at home with the advanced features of its appliances.

The website also includes an inspiration and planning section to help potential buyers create their dream kitchen, along with recipes designed to use the appliances’ special features for exceptional results.

“Because I’m worth it”

While there may be a show-off value in the selection of luxury kitchen appliance brands, the wealthy feel entitled to own the best that money can buy in those categories they consider important. The brand must be worthy and measure up to their feelings of self-worth and personal values.

“We are an aspirational brand, but we bring substance to luxury,” Jones states. “We are the go-to brand for designers and for the customer who is looking for the best, they are going to use us.”

The confidence of quality that the customers’ gain from their appliance choice is something that Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove intend to engender and build over time.

“Quality is the foundation of our company,” Jones concludes. “Our customers don’t just purchase our products, they invest in them. We give them peace of mind. We build our products to last decades, not just years. There is value in knowing our products are going to perform as well as the day they first go into the home till the day they move out.”

Appeal to reason, engage emotions

In the final analysis over 80% of wealthy consumers in the YouGov study consider their selection of luxury kitchen appliances as being “rational,” not a “guilty pleasure.” Nearly three-fourths research the brands thoroughly even before heading into the dealer to try them.

The take aways from this research is that while luxury appliance brands need to appeal to the left brain, rational justifications for the wealthy with talk about quality, style, longevity and investment value, it is equally, if not more important to appeal to the right-brain, emotional reasons why they should choose a brand, like market leader Sub-Zero, Wolf and Cove.

The emotional values the wealthy are seeking in their kitchens are to express artistry in the design of their kitchens and what comes out of them; to transfer the power in the appliance to feel personally empowered; and to reinforce their feelings of self-worth through the selection of the best of the best for their homes.

That is the message of psychologist G. Clotaire Rapaille in The Global Code: How a New Culture of Universal Values Is Reshaping Business and Marketing, where he writes that the emotions, or the “reptilian brain” as he calls it, is looking to the left-brain, logical cortex for a good excuse, or an “intellectual alibi,” to give it what it wants.

The more luxury kitchen appliance brands can push the emotions, like Sub-Zero and Wolf have done, the more successful they will be in today’s luxury marketplace.