156: How Luxury Brands Talk To Their Clients with Neen James

The Business of Meetings – Episode 156 – How Luxury Brands Talk To Their Clients with Neen James



We are delighted to be speaking with Neen James today!

Neen has been working in various industries across the world. She is the author of Attention Pays and the President and CEO of Neen James, Incorporated. She is with us today to share her journey and discuss the fascinating survey she did recently on luxury brands, how people look at luxury, and the best way to speak with clients dealing with luxury brands.

We hope you enjoy listening to today’s inspiring and informative conversation with Neen James!


Neen James is the author of nine books including Folding Time™ and her most recent, Attention PaysTM. She was named one of the top 30 Leadership Speakers by Global Guru several years in a row because of her work with companies like Viacom, Comcast, Cisco, Virgin, Johnson & Johnson, and the FBI, among others.

Neen is a leadership expert who delivers high-energy keynotes that challenge audiences to prioritize focus in their work and lives. Understanding that attention and productivity can only come after clarifying what matters most, audiences leave Neen’s keynotes with practical strategies they can then apply personally and professionally to get them where they want to be.

Compelling in delivering presentations, Neen is adaptive and responsive to the unique needs of live, virtual, and hybrid experiences. Meeting planners love working with her – they often describe Neen as the energizer bunny for their events.

With a strong background in learning and development and managing large teams at various corporations, Neen is the perfect fit for organizations that want systems thinking-based, implementable strategies. After working with Neen, their employees are able to create space and allow the freedom to avoid distractions, stop interruptions, prioritize daily objectives, and say ‘no’ to requests that steal time and focus from real goals and priorities.

Neen earned her MBA from Southern Cross University and the Certified Speaking Professional designation from National Speakers Association. She has received numerous awards as a professional speaker and is a partner in the international education company Thought Leaders Global.

Oh, did we mention that Neen is Australian? Why does that matter? Well, it means that she’s a bit mischievous, pretty witty, and a little cheeky. She also considers herself an unofficial champagne taste tester … and is obsessed with her Peloton bike… a bike that goes nowhere!

Neen’s journey

Neen grew up in corporate business, in Australia. She worked in retail banking, telecommunications, and the oil industry. As an executive strategist, she became obsessed with finding out how to get people to pay attention to what really matters. Someone once nudged her to become a speaker. She set up a company and found her first retainer client immediately. Her company has grown since then, she relocated to the United States, wrote some books, and did some research studies.

Leaving corporate Australia

There were various things that prompted Neen to leave corporate Australia. She was working in the prepaid cellphone industry and did some fun projects there, including launching Virgin® in Australia. She became known as someone who got things done and people kept on asking her to speak at conferences. So, she decided to do something for herself. She managed to convince the board that the best strategy was to re-engineer the business, centralize the roles, and let many people go, herself included.

Corporate life

Neen loved corporate life, and she still loves corporate clients! Being a corporate girl was a great gift for her because she now does a lot of corporate work, particularly with CEOs and their teams.


An entrepreneur was born…Neen built her company from scratch! All of her business opportunities have come from referrals from people in her audience or her network.


According to Neen, anyone thinking of making a change needs to be courageous, believe in yourself, know what you’re good at, and look for what will truly light you up!

The difference between Aussies and Americans

Because Neen enjoyed living in the US so much, she became a citizen. She believes one difference between Australians and Americans is that Australians work hard and play hard. Americans work hard.

Using your out-of-office and voicemail

Use your out-of-office and voicemail as ways for people to experience you. It can be a fun way to extend your personal brand, provide information for people sending you notes, and manage people’s expectations. 

What Need discovered through her survey on luxury brands

Thoughts create feelings. Neen wanted to find out what people think about luxury rather than how they feel about it. The research firm that did her survey interviewed hundreds of leaders and found that there are four different luxury mindsets (or archetypes). Through the survey, they were able to discover how each of those mindsets makes decisions, how they define luxury, what’s important to them, and who influences their decisions. Knowing that can help brands assess the mindsets with which they want to work with, and then align their messages to attract those mindsets.

The four luxury mindsets/archetypes:

  1. Reluctant and removed – Luxury is hard
  2. Pro-prioritizer – Luxury is power
  3. Confident and content – They’ve got this
  4. The luxury-lover – They think they are worth it

Helping companies speak luxury language

Companies should speak the luxury language of the luxury mindset they want to attract. Neen helps them do that.

Various implications

There are many different implications for luxury brands in research, and Neen loves sharing them with the audiences she works with!


Neen believes time can only be managed if things will happen whether we like it or not. (She talks about that in her book, Folding Time.) However, you can manage your attention. (Neen talks about how to be more intentional with your attention in her book, Attention Pays.)

Is luxury recession-proof?

Whether or not a recession occurs, some people will continue having the luxury lifestyle they have always enjoyed. So she does not foresee a crisis for luxury brands. However, she does see luxury brands having to market differently and align their messages to appeal to luxury mindsets.

Inter-generational travel

Neen has noticed a trend of inter-generational travel, where one family member pays for the whole family to take a luxury cruise together.

How Neen helps her clients

When Neen consults with her clients, she looks at how they assess the mindset of the person they want to attract and how they align their messages to ensure everything is consistent with that mindest. She also helps her clients build advocates for their brands.

Neen’s advice

Whether you are in the luxury space or not, think about the kind of people you want to work with, the companies and brands with which you would like to be aligned, and the actions you intend to take to support those companies or brands.

Tiny changes

By implementing some tiny changes, it’s easy for anyone to transform an ordinary, everyday experience into a luxury one!

Connect with Eric

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Connect with Neen James

On her website

On Instagram

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Email Neen: neen@neenjames.com

Download Neen James Luxury Mindset Research Executive Summary

Books by Neen James

Folding Time: How to Achieve Twice as Much in Half the Time

Attention Pays: How to Drive Profitability, Productivity, and Accountability

Secrets of Super-Productivity: How to Achieve Amazing Things in Your Work Life


Eric Rozenberg

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