Luxury Brands Today

Business models have changed. 2018 sees new brands coming in from every angle, disrupting every sector. We explore the shift and what that means for luxury brands today. 

So what does luxury mean? Does luxury mean anything to anyone anymore? Think about it. You can buy luxury cheese, luxury linen, luxury cleaning products, luxury paper, luxury loo roll… the list of luxuries goes on and on and unfortunately, on. I don’t know about you but I find the word to be so worn-out now, that without true meaning, it’s just all got a bit boring.

Arguably, it’s the new ‘luxury brands’ that have caused this disruption. Apple is just as desired if not more now amongst millennials as a more exclusive brand such as Patek Philippe for example. In its Luxury Study 2017, Bain and Co was very clear that to profit from future market growth predictions, ‘brands must rethink their strategies and adapt to a millennial state of mind’.

So how do they do this? First and foremost, appreciating the behaviours of younger consumers is key. Even heritage luxury businesses have an enormous opportunity here to attract younger audiences if they can truly grasp what it is they’re looking for. By way of doing this though, may mean re-examining their brands and we know that brand-driven businesses outperform their competitors.

A Millennial Mindset

This bring it’s own challenges though and poses the question, how can luxury brands used to servicing an older audience, adjust to a millennial mindset, especially when these themselves are so wide-ranging?

Well, moving away from traditional demographics and exploring your customer profiles in-depth is a start. By doing this, means that you are in a position to better understand motivations and attitudes that unite. From here, you’re then in a much stronger place to develop a clear marketing approach that can resonate with an extensive range of audience segments. Let’s face it, a singular ‘catch-all’ comms strategy is never going to work. Your audience today is seriously savvy, so you need to be delivering multiple personalised and highly-tailored customer experiences across the full marketing mix right from the very first interaction.

If Trendwatching’s Future of Luxury report is anything to go by, rising mobile connectivity and wealth has created an ‘epic shift towards more varied, complex, individualised and meaningful forms of luxury consumption’. Think about Uber for example, or Airbnb and Netflix - even private jet apps. If you need one tomorrow, it’s yours at the touch of a button (for a price of course!). Even with this incredibly connected audience though, it’s critical to your overall strategy to bring together both on and offline insights so you can create a more exacting representation of those you’re trying to reach.

Put Your Luxury Pens Down

Interestingly or not so interestingly, those who shop ‘luxury’ and buy into ‘luxury brands’ don’t self-identify at all by using luxury-focused keywords in their searches. Basically, the more you write about luxury, the more your key audience will actually switch off.

The word becomes rather worthless if you offer, without compromise, the very best service, experience and product. Think about all the truly luxury brands in every sense of the word that you know – you don’t see them using the word in every second sentence because they quite simply don’t rely on it to do the hard work for them.

So in conclusion, try not be tempted with sparkly digital quick fixes. Start with understanding. Start with insight. And most importantly, start with your customer.