17 August 2021
Author: Kathryn Bishop
How has Covid affected luxury consumer mindsets?
As a result of lockdowns, we’ve got a new generation of consumers emerging with more disposable income than before. So, generally speaking, we’re seeing more people able to spend on things of a higher value, whether it’s renovating the house or garden or buying a Peloton bike. For brands, this new audience could hold long-term potential.
At the same time, we have the HENRYs, – high earners, not yet rich – who for the past decade have risen through the ranks. What’s interesting is they're a generation not necessarily beholden to the traditional values of luxury. And now, increasingly, they’re looking to re-interpret luxury codes and modernise them in a way that makes them more relevant.
What's changing in terms of luxury brands' marketing?
Digital has accelerated massively, partly out of necessity and partly because, if you're a luxury or premium brand, you want every touchpoint or every interaction to be at the customer's level. Screen-based luxury experiences are not that alien any more, for example – think about Gucci’s personal shoppers. Then, events like Complexland are showing the potential of a multi-brand event – it’s a formula I'd propose to luxury or media clients moving forward.
Let's discuss luxury through the lens of exploration…
As technology develops and as brands evolve, there will be greater consideration for the inner journey that brands take people on. It might be more philosophical. Take Virgin Galactic, which starts to consider the big questions in life like why are we here? Maybe there's space for brands to help people answer or interpret such questions. Sure, they’re esoteric but consider the incredible experiences of exploration that could happen as a result.
inter-Covid, what are you tracking in luxury travel?
We’re seeing emotion again in travel and marketing, after an equally emotional 18 months – especially with the pandemic still affecting many parts of the world. There is also more weight on hospitality, and welcoming people back as family. Humanity is really going to underpin travel in the coming years. It's been great to see a few luxury brands make an effort to ensure diversity in their messaging, from both a race and an LGBTQ+ perspective. Again, this sparks emotion because people feel luxury travel is speaking to them; it's welcoming and somewhere they can feel comfortable.
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