The Democratization of Luxury

Luxury is being redefined from exclusive to experiential. While that’s not new news, it is opportunity. It means brands that don’t carry hefty price tags have the chance to deliver their own type of luxury.

If you’re not marketing Hermes, Porsche or Louboutin, keep reading…for there are many ways “everyday” brands can satisfy consumers’ longing for the new luxury.

Think Younger

It stands to reason that Millennials will be the luxury consumers of tomorrow. But tomorrow is here. Recent research estimates Millennials already make up 45% of luxury consumers. And a study of U.S. Millennials indicates 78% would rather spend on a desirable experience than a desirable object. So, focus on the experience Millennials hope the object can create.

Rub Shoulders

Luxury rubs off. Partnering with more well-known luxury brands is a great way of earning cache while signaling for whom your brand is intended. The trick is finding the right fit – finding a brand whose values appeal to your target even if its price point is out of reach. Target and H&M both are masterful at designer collaborations that both fit their brands and elevate their stature.

Grant Access

Consumers may not feel welcome in a retail environment where most things make their bank accounts shudder. But a pop-up store or capsule collection is not only more inviting and accessible, it is a great way to ”test drive” luxury. And trial sizes or special bundles let consumers try your wares and develop loyalty. Neiman Marcus smartly partnered with Rent the Runway to give access to a new customer base.

Facilitate Discovery

Today’s luxury consumers are digital natives. While luxury brands have traditionally been slow to embrace digital, younger consumers learn about products online. And that discovery is a big part of the appeal. It’s less about having something first than it is having the ability to curate items that define your personal ethos on luxury. Aid discovery with craftsman narratives, digital assets and other storytelling. Shinola does this well, making its stories a driver of the brand’s appeal.

Hold Up the Right Mirror

Social acknowledgment is still a big part of luxury item appeal. However, rather than signaling the size of one’s bank account, items identify personal tastes and the peer group with which one identifies. And, if luxury is personal and unique to each person, it is critical that marketers know whom they are talking to and what that people want to say about themselves.

In conclusion, while luxury means something different to each of us, it is something we all strive for, regardless of financial situation. Turns out, it is a desire brands can deliver on, regardless of price point.

To learn more about Firehouse, our philosophy, capabilities and consumer expertise visit our website.