From the material to the experiential
The enduring appeal of all that is luxurious dates back as far as you care to look. Luxury has always exerted a powerful attraction. The alchemy of this allure is potent and forever changing.
As global perceptions of luxury transform over time, businesses and brands must navigate the rolling seas of the luxury goods industry. Ships are safe in harbour but that’s not what ships are built for. Successful brands are those which venture forth. Some may struggle against strong headwinds and invisible currents while others will surge forward on favourable tailwinds. As the tides change, adaptability is crucial.
The world economy and the luxury sector are subject to constant political and geographic upheaval and being prepared for the next cultural shift is vital. Our collective conception of luxury is transforming. Whereas luxury once meant accruing precious goods and opulent displays, the shift now is away from the material to the experiential.
Consumer preferences have altered and less focus is on signalling wealth and more on what is meaningful. Bling is being overlooked in favour of rare and unique experiences. As consumers increasingly consider the origins of products and their impact on the environment, “sustainable luxury” offers a range of opportunities for luxury brands.
Conspicuous consumption is becoming conscious consumption.
The growth of the luxury sector is steady but slow. Worldwide studies forecast there will be around 440 million luxury goods and services consumers by 2020. In the same year, a predicted 20 per cent increase on today’s spending will see global consumer revenues surpass $1 trillion.
In the face of a radically developing technological and economic landscape, agility is key. The world’s leading luxury players must evolve alongside our definitions of luxury.