Luxury goods were once an old, rich, white man’s game. And while that assumption may still reign supreme in many brand strategy rooms, a growing — and soon to be majority — clientele of luxury buyers has been quietly diversifying and defying old profiles.
Here are some areas where brands might need to adjust their thinking:
1. Luxury isn’t just for old white men. Multicultural consumers will soon become the majority of luxury buyers, according to Iconoculture research. Brands need to make sure they’re targeting a more diverse audience. There are a few indications that some are beginning to think about this. In a departure from its previous strategy, classic luxury brand Tiffany & Co. featured actress Lupita Nyong’o in its Legendary Style campaign.
2. Young luxury shoppers are more socially driven. While every generation expects a high level of functionality and indulgence from luxury goods, Instagram-loving millennials demand that their fashion and jewelry choices also make them look cool. In their criteria for what defines a luxury product, millennials focus on qualities such as making a good impression and being considered a symbol of success.
3. They also shop for the experience. Discovery and curiosity are key for millennial luxury buyers, who rate these values considerably higher than older shoppers. Both luxury brands and their lower-priced counterparts can gain from playing to these values. Even T.J. Maxx emphasizes that there are hidden gems buried in its retail racks, waiting to be discovered. “I kid you not, I could spend hours in there,” one millennial said about the discount chain.
This is the fourth article in a new series introducing research from Iconoculture, which is now part of the Gartner for Marketers research and advisory offering.