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Selling the Experience

Posted: August 26, 2008, from the September 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The baby boomer generation is being replaced in the luxury market, so retailers must focus on what the next generation finds luxurious—and provide it. “Young affluents will play an increasingly important role in the target market for global luxury marketers over the next 10 to 20 years,” said Danziger.

These luxury shoppers don’t look like the baby boomers. “New luxury is about trans-generational, transatlantic and transpacific; not about logo mania or brand mania,” said Perdis.

The concept of luxury depends on what these young affluents consider important to their overall lifestyle. As a result, luxury marketers and retailers must look for signs of what these consumers find important and capitalize.

“The global luxury market is going young, so luxury marketers must learn to think young in order to survive and thrive,” said Danziger. “Global luxury marketers have gotten used to the passions and nuances of the maturing baby boomers after so many years of targeting this generation with their luxury goods and services. Now, they have a new challenge to appeal to the young affluents who have different ideas about luxury and different priorities in how they spend their wealth.”

Globally, luxury retailers must look at how brands are being built. The reputation and emotional ties of the brand create the luxury appeal for consumers. Luxury retail comes down to connecting with the customer, making them feel welcome, while acknowledging that luxury is a moving target and understanding the changing consumer target is often the only arrow guaranteed to hit the bull’s-eye.