If we look at the core qualities of luxury*—ease, comfort, pleasure and abundance—and overlay them with macro forces reshaping the beauty business—digitization/automation, personalization/humanization, ethics/sustainability and value—there emerges both overlap and new avenues for redefining what luxury means.
Some brands argue that technical and manufacturing innovations have decoupled luxury from price point, while industry analysts increasingly point to a value-based approach to the sector, one which prioritizes integrity, transparency, emotional impact and related elements above all else.
A research note from NPD’s Larissa Jensen recently declared, “The fact is that consumers no longer need to pay the high price tag to receive many of the perks of a luxury product. This is not to say that traditional luxury is obsolete, but it will change. Within the luxury pricepoint specifically, new trends will continue to emerge that showcase consumer values in a bigger way.”
Even Unilever has found that 33% global consumers across the globe are willing to pay more for brands with a clear social or environmental purpose, creating a €966 billion opportunity for brands, according to the company. The luxury sector is no different.
However, as brands at every strata increasingly infuse values into their messaging, corporate missions and operations, ingredient and packaging selections, and more, the question is: how do luxury players stand apart?
By delivering on the core principles of luxury while finding new, innovative ways to create a deep, emotional connection with their consumers.
I hope you enjoy this month’s issue. See you in March when we’ll preview the technical innovation debuting at in-cosmetics Global in Amsterdam.
*Merriam Webster; www.merriam-webster.com