The New Frontiers Of Luxury
The one fundamental truth that remains unchanged however is that ‘luxury at its heart has always been and continues to remain all about status.
Luxury, a hitherto ‘reserved for the elite’ phenomenon, has been undergoing a titanic shift in its core perception, mainly due to market-driven forces causing a deviation from ‘reserved for the classes’ to ‘appeal for the masses’. The democratisation process initiated sometime in the 1970s saw a major change when luxury brands started to spiral downwards with brand/product extensions allowing them to cater to what is now called the ‘accessible luxury’ space. The ideology was to target the fast-growing new money economy in emerging markets where aspirations of announcing ‘one’s arrival’ was the key driver for a luxury purchase.
However, with the advent of the millennial consumer (or Gen Y) in the early eighties, consumer behaviour has steadily and drastically deviated from the previously defined norms of luxury. The centennial Gen Z (or digital natives) are further seeking change necessitating luxury brands to take notice, innovate and offer products and services to suit their preferences.