Luxury 2.0 – The Changes You Can’t Afford to Miss

Luxury 2.0 – The Changes You Can’t Afford to Miss

This week we kick off our new thought-leadership theme: The New Luxury. Our CEO Conrad Persons explores the way luxury has fundamentally changed. These changes – driven by generational shifts, geo-dynamics, digital, mindfulness and other forces – will help determine who the winners and losers are in the world of mainstream & luxury brands alike.

Around the world, luxury brands are fretting. Stories abound about slowing growth and bumpy times ahead. But much of this commentary misses the point. While today’s story is a temporary slow-down in the sector, tomorrow’s story is that the meaning of luxury is undergoing fundamental change that will affect who the winners and losers will be for years to come.

Change is everywhere. Slowing growth in BRIC markets, the shift from bricks and mortar to digital, and a Millennial cohort that simply isn’t as into ‘stuff’ as their parents were – are all challenging headwinds for luxury brands.

And because some of the traditional characteristics that have defined luxury are changing too (what does it mean to be scarce in a world of digital plenty?) – it’s understandable that many brands are mired in uncertainty.

But what’s really happening here is that luxury is being forced to adapt in order to survive. The transition will be precarious for some, but ultimately fruitful for most, ensuring the sector’s safe passage to the future.

When it is all said and done, luxury is going to be redefined. It will be more democratic, more digital and more Millennial. And because it arguably has less to do with price than it ever has, the world of luxury will be more accessible, both to mainstream consumers who want to buy things and to ‘mainstream’ brands that want to sell them.

Over the next few months Mash will be starting conversations – with experts, brands, and thousands of consumers worldwide – about what ‘The New Luxury’ is. We will explore four of the biggest shifts that are transforming the landscape for luxury and mainstream brands alike.

Digital won’t ‘dilute’ luxury – it will enhance it
We have heard a lot about how digital threatens luxury. And while it’s true that it has the power to dilute it, digital also has the power to enhance what luxury means through experience.

Global brands will localise luxury like never before
As more and more middle classes emerge, with a love of global brands but a desire for local tastes – brands will grow more agile in how they produce, market and sell luxury goods than ever before.

Brands will learn to love a More Mindful Luxury
What is now ‘desirable’ for new luxury consumers = self-actualisation, wellbeing, and a sense of spirituality. We’ll explore how these entirely new interpretations of luxury can inspire mainstream and premium brands.

Some backlashes are good: The rise of a new Anti-Luxury
For every movement there is a backlash. Gen Z (among others) is rebelling against the traditional definitions of luxury and redefining it on their own terms through personalisation and control. We’ll show you how.

We look forward to investigating what the new luxury means for all of us in the coming months. Stay tuned to @mashsocial for further updates.