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Understanding Luxury Brand Experience: Trends, Insights, and Consumer Behavior

Explore the evolving landscape of luxury brand experience, consumer trends, and market insights. Learn how luxury buyers are shifting towards experiential luxury and the importance of brand

Dheeraj Kumar
26/03/2024

What is luxury brand experience?

The word ‘luxury’ is usually framed by tangible products like jewelry or purses, but its parameters have expanded over time.

A growing taste for experiences and access, as opposed to ownership, is a long-standing trend.

While well over half of regular luxury buyers say they’d rather own a product or service than pay to access it, they’re 27% more likely than average to prefer the latter, which hints at where the market’s future is headed.

The rise of experiential luxury pushed the likes of LVMH to acquire hospitality company Belmond back in 2019; and now restrictions are easing, others like Dior are investing in pop-up boutiques at choice beaches.

Over 6 in 10 regular buyers would rather purchase a high-end experience than a product. These shoppers are distinguished by their desire to stand out in a crowd, their interest in influencers, and an above-average tendency to use social media to post about their lives.

Regular buyers’ fondness for experiences therefore makes sense, as they’re a prime way to showcase their lifestyle and build a personal brand – whether that’s demonstrated through glamorous locations or services.

Also, luxury doesn’t presuppose over-indulgence. The extended period of time buyers spent at home during lockdowns influenced their perspectives. Among those who engage with one of the 30+ designer fashion brands we track, susceptibility to anxiety has risen since Q2 2020, as have sentiments of being overworked.

It’s not surprising that luxury shoppers, and occasional treaters in particular, are significantly more likely to be interested in outdoor activities, which gives brands the opportunity to add ‘glamping’ equipment and experiences to their list of offerings. In fact, Grand View Research predicts the global glamping market will grow at a rate of 14.1% from 2021-2028.

Role of Brand Advocacy in the Luxury Market

Image, exclusivity and personal experiences are key in recruiting advocates in the luxury market. When endorsing a brand, Luxury Brand Buyers are most ahead of the average for doing so when something enhances their online reputation (17%), in exchange for exclusive content (22%), and for having a personal relationship with a brand (22%).

From a brand-by-brand perspective, it’s Chanel which comes out on top here, with around half of its consumer base advocating the brand to others. More than 4 in 10 buyers of Ray-Ban, Armani and Gucci are also advocates of those brands. Importantly, it’s these brands which also display the largest consumer bases in our list, demonstrating how fostering advocacy among customers is crucial in such a competitive market as the luxury industry.

Offering a classic minimalist look with a focus on premium basics, while flashy, logo-heavy pieces take a backseat. The number of luxury buyers who say standing out in a crowd is important to them has dropped 13% year-on-year, with these shoppers aligning themselves with this look. The trend has likely stemmed from the cost of living crisis as people change their style during economic slowdowns, and investing in higher quality, classic pieces means their money can go further.

Brands trying to engage with luxury buyers will need to take a multi-pronged approach. Harnessing messages around status, success, and accomplishment will be key to attracting prospective buyers. For the thriftier individuals, highlighting the smart luxury angle will be key – whether it’s through secondhand options, pre-loved pieces, or highlighting lasting value and quality.

5 key takeaways for brands

  1. Expect the unexpected. Luxury buyers may be more diverse than you might think, so brands shouldn’t make assumptions about these shoppers. You need to know your target audience.
  2. Tech-savvy and early adopters. Luxury buyers have a keen interest in technology and are often early adopters of tech products. Brands can leverage this affinity by exploring collaborations between luxury brands and exclusive tech releases.
  3. Opportunities beyond luxury. Despite their luxury preferences, these buyers aren’t necessarily high earners, so getting the best bang for their buck is key. Brands can explore creative opportunities by offering products that cater to their everyday interests outside traditional luxury items.
  4. They’re partial to a dupe. For this group it’s about how luxury products make them feel, regardless of whether it’s the real deal or not. Brands should focus on the emotional appeal and aspirational experiences.
  5. Nurture connections. Luxury buyers seek more than transactional relationships with brands, so fostering a sense of belonging and involvement is key to building loyalty.
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Dheeraj Kumar

data specialist

Archit has been working in the field of data science since 2018. He has worked with various clients in the field of healthcare, education, and finance. He has worked with various clients in the field of healthcare, education, and finance. He has worked with various clients in the field of healthcare, education, and finance.

Member since Mar 15, 2021

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