The Luxury Consumer
The Omnivore – 25%
- Typically new to luxury, younger, experimental, usually
women with a preference for aspirational brands, usually
purchased in brand’s own stores
The Opinionated – 20%
- Highly educated Generation X and Y shoppers who
distinguish between brands
The Investor – 13%
- Interested in quality and durability, to pass from generation
to generation, discretionary spending
The Hedonist – 12%
- Focused on the luxury shopping experience, affinity for
The Conservative – 16%
- Mature, mainstream shoppers
The Disillusioned – 9%
- Long-time, infrequent buyers of luxury, predominantly
women shopping online
The Wannabe – 5%
- Global middle class
Source: Adapted from Bain & Company, ‘Lens on the Worldwide
Luxury Consumer,’ 2014
India – a natural emerging
The luxury market in India accounts for 10% of total retail and is
expected to be worth $15 billion in 2015.
Luxury retail in India is distinguished by a twin focus on short-term
luxury products, notably jewellery, and long-term investment in
luxury assets, particularly cars. This segment shows the highest
growth rate – driven by a wider choice of brands and rapid
increase in millionaires in tier one and two cities – leading to a
value of US$8 billion in 2015.
Trends shaping luxury retail in India are local market strategies,
digitalisation, sustainability, consolidation versus niche
opportunities and products made in other emerging economies.
“Luxury is based on emotion and it is people
who create emotional differences. Competing
on product provides less advantage – but using
people as a competitive differentiator creates
the emotional benefits that drive loyalty,
protect brand value and build brand equity”.
Too many brands
In 2015, look for many more large, medium and start-
up brands to stall, or fail, at a faster rate than over the
last few years. Affluent consumers, chased to
exhaustion, are swamped by too many me-too
options in every category. It will be time for true luxury
brands to stop benchmarking the mundane players,
understand their own brand identity, values, and
standards, and get back to delivering differentiated,
fully-priced value in 2015.
Comparable Store And E-commerce
Sales Are The Critical Metrics
Look for luxury brands in 2015 to stop opening stores
completely, even close some, and focus surgically on
pinpointing true opportunities to open profitable new
stores. The three mantras of luxury economics in 2015
will be: driving new valuable clients to online and
offline channels, dramatic increases in conversion, and
profitable retention of all high potential clients, not just
Brands Are Finally Getting Serious
About Human Relationships
In the coming year, look for more brands to finally
begin building deeper relationships with large
percentages of online and multi-channel customers.
Although resources are scarce, brands should build
intimate relationships with, at a minimum, their top 20%
to 40% of clients.
In 2015 we are extremely optimistic that the economic
conditions will force brands to get moving on building
better client relationships rooted in personal
interaction rather than impersonal algorithms. Personal
shopping assistants will be in demand.
Think Less Facebook, More
Social media can certainly serve a useful purpose.
Sites and apps like Pinterest and Instagram that
engage visually have a far better chance of success
for the eye-candy offerings of many luxury brands.
Look for localized and personalized efforts to thrive
within these highly engaging media and look for the
leading edge brands to empower all front-line
associates to post their favorites in a brand-sanctioned
way. In this way, a brand can engage clients and
prospects in rich, honest dialogue that builds
relationships and boosts sales.
Content - Brand safe
Luxury brands are increasingly wary of traditional
media advertising where their content was placed on
sites that promised premium exposure, but too often
saw their content distributed across sites with poor ad
visibility or outright click-fraud.
As brands have started to invest in long-form video
content, they have begun either hosting it on their
own site or placing it on the sites of premium
Content - Multiscreen story-
Most content is nowadays designed for consumption
online. However, users are spending more time on
mobile devices. Branded content viewed across
multiple screens increases awareness and
Brands will start to create content optimized for mobile
usage – for example, shorter-form, mobile Web-based
– and create story arcs that are designed to engage
across online, mobile and connected television
We help our clients develop their brands
and create compelling engagement models
across digital media platforms.