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FUTURE OF LUXURY
Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies
2014 05 09
Luxury is not a luxury !
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW 2014 05 01
Study of 23,453 enterprises over 44 years
They found 3 factors of success (and only 3!)
• Do better and not the least expensive
• Concentrate on growth and not cost
• Stay focused and get organized around those two
priorities before any thing else!
Luxury is not a luxury !
• Some luxury brands have been able to survive for centuries.
• Luxury brands have been able to face the crisis and even continue to grow.
• Luxury has become, for Europe, the major way to compete with high value-added
products in the context of globalization and free trade.
• Luxury goods are the first sector of exportation in France.
• Luxury cars are key exports for Germany.
• European Sustainable Development is dependent on luxury for economic growth,
social development and ecological progress.
• Luxury is the best way to value European «Art de Vivre», to make it into a competitive
advantage and, last but not the least, to finance it.
«high value-added products and services»
are not a
« nice to have »
they are a
« must have »
for Europe to compete in the context of
What is luxury?
• A never ending discussion.
• However, everybody agrees to say that a luxury is a product or
services with high value added!
• The important question is what you consider valuable!
• Value depends on your values and belief system.
• What is the meaning you give to your life?
• Luxury is indeed a philosophical and even a spiritual quest!
Luxury and Civilization
There are deep links between luxury and spiritual and philosophical civilizational
context. (For example, quality wine and Christianity)
Luxury does not have the same meaning for a European Catholic, an American
Protestant , an Asian Buddhist or an African Animist.
The center of luxury is most of the time the center of power in a special time:
Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome were centers of different types of luxury
during the antiquity at different period.
For a millennium, Paris was the world’s center of luxury.
Today, London, New York, Tokyo, Dubai, Beijing, and Moscow are competing by
different means on the global market of luxury.
30 years ago the best restaurants in the world were largely in France, today, the
best restaurant in the world is in Copenhagen!
• Until 2000 there was a strong global convergence in the world around a
universal occidental luxury style based mostly on French (but also English
for some time) style and «Art de Vivre»
That is not longer true. Each culture and civilisation is trying to increase the
value its own singularity as a asset to compete on the global luxury market!
Americans were first to value typically American brands in fashion, wine,
and perfume based on the singularity of American taste and culture.
We can see the same in Asia with Japan, Korea, Chine, and India; in
Europe with England, the Nordic Countries, Germany, and Italy; South
America, and Arab and African states are on the way.
Each culture tries to unlock is own creativity to have a luxury proposition
dependent on its unique know how, tradition, philosophy and spiritual quest
Convergence versus Divergence
in Global Trends
Your value proposition depends
on your values
Sociological analysis of values and belief systems
began in the 60’s to understand motivation patterns to
Value clusters gives us the possibility to understand
how people perceive different kinds of luxury.
From global sociological analysis
we can anticipate the
development of four types of
luxury market segments
The four luxury market segments
• Tribal luxury
Buying products is a «sign» giving access to any special aspirational social group.
Show-off luxury. Newcomer to luxury. Bling-bling luxury.
Example: Big gold jewelry.
• Noble, caste oriented luxury
Style and luxury are a sign of your rank in society.
The «sign» is mostly confidential and only for others of the same rank.
Traditional, old fashioned, classical luxury.
Example: Old fashioned traditional clock, quality leather work for bags and shoes, classical
• Efficiency and success oriented luxury
You want to show your success and efficiency by the most modern, fashionable and efficient
product or service.
Modern fashionable luxury.
Example: Latest fashion dress, up to date electronics, and most modern car, boat or plane.
• Creative and breakthrough luxury
You want to show your belongings to the most creative group of the society.
Contemporary, creative, one to one. Luxury as a poly-sensorial creative experience.
Example : Contemporary art, high-quality experience travels, outstanding gastronomy,
contemporary life show and experience.
The fifth market trend:
• As more and more people have access to luxury, the demand for the different types of luxury grows
• The paradox is that the future of luxury is also in its past.
• The integration of these four trends into one integral and poly-semantic approach is a «must».
• Global luxury trade marks are moving in different ways in this direction:
• L’OREAL by multiplication of marks on different segments of luxury.
• HERMES, CARTIER, BURBERRY by vertical integration and poly-semantic approach of the
same mark from a traditional type 2 position to 3, 4 and 5.
• LVMH by multiplication of marks on different segments of luxury and by vertical and poly-semantic
integration of each of their marks.
A case study: the evolution of
In antiquity, perfume was reserved to spiritual temples, gods and kings.
Perfume becomes a mark of nobility and fragrance was made specially for each noble customer
First trademark of traditional perfume appears in seventieth century:
Guerlain, Roger Galley, Rochas.
Modern fashion perfume appears and multiplies with more and more artificial fragrance during the
Chanel, Yves St Laurent.
Creative poly-semantic perfumes appear in the 80’s:
Angel of Mugler.
First integral perfume around the twenty first Century:
One, Calvin Klein.
We now see an explosion of different marks and fragrances for different segments of the market.
Apparition of marks as a collection of the «author’s creative fragrance» and living lab experience space
where you can create your own unique perfume depending of your specific personality.
• Luxury is going to be more and more affordable and less affordable at the same time because integral
luxury brands develop both mass market and very exclusive products.
• Using co-creation and co-design, there is still much room to explore, and to creatively answer a more
demanding, creative customer
• As digital and industrial instrumentalisation, objectivation and manipulation develop, the free
development of the global creative personality will be a new kind of luxury.
• Robots will be the next top integral luxury goods and will completely change the life of their owner.
• Previously basic goods such as quality silence, water, air, nature, privacy and intimacy will become a
• Access to work will be a very expensive luxury good .
• Rich people will pay to work and create and poor people will be paid to play and consume.
• Living in reality will become a very expensive and luxury good, in contrast to life in a virtual world will
become affordable, easy and common for poor people.
• Rich people will pay to explore the galaxy and poor people will be paid to stay on earth.
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