The luxury consumer journey has been transformed by a developing customer segment. Those aged between 18-34 are now the biggest luxury market — being 44% more likely to buy luxury goods than any other age bracket. These luxury shoppers have embraced an always-on attitude, with digital playing a crucial role in shaping their shopping habits. While older generations of luxury shoppers are still dominantly influenced by magazines, high-end millennials are more likely to discover new brands via online channels.
As such, luxury brands have been shifting away from traditional luxury marketing practises. With 80% of high-end shoppers using social media on a monthly basis, haute culture brands have discovered a need to build a dynamic online presence to stay relevant. The likes of Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Burberry have turned to social media as a way to broaden their appeal, creating connections with a more diverse and modern audience.
While instilling a sense of aspiration and exclusivity is still significant within luxury marketing, high-end brands must also touch upon a wider spectrum of trends and attributes. As luxury marketing aficionado Vincent Bastien argues, in order to create tangible value luxury brands must be recognisable and desirable beyond their direct target market.
Both Calvin Klein and TAG Heuer have used contemporary influencers and celebrities to maintain a sense of ‘trendiness’ with a wide audience. In Calvin Klein’s case, the American fashion label tapped into a host of Generation Z cultural icons (including Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner) to generate excitement around their #MyCalvin underwear campaign.
The specific choice of brand ambassadors has given Calvin Klein the opportunity to reach and connect with a very youthful audience — imbedding themselves into their mind for future purchases.
Digital is now integral to the luxury customer journey. In fact, 75% of affluent shoppers now use the Internet to search for and discover new luxury products. Consequently, luxury brands must ensure they are correctly utilising various digital marketing tools and activities to properly position themselves to be discoverable.