Accounting for 45% of the global personal luxury goods market, Gen Z is the new era of affordable lux.
Many years ago, luxury brands are perceived as extravagant and lavish. Majority have this impression that only the wealthy ones are capable of consuming their products. Having a luxury item seem so aspirational and is becoming a way to state one’s status in life. Luxury brands made a mark, but only to a limited group of consumers. Today, we live in an era where millennials are more open about expressing themselves, setting their own rules and playing their own game. That’s also how they approach the idea of consuming luxury products—it’s not all about flaunting or showing off but more about self-expression and inclusivity.
But how did things even begin?
Over the years, luxury brands experienced a rise and fall with their sales. Because of that, they are now becoming more open to the new era of consumers who are quickly redefining the image of luxury from being unreachable to being attainable. According to research, millennials have the potential to become the highest spending generation in history in the next few years. Millennials are impulsive buyers, whatever the latest trend is, they’ll surely patronize it because they love to live and experience life as it happens—that’s probably the main reason why they’re perfect targets for luxury brands in the modern world.
Over the past years, brands have done efforts to reach their hearts. In 2015, Rolex, giant luxury watch manufacturer, graced instagram and tapped its pool of celebrity influencers to post their campaigns. For Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2017 campaign, they hired fresh millennial faces including Cameron Dallas – a Vine star, Gabriel Kane Day-Lewis – son of Daniel Day Lewis, Presley Gerber – son of supermodel Cindy Crawford, Luka Sabbat – style influencer, Zendaya – famous hollywood star and a lot more.
So what’s the deal about tapping into millennials? How different are they to the past consumers? You see, millennials are very much engaged with everything now. This generation is considered more entrepreneurial than their parents. They think and shop differently from previous generations. Historically, luxury brands were promoting “exclusion” because their products doesn’t seem feasible for the middle to lower class families. The access to luxury products were limited before and they’re typically detached from majority of the world’s biggest consumers. With everything being digital now, millennials have become great targets. That also coincides with the fact that they have a different perception about the world and consumption has a different meaning for them. As what Bain & Co.’s D’Aprizio put it perfectly: “Consuming products and brands is not just a way to say who you are but a way to define who you are.”
Millennials are the future, and luxury brands need to rise to the challenge in order to fully embrace them.
ENTERING THE HONG KONG MARKET
It is said that millennial consumers are exposed to the same stimuli. That only means that no culture is impermeable to them. Ever since the idea of attracting millennials flourished, brands from all over the world started their efforts immediately.
Among those brands who have embraced the concept earnestly is Italian luxury maison Fendi. In 2017, Fendi launched their fun and eye-catching digital campaigns. Aside from that, they also threw lavish parties for their customers. Days after, they brought the party to Hong Kong with famous DJs including Choice 37, DJ Cawlr, and many more. Why them? These musicians have a huge following in Asia and they’re perfect ambassadors for targeting a younger audience. Mega-Kpop star Taeyang was also invited by Fendi to make an appearance for their store re-opening at Central’s Landmark mall. He was also previously tapped by the brand to curate a capsule men’s collection.
The millennial consumers are truly evolving and sprouting from different parts of the world. The efforts of Fendi is a good indication that Asian countries like Hong Kong is becoming a good place to target.
The initiatives of luxury brands to change their marketing game to make it more appealing to millennials worked. More and more brands have thrown away their old habits and are now celebrating their customers’ passions and interests. In the coming years, luxury products will no longer just be a material splurge but an experience that will be available at all stages of life.