Diamonds are forever?
Remember the times when a girl’s engagement ring was worth two months’ salary of her fiancé? Would you imagine wearing such an expensive ring and traveling daily through the fast-paced life of Mumbai? Or would you want such an expensive ring when you would rather save for a trip to the Bahamas? Well, nobody would. A ring marks a promise of togetherness and love, which is the main reason why Tiffany’s wedding bands created hype for nearly 200 years. But off late, Tiffany & Co. ventured into Home Decor and Cafés, to cater to the new generation and generate profits. While playing on the concept of the famous Hepburn movie, “The Breakfast at Tiffany’s” seemed like a good idea at the time, what does it mean for the iconic brand?
It was Franca Sozzani who said that “Luxury means Exclusivity”. However, the Millennial and Gen Z consumers are attracted towards experiences more than a luxury. With a majority of them submerged in student loans and future settlement plans, their purchase decisions have become extremely reflective. Luxury brands analyzed this shift and began thinking of new ways to be relatable to the consumers who will account for 40% of the overall market. While Michael Kors launched “Runway 2020” focusing on experiential marketing, makeup giants like Estée Lauder acquired “Too Faced” to cater to the budget-friendly audience. Ralph Lauren too is moving towards a more cost-effective plan. Luxury brands are establishing their individual e-commerce portals, making their exclusive products now readily available all over the world. Exclusivity is now All Inclusive.
With new trends arising every second day, who can say what is a fad and what is fashion? Take for example Burberry as a brand. Established in 1856, the name Burberry signified a legacy. But caving under the current trend of Minimalism, Burberry revamped their iconic logo, thereby rendering themselves merely a label and not a brand. Luxury brands stand with an essence and a story. It is these stories that attracted people all over the world and compelled them to travel miles and lay their hands on exclusive items, which were known for the prestigious. However, low prices, trends and online fashion increase the competition for these brands. Additionally, with the growing threat of counterfeits, does reducing a brand to its simplest form serve as a good idea?
Luxury brands have always targeted a niche segment in the consumer market. However, the desire to be a part of the other segments has driven them to make sure they are visible all over the internet and social media. A brand like Louis Vuitton grew due to the association a consumer developed on viewing these bags with the affluent. But would being on Instagram with a young model have the same impact?
This leaves us to wonder whether falling to Millennial demands will help Luxury brands maintain their value or whether they will be another prey to the Internet of Things.
References: How Luxury Brands Are Surviving the Millennial Revolution By Radek Gralak