And beyond

The rest of the noughties and the following decades will feature symbolic developments in the luxury goods sector. Information and communications technology will become more extensively adopted by innovative brands, which will be extended beyond the Internet and e-retail to include Mobile Shopping and possibly iPod Shopping. There will also be advancement in sophisticated consumer behaviour tracking techniques such as Neuro-marketing science, which utilizes the measurement of the reaction of brain waves to track consumer response to marketing messages.

Consumers will also continue to be more demanding and assertive. They will become more mature in their attitudes towards luxury, and satisfying them will become more challenging. Their expectations from luxury brands will include substance in addition to quality as a measurement of value. These will be manifested in intangible qualities that are related to ethics and moral consciousness. As a result, luxury brands will be expected to show more socially responsible practices. Consumers will expect to have wholesome experiences with every interaction with luxury brands. They will also expect personal attention and the option of customized products and services.

The luxury consumer market will expand significantly and the influence of new markets such as China, India and Russia will form the core direction of several luxury brands. In addition, mass immigration in several parts of the world will bring an exotic change to the luxury goods scene. At the same time, consumers in the mature European luxury market and the growing American and Japanese markets will have a different set of expectations. Luxury brands will therefore be required to manage the cyclical position of their consumers in different global regions.

The market environment will also evolve with additional new luxury brands entering the market and mass fashion brands encroaching into the luxury sphere. Other strategies like globalization and consolidation will also prevail. These will intensify competition among luxury brands and reinforce the importance of carving a clear brand positioning strategy in the market. Innovative brands will thrive, while brands with unclear messages will fizzle out.

Finally, the luxury services sub-sector will become a well-defined industry that caters to the needs of luxury brands and consumers. These services will include Brand Valuation, Luxury Intelligence, Market Research, Consumer Research, Trend Tracking, Style News and Advisory, Lifestyle Branding and Luxury Goods Exchanges. Most importantly, more books like this will be written!

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