Luxury: 10 keys to understanding new global consumption trends
Changing consumer habits lie at the heart of the upheavals that the luxury industry has been tackling with increasing urgency since the onset of the pandemic. Having a thorough understanding of these new behaviour patterns has become key to business growth outside national borders. Trend consulting agency NellyRodi, invited by Business France to a conference held on Thursday on the post-2020 evolution of various international markets, highlighted 10 new trends, identifying them as the keys to successful internationalisation.
“A very keen understanding of local customs and consumption trends is the new pre-requisite for brands that intend to operate internationally. Above all, it is necessary to know very well who we are and who our consumers’ community consists of,” said Nathalie Rozborsky, deputy CEO of NellyRodi.
“We are witnessing a complete inversion of the value chain, exacerbated by shorter and shorter business cycles. End-consumers are no longer merely an objective, they have also become the elements that trigger the process. Consumers, through their aspirations, analysed through data and pre-orders, are the starting point for [product] design and production,” added Rozborsky.
To gain a closer understanding of the mindset of contemporary luxury consumers, NellyRodi has worked to identify the new consumption trends by means of 10 key words. According to NellyRodi, these trends are the winning principles that luxury brands need to adopt in order to deal with the current market transformation.
Top of the list is ‘Serenity’, stemming from the need for reassurance felt in these times of stress and strong uncertainty. ‘Simplicity’ is instead indicative of a search for simple solutions and of a clear need to get back to essentials. Virtuous consumption is unanimously approved. ‘Solidarity’ has become a fundamental principle. “Nowadays, collections are built like statements of intent. Labels put forward their point of view, they engage and become agents of change,” said Rozborsky.
‘Sensitivity’ refers to a relationship that has become more horizontal, a partnership between customer and brand in which the latter now pays genuine attention to the former. No longer the horizontal relationship of the past, when labels imposed their authority. ‘Spirituality’ reflects the new attitude of consumers, as they search for a deeper meaning to their actions and their environment.
‘Spontaneity’ recognises the desire for novelty, freshness, imagination and creativity on the part of customers (especially young ones) keen to be excited by brands. ‘Sustainability’ is another crucial element alongside ‘Solidarity’. It is an arena in which customers expect brands to make a genuine commitment. As a result, consumers buy increasingly locally and are more and more attracted by sustainable and second-hand products.
‘Singularity’ is another essential element. Replicating or following trends is no longer sufficient. “Brands need to stand out by identifying their specificities, by digging into their DNA. Only by doing so they can become recognisable, fully defined destination brands, part of a community of real brands,” said Rozborsky.
The notion of ‘Security’ could not be absent from NellyRodi’s list - in terms of products, services and personal data, a must in these pandemic times. The last item on the list is ‘Subversion’. “The world will never be the same again. Winning brands will be those that dare to shift boundaries and anticipate change,” she added.
These 10 principles are inextricably linked with a fashion and luxury industry undergoing a complete overhaul. Well-established labels are being disrupted by the sheer number and aggressiveness of new market players, by the influence of social media, and by new business models, some of which rely exclusively on customer data collection.
In the face of these changes, new desirability drivers are emerging, and labels need to take them into account. In addition to exclusivity, consumers are looking for genuine commitment on the part of brands, and new ways of selling products in-store, making the purchasing experience as important as the product itself. These elements show how labels can fashion a new road-map to recovery and make headway into new markets.
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