Luxury is Getting Younger: Who Knew?

“Millennials and Generation Ys – born between 1975 and 1990 – shows a broadening of the concept of luxury with names as diverse as Apple and Grey Goose viewed more widely as luxury brands than some old classics”.

The most interesting statistics about the new “luxe” brands out there today, is, that the younger generation has a different idea of what it means.  It used to be that no matter what a luxury brand did, it could win its audiences.  With the expanding digital resources available to a larger number of the “Millennials”  the idea of luxury news, messages, advertising and other social platforms is more readily available and luxury brands are on notice.   Research showed for example, that a COACH bag,  is now seen as a “luxe” label in this crowd and even Banana Republic was mentioned in the research.  Great credit goes to COACH and Banana Republic marketing Teams who obviously raised the profile of what we “new luxe” generation is looking for, along with Apple, Grey Goose Vodka, and others that have popped up in the last decade. By the way, it used to be a decade, was just a “drop in the bucket”  for a luxury brand.   The subtle shift in branding “timelines” has occurred so its critical for a “new” luxury  brand to “steal from the old” and “adopt the new” in order to be relevant. During the recent Royal Wedding,  the young Royal couple “embraced” a series of storied British Luxury brands during their wedding limelight for all to notice.  It was brilliant “Buy British” campaign designed to make them more relevant.  Kate is especially making “British” luxury cool again and that’s a great thing to see in the world where “new” does not necessarily mean true “Luxury” as there is a missing link of “history” that has always defined a luxury brand. But, this is now about to change.   The perception of a COACH BAG and a BANANA REPUBLIC shopping spree was a surprise turning up in this research category but very telling about the new “young” luxury buyers in the U.S.  markets. “Time” is not of the essence but “perception” is everything.

The Editors

Below are the top three luxury brands identified by wealthy millennials in some of the 16 categories covered in the 2011 WealthSurvey from US Luxury Society:

Apparel: Gucci (12%), Prada (7%), Banana Republic (6.5%)

Shoes: Jimmy Choo (13%), Prada (8%), Nike (7%)

Handbags: Coach (30%), Louis Vuitton (12%), Gucci (10%)

Automobiles: BMW (29%), Mercedes-Benz (26%), Lexus (23%)

Personal Electronics: Apple (45%), Sony (15%), Dell (9%)

Leisure Travel & Hospitality: Four Seasons (13%), Ritz-Carlton (12%), Hilton (9%)




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