Opinion: 11 trends that define luxury marketing in the new normal 

Mohua Das Gupta

Showcasing how luxury has long given up the status symbol, Mohua Das Gupta dwells on this topic in detail and lists down trends seen in luxury marketing in the New Normal

Traditionally, luxury has been associated with a badge of status. It signified indulgence and was often related to the enjoyment of expensive goods, which involved heavy investment. The pandemic has affected consumer behaviour and consumption patterns across industries, including luxury. As a result, the meaning and approach to luxury have evolved. Today, consumers are conscious of their purchases and look for authenticity and purpose as they closely watch the actions of the brand rather than just the products they sell. This has not only impacted the term luxury but also changed the axioms of luxury marketing.

With the adoption of digital transactions by brands across industries in the last two years, luxury brands followed suit, given the reach and access it offers. Consumers have recognized the convenience and comfort of buying online, which has fuelled the expansion of luxury e-commerce in the country.   

Given this zeitgeist, luxury marketers must rethink luxury from a fresh and holistic perspective to elevate the brand, foster consumer loyalty, and increase sales.  

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Some of the trends that we are seeing in the luxury market in the new normal are as follows:  

  1. The treasured and one-of-a-kind shopping experience— It is all about the experience when it comes to luxury shopping. Offering an immersive and personalized service, a highly engaged experience, curated events, and customized services such as luxury delivery, luxe packaging, and more will continue to attract and appeal to consumers when they shop for luxury offline or online. Digital as an ecosystem is here to stay and technological innovations are being embraced by luxury brands to sell online and provide consumers with an engaged experience.   
  1. Occasion to everyday luxury – Today, luxury is just not occasion related. In fact, it may be a way of life as consumers look to make their lives extraordinary. While they continue to seek out the best brands and experiences, they are conscious of their origins and the principles they uphold. As much as they enjoy shopping from global luxury brands, they are still highly anchored in their traditions and culture, so they continue to look for experiences that reflect their lifestyle. What drives them to buy luxury items is the value they get from such experiences and services.  
  1. Celebration of conscious consumption – Consumers are aware of the ongoing environmental crisis and are conscious of their purchases by understanding how sustainable the brands are from an environmental, social, and ethical perspective.   
  1. Non-metros driving the growth – The growth of the luxury market is not just being fuelled by people living in metros, but non-metros as well. Factors such as increased internet penetration, rising spending power, greater accessibility, and convenience of shopping as luxury brands take the online route, ease of delivery, and so on have encouraged the contribution from Tier 2 and 3 markets towards the growth of this industry.  
  1. The Millennials and Gen Z – With the increase in visibility of various luxury brands because of the internet and the growth of social commerce, a lot more consumers are now aware of the brand’s offerings and initiatives. This has led to the emergence of a new cohort of consumers, namely the millennials and Generation Z, who are now increasingly contributing to the growth of the industry. This set of consumers is influencing market trends and, in turn, the curation offered by brands. For instance, an increasing number of designer labels in India are making products that would appeal to this customer. The market for wedding attire has also moved beyond the ornate red lehengas. Internationally too, luxury brands are echoing this shift as they introduce collections that are relevant to the current world.   
  1. Beauty driving the luxury industry – According to Euromonitor, the Indian beauty market will reach $20 billion by 2025, with a 15% increase in the premium luxury segment. It’s noteworthy to observe that the consumer for today’s skincare, beauty, grooming, and wellness market is no longer the traditional customer we know of. In fact, the audience base has expanded tremendously and includes men and women across age groups, including Gen Z from metro and Tier 2 cities. People are in tune with the latest launches and trends and are increasingly willing to invest in premium products pertaining to their skin, appearance, and wellness.  
  1. Bridge to luxury – The bridge to luxury or accessible luxury market has experienced tremendous growth as a result of the democratisation of luxury, and this trend will only continue.  
  1. Luxury gifting – Gifting as a category has seen immense growth. There’s been a growing demand for and interest in gifting luxury products to near and dear ones or to oneself for any occasion or to simply celebrate relationships!   
  1. NFTs, Metaverse, and social commerce – Given the audience luxury brands are speaking to, it is important for them to adopt approaches and explore avenues that their consumers are embracing. Luxury brands are exploring various avenues to see how they may digitally market the brand and its goods in an interesting way. NFTs, Metaverse, and social commerce are the current trends that are gaining pace. Gucci, Burberry, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, etc., are just a few of the brands that have forayed into this space and have started to capitalize on the prospects it offers. Soon, we will see these trends catching on in India as well.  
  1. Engaging content – Given the innovations and opportunities various platforms offer to reach out to consumers, luxury marketers can leverage this to creatively communicate the brand’s offerings through engaging content. Livestreaming, 3D imagery, avatars, podcasts, integration of content and commerce, and others are some of the formats which can be adopted to increase consumer engagement.  
  1. Personalization – In luxury, personalization is a key differentiator. While consumers do extensively seek out personalised experiences while shopping for luxury, they are also seeking out personalization in products. For luxury consumers, it is about owning this unique product to which they can connect on an emotional and functional level. Hence, it is marketers’ responsibility to enable customers to discover this connection by leveraging content and technology.  

As we all know, luxury is frequently described as exclusive. However, in the modern world, luxury is also poised to become more relevant. As these trends continue to steer the industry, luxury marketers must reconsider their design and communication to reach out to the different cohorts of consumers with a focus on promoting responsible consumption and investing in valuable products, as well as appealing to one’s individuality.      

The article on luxury marketing trends is penned by Mohua Das Gupta Head – Brand Marketing, Tata CLiQ Luxury.