In the rapidly evolving luxury market, consumers and their changing tastes are driving brands to adapt their marketing approach. Every brand has internal marketing materials and guidelines (or they should) defining what “luxury” means to them and what it means to their customers. These definitions are based on heritage, but should also be measured against the modern luxury consumer landscape.

According to The Kadence Luxury Index 2018, brand preferences and opinions vary by where the consumer lives in the world. “Luxury can be driven by national pride; brands are more likely to be stronger in their home market.” This seems like an obvious finding, however having legitimate data allows brand marketing leaders (and their agencies) to validate and support their hypotheses regarding the target consumer sentiment.

The index shows luxury brands that resonate with consumers in the West are often different from those that are most popular among people in the East. While Cartier, Rolls-Royce and Tiffany top the list of most luxurious brands in the West, for example, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and BMW are the most popular in Asia.

The Ritz-Carlton, one of the best global hotel brands, ranked as the eighth most luxurious brand among Western customers, just behind Lamborghini but ahead of Rolex.

Let’s review a few, of what I think are other important findings from the research:

  • No matter the industry, quality and heritage remain the core drivers for luxury perception.
  • The more a brand is perceived to have an established story, the stronger the perception is of it being a luxury brand.
  • Brands known for using quality materials, craftsmanship or for consistently delivering a service that exceeds expectations are also more likely to have a high luxury score.
  • The data shows that globally the car industry is considered the most luxurious, followed by jewelry, watches, airlines, fashion, hotels and alcohol.

Research and reports show one side of luxury consumer behaviors and sentiment, but brands (and again agencies) must remain in touch with consumers through various touch points such as social media. Consumers are increasingly looking for brands/experiences/products that are keeping things new and unusual to authentic and unique. They want to align and show affinity to brands that align with their personal values.

Pandemic Labs is an industry leader in the digital luxury space. To see your brand the next time the index comes out, contact us.

Written by Dana Leever