Millennials bring good news for luxury brands, but also foresee the questionable future. Just like the key phrase of millennials’ favorite show, “Game of Thrones”: “winter is coming!”
- Good news: Wherever they are in the world, millennials are passionate about luxury products. They are prepared to sacrifice a lot to own luxury goods without feeling guilty. According to a 2013 Melty-group study, 83 percent of 18-30 year olds aren’t opposed to purchasing a luxury product in times of crisis.
For them, the luxury item is a success symbol, the best way to stand out and a transmission guarantee for their future. Moreover, millennials are astonishingly cultured in the matter and are in perfect control of the luxury codes. In fact, they are the first “luxury geeks.”
- Bad News: Millennials are cautious with the word luxury. This is due to the fact that marketing has been overused within the luxury industries. Millennials do not want to be reeled in by a pseudo-luxury offer. They demand “value for money,” transparency and rarity from their luxury brands. They also expect them to follow moral requirements. For example, in “Millennials as New Parents: The Rise of a New American Pragmatism” research shows that while they prefer luxury vehicles, they are more interested in substance. This means that they will bypass luxury for extra safety features and a car that works for the entire family.
Millennials consider the luxury purchase the perfect one, in the sense that this purchase represents an economical investment and carries a real sustainable developmental value. Indeed, millennials do not trust politicians to save the world. They would rather act directly for the planet’s good with their credit cards.
Millennials are showing us the features of this new luxury: pluralist, more experience-oriented, more ecological and social and more innovation centered. Millennials have no limits; they are not content with only expressing a wish for a new type of luxury, they go as far as shaping one. Entrepreneurs have recognized millennial luxury and several start-ups have picked up on this niche. The trick will be catering to millennials in way that guarantees luxury and meets all their expectations.
For a good and insightful read on millennials and luxury, check out Generation Y and Luxury by Eric Briones.
Eric Briones, Gregory Casper and Jordan McCormack contributed to this post.