October 14 - 15, 2019
New York, NY
How can Luxury Brands Make Sure They're Attracting Millennials Instead of Alienating Them?
Marketing to millennials is a whole different ball game when compared to marketing to older generations, and luxury brands need to ensure they're moving with the times.
Luxury brands may feel they don't really need to worry about millennials. After all, these are the world's young people - not exactly renowned for having vast amounts of disposable income, right?
Wrong. Many millennials are in their late twenties and even thirties by now. They are the new young professionals, making their mark on the world, earning decent salaries, and ready to spend. However, millennials are very particular about what they look for when it comes to luxury purchases.
Luxury marketing aimed at older generations has always highlighted the superior quality, elegance, and sophistication of luxury products and services. Images of suave, James Bond--type characters, sporting clean-cut clothing and dazzling jewelry were the norm. Millennials, however, often don't identify with these sorts of images, and thereby aren't moved by them. So - what's the best way to get their attention?
In the past, consumers would have been apprehensive about spending large amounts of money online for their luxury items. People were unsure about the reliability and security of the digital space and preferred to hold expensive items in their hands before handing over their cash.
But times have changed, and millennials are more than comfortable buying expensive, luxury products online. This doesn't mean, however, that physical retail stores are consigned to the annals of history, for they still have a key role to play in the luxury brand customer experience.
"Digital retail is becoming more inclusive of luxury brands as younger customers don't have the same mental barriers to prevent them from spending larger amounts on online platforms," said Founder and CEO of ecommerce-first luxury watch brand, Ratel Geneve, Cyril Ratel. "And, while digital experiences are getting more high-end and personalized, we see opening physical showrooms as a way to extend the specialized attention that we provide online, reinforce our brand, and build deeper relationships with customers."
Digital and physical spaces each have a role to play in the millennial market, and luxury brands will do well by leveraging the specific advantages of each.
When it comes to creating the perfect Instagram-able look, the little black dress has gone the way of the dodo. Millennials today are looking for bright and bold colors and designs to make their own statements.
Whereas the focus with previous generations may have been on craftsmanship and quality, millennials are far more attracted to products which allow them to feel unique. Freedom and flexibility of their personal expression are at the forefront of the typical millennial's mind.
Luxury brands should consider these trends and desires when it comes to marketing their products to the millennial generation. The focus should be on what makes their products unique, and how they'll help customers stand out from the crowd - especially on social media. Make the marketing about the customer, rather than the product.
The Power of Limited Editions
Related to the previous point is the way genuine or perceived scarcity can drive millennial desire for luxury products.
When we think about how much some limited edition sneakers sell for on eBay and other marketplaces, we get an idea of the value that's created from the fear of missing out (FOMO). Millennials, in their never-ending quest for uniqueness, are especially drawn to these limited release products.
For example, when Supreme and RIMOWA collaborated on a limited edition set of red or black aluminum suitcases, the response was both fast and huge. The red 82-liter model sold out online in just 16 seconds, with the smaller version following close behind. A mere 34 seconds after the products launched, the entire range was gone. Bearing in mind these cases cost between $1,800 and $1,600, it's easy to see that luxury status is no deterrent when it comes to limited editions.
(Image source: highsnobiety.com)
Limited editions or time-restricted releases not only create a desire for products among millennials, but also an online buzz around the release. Something as simple as an alternative color scheme or packaging design can be enough to get consumers salivating for the next release and light up social media up with chatter about the brand.
Millennial marketing is set to be a hot topic at Luxury Interactive 2018, taking place this October at the Convene Conference Center, 32 Old Slip, New York, NY.
Please download the agenda for more information and insights.