Opinion: Selling the “global capital of luxury”
Fiona Noble, global CEO at luxury lifestyle agency Quintessentially & Co, says that London will become the number one tourist and shopping destination for luxury goods in 2017. She talks about the importance of networks among high-net-worth groups and recommends a high degree of personalisation.
Following the controversial Brexit and Donald Trump’s recent election, communicating to the affluent has never been so important. As the pound plunges, London’s luxury shops are now, more than ever, filled with affluent consumers visiting what is deemed ‘the new global capital of luxury’ to buy the highest quality goods at an additional 15-20% reduction.
High-net-worth individuals are typically low consumers of traditional media, but are highly influenced by their networks, so brands need to be able to access and integrate themselves authentically into these networks.
Brands need to fully understand the behavioural patterns of their consumer, which means agencies have to navigate them through this uncertain time, and connect them to their otherwise hard to reach target, high-net-worth audience.
What are the affluent reading?
The majority of Quintessentially’s highly-affluent members are naturally curious and have a thirst for knowledge, they read to be educated as much as to be entertained. They regard knowledge as power, and they seek information for self-improvement by reading publications such as newspapers, blogs and education, career-related or self-improvement books in order to become more effective every day.
The affluent have always been early-adopters – desiring knowledge and access to things before they become a trend available to the public. Among the brands we work with, we have noticed that digitalisation among high-net-worth individuals has resulted in them becoming more demanding as they look into new ways to consume information. They crave personalisation and ‘newness’ where news and online sharing revolves around ‘see now, buy now’.
Offline versus online – what has changed in the luxury industry?
We have certainly noticed that the affluent are becoming increasingly online. In light of this, we developed an app to service the growth in the digital arena. That said, peer-to-peer is still, by far, more effective than social media at influencing luxury spend among the affluent.
What recent changes have we seen among the affluent?
London has always been a great purveyor of luxury, and recent political and economic changes could mean that London will become the number one tourist and shopping destination, with the capital becoming a more affordable and more stable market to make luxury purchases.
According to the BCG report in 2014, $460 billion was spent on unique travel adventures, compared to $170 spent on personal luxury goods. The experiential economy is becoming more pronounced amongst the affluent audience with luxury consumption, moving from the opulent to one of discovery and meaning.