Is the Gen Y relationship with high end merchandise sustainable?
Mathieu Lebreton, pioneer of the Ykone french fashion blogosphere, brings a libertarian point of view on luxury: ‘When it comes to the thin boundaries between fashion brands and luxury ones, some brands are not perceived as being pure-player luxury brands. However I deeply believe they should be treated as such, such as the Nike brand. Nike is a luxury brand. It has always been about innovation. I bought a Nike+ bracelet that I personally consider as a luxury product, though it is a mass-manufactured item available at any Apple stores. Undoubtedly Nike has succeeded in creating a need that has never existed before, without compromising on appeal and simplicity. The result, or call it evidence if you prefer, is that today we couldn’t live without it.’
The above quotation is from Éric Brione and Grégory Casper’s new book, “Generation Y and Luxury,” Read the excerpt below for a glimpse into Brione’s predictions for Millennials’ relationships with high-end products and services.
“Generation Y and Luxury” brings good news for luxury but also foresees the future, just like the key sentence of Generation Y’s favorite show “Game of Thrones:” “Winter is coming!”
Good news: wherever they are in the world, Generation Yers are passionate about luxury products. They are prepared to sacrify a lot to own luxury goods without feeling guilty, as for them the luxury item is a success symbol, the best way to stand out and a transmission guarantee for their future kids. Moreover, the Yers 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: the Yers are cautious with the word “luxury,” as marketing has been overused within the luxury industries, especially since the emergence of Masstige in the 2000s. The Yers do not want to be reeled in by a pseudo luxury offer. They demand “value for money” from the luxury brands, transparency, and rarity. They also expect them to follow moral requirements.
Generation Y considers the luxury purchase the perfect one, in the sense that this purchase represents an economical investment and carries a real sustainable development value. Indeed, the Yers do not trust politicians to save the world. They would rather act directly for the planet’s good with their credit cards.
Generation Y is showing us the features of this new luxury: pluralist, more experience oriented, more ecological and social and more innovation centered. The Yers have no limits; they are not contented with only expressing a wish for a new type of luxury, they go as far as shaping one thanks to the several start-ups paving the way for this new Y Luxury.
All this and much more to be discovered in the book “Generation Y and Luxury.“
Éric “Darkplanneur” Briones is the Director of Strategic Planning at Publicis EtNous.