Luxury Consumers' Attitudes & Motivations Report

  • ID: 1195457
  • Report
  • Region: United States
  • 160 Pages +
  • Unity Marketing
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Luxury Consumers' Attitudes & Motivations Report: A Study of the 'New Normal' Luxury Consumer Market AFTER the Recession

How the mindset of the affluent consumers has changed in the current recession and what it means for the retailers and brands that market to them
Unity Marketing introduces its first in-depth attitudes and motivations study of the luxury consumer market. In this new study, Luxury Consumers' Attitudes and Motivations Report, Pam Danziger, Unity Marketing's lead investigator, probes the mindset of today's luxury consumer to uncover the keys to marketing effectively in the current economy. This report is filled with facts and figures, but it doesn't stop with the data -- It pushes further to help marketers and retailers put the information and insights to use. The goal is to translate research-based findings into information that marketing executives can use to make critical strategic and branding decisions.

The underlying premise of this study of luxury consumer attitudes is simple: Changes in consumer behavior -- what they buy and how much they spend ? follows changes in their attitudes -- why they buy. This report focuses on affluent consumers' underlying attitudes and motivations in their luxury purchases and luxury lifestyles. It examines how affluents are responding to the current recession, as well as their overall feelings, attitudes and motivations that drive them to pursue a luxury lifestyle in general. The goal is to understand how the affluent consumers' mindset and psychology is making over the luxury market and creating a 'new normal' for luxury marketers in the future.

Specifically, the research goals of this study are to:

- Understand what luxury means to affluent shoppers today and whether their concept of luxury has changed since the recession began;
- Explore consumers' perception of their favorite luxury brands and whether they are trading down to less expensive brands;
- Define what 'value' means in the consumers' shopping psychology and how affluents interpret 'value' when considering a particular purchase;
- Understand how sale prices and discounts influence luxury consumers in purchases of both luxury goods and services;
- Learn how the recession is changing these luxury consumers' lifestyles;
- Compare luxury consumers' overall attitudes about their luxury lifestyles today with how they felt in 2007, prior to the recession and economic crisis;
- Identify the personalities that make up the current luxury market; and
- What the changes in luxury consumers' attitudes and motivations mean for the future of the luxury market.

Being forewarned is forearmed -- This study gives marketers data and insights they can use to plan for the future

The past two years have been a period of dramatic change in the consumer economy overall. High unemployment, decline in the housing market, and the global recession have hit consumers at all income levels, but uniquely in this current market it has caused dislocation and distress among the affluent consumers, defined as those with incomes corresponding to the top 20 percent of U.S. households with average income of about $200,000.

In times of dramatic changes like these, many analysts look to the past and what happened in other recessions to help predict the future. But the fact is no previous recession has been anything like this one, so past behavior can't predict the future.

What Unity Marketing relies upon as its crystal ball to see the future is to study the mindset and psychology of the consumer. Every three months, Unity Marketing conducts an in-depth survey among affluent consumers to measure what they are buying and how they feel about their current economic situation. With the results of this survey the affluent consumer confidence is measured and reported as the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI). The LCI has proven to be statistically correlated to affluent consumers' reported spending. These regular, routine tracking studies enable Unity Marketing to keep its fingers on the pulse of the American luxury market. (Click this link to learn more about how you can use the results of the quarterly luxury tracking study in your business.)

Unity Marketing gave its clients advance warning of the recession before it hit

Based upon the Luxury Consumption Index (LCI), Unity Marketing predicted the downturn coming in the luxury market starting in the middle of 2007. That was long before the luxury retailers started to measure the effects of recession in reduced customer receipts. Retailers didn't discover the downturn until one-to-two quarters later (4Q2007), and it took even longer for marketers to feel the effects, roughly another quarter or more after retailers started to cut back on their orders (mid-2008). Through the LCI, Unity Marketing gave its clients early warning of troubles brewing so they have plenty of advance warning to take steps to cushion the blow.

This Luxury Consumers' Attitudes and Motivations Report gives luxury marketers and retailers data and understanding to help them anticipate the future trajectory of their consumer market. It gives guidance on how to connect more effectively with the new luxury consumer. It is filled with over 30 "Take Action" steps that translate the research findings into strategies and tactics marketers can put to use immediately to improve their sales and generate revenue growth. (Click this link to see a sample of >>Take Action recommendations related to pricing strategies.)

Consumer insights gathered from qualitative and quantitative research among affluents

This study reports on both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies conducted among affluent consumers. A series of focus groups were held in Beverly Hills, California in March 2009 with highly-affluent and highly-engaged luxury consumers (both men and women) to discuss how the recession had impacted their luxury lifestyles.

Insights and hypotheses arising from the focus groups were then translated into questions and attitudes statements that were asked in the first and second quarter 2009 luxury tracking surveys among 2,049 luxury consumers (average income $196,974; male 39 percent/female 61 percent; average age 45.7 years, with 62 percent of the sample over 40 years old and 38 percent 40 years and under).

-- Special feature: Find out how to sell more effectively to each of the five different types of luxury consumers

A special feature in Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumers' Attitudes and Motivations Report is a psychographic profile of five key types of luxury consumers, including how to identify each personality, where each personality is likely to be found and how to sell more to each personality. These include:

- X-Fluents (Extremely Affluent) who spend the most on luxury and are most highly invested in luxury living. In the report you will learn how the share of X-Fluents is on the rise in the current market, as other personality types drop out of the overall luxury market.
- Butterflies, the most highly evolved luxury consumers who have emerged from their luxury cocoons with a passion to reconnect with the outside world. Powered by a search for meaning and new experiences, the Butterflies have the least materialistic orientation among the segments.
- Luxury Cocooners who are focused on hearth and home. They spend most of their luxury budgets on home-related purchases;
- Aspirers, those luxury consumers who have not yet achieved the level of luxury to which they aspire. They are highly attuned to brands and believe luxury is best expressed in what they buy and what they own.
- Temperate Pragmatists, a newly emerged luxury consumer who is not all that involved in the luxury lifestyle. As their name implies, they are careful spenders and not given to luxury indulgence.

-- This Report Explains Eight Key Trends that Are Changing the Fortunes of Luxury Marketers -- You Will Learn How to Maximize Your Opportunities in the Future Luxury Market

This six-chapter report, filled with detail data as well as comments from affluents in focus groups, concludes by exploring the eight key trends that are at work in the luxury market today. It explains what steps luxury marketers can take in response to these trends to be more successful and more profitable.

The most important learning for every marketer in this study is very simply this:

Once the recession ends, the luxury consumers aren't going to return to the way they were before the recession

This report with its focus on the mindset and psychology of the luxury consumers finds that even once the current recession is over, the luxury market that emerges from the downturn is going to be very different from the way it was before the current crisis. The new luxury consumers are thinking about the future and they are learning that conspicuous consumption is not the way to grow wealth, to achieve happiness or to make their life more meaningful.
Affluents who have much are giving back, doing good, taking concrete steps to making the world a better place, rather than simply buying up most stuff. The American culture overall is in transition from a consuming, more for me culture to one guided by principles that are giving, sharing and linked to more for everyone.

Luxury doesn't mean the same thing it once did. People with money will always want the best quality, best workmanship, best style and design, but they want the emphasis on concrete attributes and values that are measurable -- the facts and figures that translate into value -- not image or status. In the new normal world after the recession luxury is turning inward. It no longer is about an outward show of status or wealth, but an inner state of being linked with personal happiness and an outstanding quality of life.
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Chapter 1: The Luxury Drought

Study's Objectives: How Luxury Consumers Have Changed in the Current Economy

Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies

Chapter 2: What the Data Tells about the Present - And Future – of the Luxury Market

This Is the Luxury Drought

Causes of the Luxury Drought
The recession has had wide spread negative impacts on affluent consumers' incomes and lifestyles
Figure 1: How current recession impacted one's financial situation
Figure 2: Changes to personal financial situation
Impact of economic crisis on affluents' wealth
Figure 3: Changes in wealth past 12 months

Affluent Consumer Confidence on the Rise and Luxury Consumer Spending Was Up Over Same Period Last Year
Figure 4: Luxury Consumption Index

LCI and its statistical correlation to luxury consumer spending
Figure 5: LCI & Average Luxury Consumer Spending plus Correlation

Luxury Consumers’ Feelings of Financial Well-Being
Figure 6: Feelings of Financial Well-Being
Spending Trends on Luxury In Past Twelve Months
Figure 7: Trends on Spending on Luxury in the Past Twelve Months

Luxury Consumers' Future Spending Expectation
Figure 8: Trends in Spending on Luxury in the Coming Twelve Months
-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Confidence in Financial Health of Country
Figure 9: Financial Health of the Country

Financial Prospects in Next Twelve Months
Figure 10: Financial Prospects Next Twelve Months

Investments and Savings in the Current Quarter
Figure 11: Trends in Saving and Investing Now Compared with Twelve Months Ago

Investments and Savings in the Coming Year
Figure 12: Trends in Saving and Investing in Coming Twelve Months
-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action
Figure 13: Personal Consumption as Percentage of Overall Economy

Total Luxury Purchase Incidence
Figure 14: Overall Luxury Purchase Incidence (All Affluent Consumers)

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Luxury Consumers’ Average Spending on Luxuries
Figure 15: Average Spending on Luxuries

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trends in Spending by Key Demographic Segments
Figure 16: Trends in Spending on Luxury by Demographic Segment (Age, Gender, Income)

Trends in Spending by Demographic Segments in Major Luxury Categories

Home spending by demographic segment
Figure 17: Home Luxury Spending Trends by Demographic Segment

Personal spending by demographic segment
Figure 18: Personal Luxury Spending Trends by Demographic Segment

Experiential spending by demographic segments
Figure 19: Experiential Luxury Spending Trends by Demographic Segment

Prospects for the Luxury Market in Future

Chapter 3: Luxury Consumers and their Attitudes about the Recession

What the word "Luxury" means to affluents

Luxury costs more

Luxury's exclusivity motivates some, but not all

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Luxury is both material and experiential

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Role of luxury in the affluent's lifestyle

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Affluents are being more careful about their spending

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Status is out, anti-status is in

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Luxury brands have to deliver exceptional quality -- They can't rest solely upon brand name or reputation

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

The Good-The Bad- The Ugly in the current recession
Figure 20: Changes made in shopping due to recession

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Overview Attitude Statements
Figure 21: Attitudes Statements Agreement

Chapter 4: Luxury Consumers and their Changing Attitudes toward their Luxury Lifestyles

How affluents get their biggest luxury kicks – From luxuries for their homes, their person or those they experience
Figure 22: Source of Greatest Luxury Satisfactions (2009 & 2006)

Demographic distinctive
Figure 23: Source of Greatest Luxury Satisfactions by Age (2009)
Figure 24: Experience as Source of Greatest Personal Satisfaction by Generation (2009)

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Attributes that Most Influence Affluents in their Luxury Purchases
Figure 25: Attributes of High-End Purchases that Most Influence Purchasers to Buy
--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Demographic distinctive in what influences consumer in their luxury purchases
Figure 26: Attributes of High-End Purchases that Most Influence Purchasers to Buy by Gender

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Attitudes about Affluent's Luxury Lifestyles
Figure 27: Attitudes about Luxury Lifestyles -- Level of Agreement
--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Experiential value of the luxury lifestyle increases with age

Materialistic pursuit of luxury linked to income
Figure 28: Attitudes about Luxury Lifestyles -- Strongly Agree by Income
--Luxury Marketers: Take Action
Figure 29: Number of Affluent Households 2008 Census
Figure 30: Coach Purchase Incidence 1Q07-2Q09

Chapter 5: Personalities of Luxury

Luxury Marketers: Meet Your Customers
Figure 31: Five Personalities of Luxury

X-Fluents Grow in Share of the Luxury Consumer Market
Figure 32: Personalities of Luxury, 2009, 2007 & 2003

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

New Luxury Consumer Personality Emerged in 2007 and Remains a Force in the Current Market

Personalities' Attitudes toward Luxury
Figure 33: Attitudes about Luxury by Personality Segment

Luxury Personalities and Trends in Spending on Luxuries
Figure 34: Index of Average Spending on Luxury by Personality Types

Personalities' feelings about their current financial status and future status

Demographics that define the personalities
Figure 35: Average Income by Personality

Field Guide to the Five Luxury Personalities
Figure 36: Field Guide to the Luxury Personalities

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

How to Sell to the Different Luxury Personalities

Selling to X-Fluents

Selling to Aspirers

Selling to Butterflies

Selling to Cocooners

Selling to Temperate Pragmatists

Chapter 6: Maximizing Opportunities in the Luxury Drought

Trend #1— Change in Consumers' Mindset Dramatic, Lasting
Figure 37: Makeup of Luxury Market by Generation

Far reaching impact of affluents on the American economy

--Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #2—Luxury Purchase Behavior In Transition

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #3 – Luxury Consumers Are Putting Themselves into a Holding Pattern
-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #4 – Status and Image Don't Count for Much Anymore

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #5 – Value Is the New Currency in the Luxury Market

>> Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #6 – Align Brands with New Psychology and New Issues that Drive Luxury Consumers

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Doing Good Is Good Business

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #7 – Reward Affluent Customers with Loyalty Programs

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Trend #8 – The Internet is a Shopping Solution for the Time-Poor Affluent Shopper

-- Luxury Marketers: Take Action

Conclusion – We All are Looking for a Crystal Ball that Helps Us See the Future of our Business and our Market
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