Is luxury dead?

Is luxury dead?

This was a question raised by communications specialists Imagination for a recent trend briefing

Robert Dunsmore, 28/03/13

It is a market that is changing and that will lead to a re-structure that will re-define how luxury brands communicate with their consumers.

If a lot of the luxury brands have proved slow to this change – their consumers have not. According to the recent Dwell strategy report “The New Face of Affluence” - this small but influential group are asserting their own perspective on “prestige”. New Affluents may have a median age of 45, but they are tech-heavy and text, tweet and post like GenXers. The expense or a luxury label is an irrelevance compared to the product values of quality, aesthetics and above all - authenticity.

New Affluents are independent of wealth and of thought, equipped for interaction and they are demanding it. Social empowerment of this niche has resulted in the confidence and status once associated with the “luxury” brand transferring to the consumers themselves. Like all classic early adopters, they are the arbiters and the curators of tomorrow’s luxury brands, regardless of price – as long as the brand offers an engaging experience – that is both meaningful and authentic.

We have been watching this re-alignment in action in our event and experience market. Our recent blogs have featured luxury trends as the clever brands have embraced traditional “arts” or "crafts" to authenticate their brands with personality and distance their products from the mass produced competition.

This personalisation is in tune with the New Affluent language of “self-expression” in favour of “status “and the redefining the terms of the dialogue.

So, is luxury dead – not when it turns on “Live”.


Robert Dunsmore, Creative director at SO Group. SO Group is one of the most influential exhibition and events companies in the UK; delivery partner to 88% of top UK organisers and preferred supplier to a third of the biggest venues in the country. We are passionate people who care about what we do and utilise our experience to create outstanding experiences.