In the world of fine art, work from Black and Latinx artists is being uplifted and celebrated by both established and smaller galleries, with many raising awareness on social justice issues and/or using proceeds to donate to relevant causes.
Sometimes demonstrating inclusivity as a brand is as simple as pledging some coin to a charity, campaign or movement you believe in, philanthro-shaming be damned.
But sometimes it’s not and you have to embark on either or both of the below:
Decades of diversity-lacking, demographic-excluding brand culture bred a negative perception of the luxury industry – fashion in particular. So it’s time for brands to do the work and self-correct. The complexities of diversity and inclusion should be a daily conversation in boardrooms across the world, and attempts to reconcile the socioeconomic exclusion that comes with luxury and its intersections with race and gender should be ongoing. By all means be exclusive by product, but not by identity.
Prejudiced restriction from the luxury club is in the past as far as consumers are concerned and brands who can’t keep up will be left behind. Beyond the morality of it all, practising inclusivity makes good business sense. Use advancements in AI, robotics, blockchain and other technologies to innovate for differing abilities and ages, enhancing your brand experience for these groups and widening your appeal overall.
The Crypto Rich
Ready or not, here they come. Tech-savvy, sci-fi lovers that stormed the crypto space faster than you can say Bitcoin.
The ‘crypto bro’ is more than a stereotype, they’re a mainstay of the early 2020s and no one can escape them, not even luxury. Not exactly the typical archetype of a luxury buyer, usually adorned in backwards caps and high-end footwear, they meander through parties throwing around terms like ‘blockchain-based economies’ and crypto slang.
But ignore them at your peril.
In the past year, nearly three quarters (72%) of HNWIs globally invested in cryptocurrencies. It’s the new luxury consumer craze. And the benefit of diversifying investment portfolios is only the tip of the crypto-rich iceberg.
Wealthy, typically young, consumers are purchasing virtual assets to either collect, curate and inflate or exchange for IRL luxury goods.
In the US, 83% of millennial millionaires already own cryptocurrencies and these sky-high numbers are forcing luxury brands to take notice.
Established auction house Christie’s sold 150 million dollars worth of digital art in 2021 while plenty of luxury fashion labels and designers across all luxury goods have created crypto-collections.
During last year’s New York Fashion Week, Rebecca Minkoff became the first designer to create and showcase an NFT collection on the runway and this year debuted her second NFT collection, this one designed to exist exclusively in the metaverse.
In the last year, the luxury sector has stormed the beaches of web3. Most notably via NFT drops. From Gucci to Ray-Ban, designing and releasing digital collections has seen success across the board for luxury brands. With the metaverse gaining ground, an original, limited-edition NFT collection is a good place to start connecting with the crypto rich.
- Trade in Cryptocurrencies
In the not-so-distant future, luxury brands will begin to accept cryptocurrency in transactions. Tesla has gone back and forth, stopping the acceptance of Bitcoin in May 2021 but Musk performed a 180 in January of this year, accepting Dogecoin as payment for some selected Tesla merchandise. It’s happening. Slowly but surely. And being one of the first brands to integrate cryptocurrency as a payment option is an achievement that will pay off in luxury crypto-rich consumer circles.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged (or at least it should be) that content and experience now sits at the heart of luxury.
People want to buy into a brand’s all-encompassing world, one that reflects the things they value, mirroring and enhancing their lifestyle: what they think, what they believe, what they do, what they feel.
As much as we’d like to believe our postmodern, post-pandemic, not-quite-yet-meta society has evolved beyond aspiration, it hasn’t. And it won’t.
Instead, we are simply aspiring differently. Desiring and striving for symbolism that transcends the requirement of social status – lifestyle kudos are now a given in luxury – and fulfils concepts, beliefs and values that have become steadfast facets of the luxury consumers’ DNA.
If you want support in strategy, experience design, brand and tech services as you take on luxury’s newest cohort, get in touch with our consultants at email@example.com.