Buying Luxe But Not Living It

A new survey finds that most affluent consumers don't consider "high-end luxury living" a big part of their lives.

The second quarter Luxury Tracking Report by Unity Marketing advises luxury marketers "to come to grips with the fact that not all affluent consumers are falling at their feet," said Pam Danziger, president of the research firm.

The report, based on a survey of some 1,000 luxury consumers (average income $155,500 and who spent an average of $15,283 on luxury in the second quarter 2007), shows that only about 10% of affluent consumers live the kind of luxury lifestyle where buying top-of-the-line brands is the norm, Danziger noted.

Fully one-third of the affluent consumers surveyed said that while they have been fortunate to enjoy luxuries in their life, "luxury is not a part of my lifestyle."

Another 27% admitted to scaling back on some purchases to afford luxuries in areas that really matter to them, but for those occasional splurgers, high-end luxury living is not a part of their everyday life, either.

This means that three out of every five potential luxury consumers is able easily to walk past the high-end stores and brands calling their name, according to the report.

"I think marketers sometimes get too caught up in their business and their brands' marketing messages. They are clueless as to how the consumers really see things. They project their own excitement onto the consumer, so they read enthusiasm, when the customer really isn't willing to pay a whole lot of money to buy a luxury that they don't need or really value," said Danziger.

She advises purveyors of luxury goods to make sure that the values represented by their products and services align with what is really important to the customer, emphasizing the superior quality, workmanship, materials or service that they provide to make customers see why it is worth trading up to their brand of luxury item.

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