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- 21 Jun 2011
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Generation Y Won't Wait for Luxury

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Burberry’s Autumn Winter 2011 campaign, posted on Facebook, featuring all young British models


Karen Weiner Escalera, president & chief strategist at KWE group, identifies today’s affluent spenders as time poor, technically savvy & accustomed to getting what they want.

Movies, songs and MTV first made “get real” and “keeping it real” street buzzwords in the distant ‘90s. Now, the same notion of getting real perfectly describes what consumers want this decade. Impatient, short of time and technically savvy, today’s affluent spenders are accustomed to getting what they want, when and where they want it.

“What” they want. Virtually anything can now be custom designed or built to any customer’s requirement. The term “bespoke” is magic to these ears. And it’s everywhere these days. As we reported in a previous newsletter, the consumer is king. Online, they now help create what they buy: Nike shoes, wallpaper, handbags, wedding dresses. The list is endless.

“When” they want it. Anticipation is out. Few companies, except possibly Apple, can get away with the traditional big buildup of excitement for their new products. Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, do not enjoy awaiting product releases. Fashion is one example setting this torrid pace. As Natalie Massenet of Net a Porter predicted last year, clothiers may soon debut spring collections in spring and fall clothes in fall.


 anticipation is out. few companies can get away with the traditional big buildup of excitement for their new products 


Consumers want instant product information when they see something cool online or on TV. Touchscreen technology enables this. Debuting later this year, Imagine Fashion, an interactive digital publication, will allow users to view, share and buy what they see. Just tap clothes, accessories, jewelry or cosmetics and get links to sources, cost and 360? images.

“Where” to get it. Online buying goes on 24/7. Yet, most luxury brands and retailers still lack mobile sites (previous newsletter: “Luxe Mobile Commerce Still Lacks Some Savvy”).

What about bringing more products and services to consumers? Convenience is huge. Luxury food trucks are already reaching new markets this way at a fraction of the cost of restaurants. I have long advocated merchants tapping the urban high-rise markets with their wares. Fresh fish? Gourmet foods? Wine? Why not? Fitness trainers, masseuses, botox sellers and beauty salons have long done home visits. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if other service providers made regular building visits?

Hotel boutiques sell branded spa products, beds and linens, but they could easily sell more. What do people do on vacation? Shop. The captive markets in resorts are relatively unexploited. But London’s Savoy Group is one step ahead with menus of shopping experiences, exclusive products and luxury goods collections that change quarterly. Hotel guests now get shopping days with itineraries such as Vintage Fashion, Scent Safari and Shoe Fantasia. Bespoke London brings craftspeople directly to hotel guests.


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Karen Weiner Escalera and her firm KWE Group are among the USA’s leading strategic marketing and public relations experts in luxury travel, hospitality and real estate, with offices in New York and Miami. Creator of the KWEst PROcess for strategic market positioning and product development, Karen has worked for brand leaders in all segments of the industry. She is a frequent speaker on travel trends and is editor of an internationally syndicated luxury travel and lifestyle trends newsletter and blog.

www.kwegroup.com