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2015- The Year to Come

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2015 promises to be a watershed year for luxury brands.

After two decades when annual growth averaged nearly six percent, the rate this year will be just two percent, predict Bain and Altagamma.
 
Even so, the rich – the top one percent - are getting richer and spending at unprecedented rates. The still-anemic buying of the aspirational buyer (household incomes up to $300,000) has caused luxury brands to aggressively focus on marketing to their very best customers – winning their greater spend, loyalty and referral of customers like them. The old ‘we tell them what to wear’ ethic is all but dead.  Increasingly, luxury brands are more exquisitely segmenting and targeting their top buyers based on historical buying patterns.  
 
Luxury goods sales have expanded geographically as 
the number of luxury-goods consumers worldwide has more than trebled to 330 million, according to Bain & Company. Spending on expensive jewelry, watches, clothing, handbags has risen at double the rate of global GDP. The Boston Consulting Group says that $1.8 trillion was spent on personal luxury goods in 2012.
 
The Economist December 13 special edition on luxury highlights America as an underexploited market, given its wealth, and a base for brash competitors such as Coach, Michael Kors and Kate Spade, which are challenging established European brands with a more affordable take on luxury. China, already a voracious consumer, is just beginning to stir as an exporter.
 
Traditional brand loyalty is waning as the best luxury buyers become more discerning and demanding. Online buying and social media continue to challenge brands to be more innovative in their marketing.  As the disparity between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ continues to widen, public pressure on luxury brands to give back and keep a sharp eye on manufacturing, environmental and corporate citizenship practices will continue to increase.
 
In 2015 how will luxury brands react? How will they reengineer and better integrate their marketing strategies and tactics? How will they better serve their best customers?
 
Join us and a panel of top management from high-end real estate, luxury publishing, "the home"- architecture and design, custom marketing research, global retail consulting and hoteling/hospitality on Thursday, January 15 for a compelling discussion of these important trends. Do please come prepared to weigh in with your own thoughts on 2015 - THE YEAR TO COME.