Ben Whattam on ‘Deconstructed Luxury’.
Keko London Managing Partner was featured in the recent Stylus ‘New Rules of Luxury’ report.
In the report he identified a younger global generation of UHNWIs who are driving a trend of ‘deconstructed luxury’: luxury consumers who want to enjoy what their wealth affords them: “They are open to consuming it in a more contemporary way – not always because they are trying to be different, but because they have newly accrued their wealth and haven’t been conditioned to accepted stereotypes or behaviours through their adolescence (think tech or hedge fund entrepreneurs)”.
“This is a statement of choice and individualism that seeks to deconstruct the cliché of wealth and luxury – one based on experiences and openness, rather than segregation and closed views”.
Ben went on to say that brands hoping to win the hearts and minds of contemporary UHNWIs have to engage early, often before wealth has been accumulated. “Traditional luxury brands were historically closed and private worlds. The most contemporary of luxury brands are now rushing to open their worlds – through social media, retail concepts and influencers”.
He also spoke of Keko’s ‘Be Extraordinary’ campaign for Bentley, which features the world’s most extraordinary car photograph using Nasa technology – read more here. This plays into the boldly entrepreneurial, confident and self-directed spirit that reflects changing attitudes to affluence. As the report highlights, the super-rich want to be the heroes of their own story.
The Stylus report provides a snapshot of future insights:
- Assert Individualism
The super-rich need to be seen as the heroes of their own story, which means that luxury marketing has to be unabashed in making them feel self-directed, in control and maverick.
- Be their guide
They are increasingly time-poor and adviser free, representing an opportunity for luxury marketers to act as guides and educators in the new luxe landscape.
- Source new value
Security has a value, so marketers should ask themselves how their brand can create a new value they desire.
- Tap into cultural identity
The new affluent have grown up with globalisation and are now seeking luxury experiences that reflect their personal and regional identity.