New Surveys Shed Light on Luxury Market

If you want to know what the luxury market could look like after the recession, Pam Danziger has some insight for you. Danziger’s Unity Marketing recently released findings from its Luxury Interactive Conference held in New York City, and, its annual report on the state of the luxury market—The Luxury Report 2009:  The Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market

Participants in the former were affluent and highly engaged luxury shoppers from Beverly Hills who participated in a series of focus groups. (The location was chosen because it is considered ‘ground zero’ for the conspicuous consumption lifestyle.)  The qualitative research was followed by a quantitative survey in April 2009 among 1,041 affluent consumers (average income $204,900). Findings paint a ‘good, bad, and ugly’ picture for the luxury industry, including:

• The recession has dramatically curtailed affluent consumers’ willingness to spend. 

• Affluents are responding to the current economic crisis by taking time off from spending haphazardly or impulsively.

• Even after the economy improves, consumers won’t go back to buying luxury like they used to. 

• And, marketing luxury in the new economy will mean realigning brands with the new values that more thoughtful, careful, and selective affluent shoppers will hold.

Findings of the annual luxury report comprise a compilation of four luxury tracking surveys that Unity Marketing conducts every three months with 1,000 – 1,250 affluent consumers who purchased one or more luxuries in the study period. The study tracks what luxury consumer bought and how much they spent. [A total of 4,609 luxury consumers were surveyed in 2008 with an average income of about $200,000, which is representative of the 22 million affluent households in the country.] Further, the report breaks down the affluent market into three distinct segments based on income, including profiles of the ultra-affluent consumers at the top with incomes of $250,000 and up.  

Results of The Luxury Report 2009:  The Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market show affluent consumers’ purchases and spending across 21 categories of luxury goods and services. The report is written to reveal the key research findings, explain why they are important to luxury marketers, and then help marketers find ways to put the research to use in developing new concepts, strategies, and tactics for success. Additionally, a research-based review of eight key trends in the luxury market—such as the importance of green marketing and how the country of origin of specific products influences purchases—is included. 

For more information on both reports, log onto

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