Luxury Is About Pleasure
Of course, not everyone needs or appreciates owning an alligator-skin handbag. Some would very much appreciate the beauty of the material, with its beautiful, proportional scales. These customers probably like the feel of the skin: solid, reassuring and warm. Firstly, there is the beauty of the product—what we can call the aesthetic. There is pleasure in handling a superior Luxury product and even in the smell of the luxury leather of an alligator skin handbag. For those who invest in such Luxury items, the belief is that life is not simply about sustenance. When eating, everyone prefers good food. Why not trying having the best?
Luxury Is About The Long Term, and Sustainability
Luxury creations are made to last. A piece of jewelry is passed down from mother to daughter. Particularly when the item is made of gold or precious stones, they are designed to last for generations, if not forever. A beautiful piece of jewelry is always memorable—just like a wristwatch that a father would pass on to his son. It’s not only about the monetary value, but the emotional value—what it represents.
Some customers may prefer to purchase new products and change them more often. Most clients of Luxury items would think longer term. Since I need to acquire a product, it has to last. The design should be timeless— quality never fades—and the customer needs to be able to continue to derive pleasure from it, liking it forever.
A product of excellent quality is durable. For many customers, it is often the “I buy less but better” attitude, which is definitely a positive mindset in terms of sustainability. It could be therefore a gentle reminder to a customer that the decision is wise because it is good to “buy less but better.” It’s a buying mindset to encourage.
But sustainability is not only about “buying less but better.” It’s an overarching awareness that includes nature protection, environment preservation, fair trade, natural replacing chemical, animal rights and many other concerns.
At present, customers do not expect to buy only sustainable Luxury products. It’s more a “quality product first” attitude with clients as with the majority of brands. Many initiatives are from unique brands that are increasingly conscious about, and willing to be part of, the need for sustainability. Can a product qualify as good—a precious creation that is supposed to last—when it contributes to the destruction of the planet? Can a precious creation be appreciated by one person but considered unethical for another? Can a brand claim to be the best in its category yet be damaging the environment (remember the provenance of the raw materials)? Can a brand talk about heritage while damaging the future of humanity?
There are more and more concerns, especially among the younger generations, about environmental responsibilities, as well as social responsibilities. The concern for product sustainability will definitely increase for Luxury items just like for others products. And, from the customer point of view, high value brands need to be at able to demonstrate and embrace these responsibilities. Luxury and high priced items will have no choice and cannot disappoint.
It’s important for sales advisors to be aware of this sustainability tidal wave—and to pay attention to all possible sustainability initiatives from brands, manufacturers and retailers. It is important to understand and to learn about what it means to be sustainable, and what you can say about the issue when customers put forward their concerns about sustainability.