New Clients: New Money, New Generation
It is obvious when you walk down Paris’s Rue Saint-Honore, London’s Bond Street or New York’s Fifth Avenue that the clientele is young, and many of them are Asian or international workers or visitors. We discuss the specifics of the international visitors in Section 3.5. But first, we identify what all customers in the Luxury and high-end market have in common.
Brands and Only Brands
There is a new clientele that only buys brands. We are aware of brands from an early age. We are surrounded by brands and most items we own have a brand (even fruit and vegetables are branded). This new clientele’s journey with brands often started with their parents, who would prefer to give the best to their children, with the reassurance of branded merchandise. Later, as teenagers, brands forged a strong referential identity; along with musical preferences brands are part of an identity. In recent years, for many of us, brands have become symbols of a certain type of lifestyle.
New clients understand perfectly well the associations with Luxury brands. Moreover, many of them understand the strategy and the marketing behind the brands. They are not only impacted by the brands, they are also brand conscious and brand lovers. Brands represent an identity: I love this brand; you now know who I am. In Asia, many young clients do not hesitate to talk about Luxury fashion brands that they and friends like, both in conversations and on their social media pages; they form a part of their identity.
Our affluent clients wear brands, eat brands and use brands. For long-lasting goods, they will carefully select the brands they want to be part of their identity: cars, accessories and so on. With fashion brands, they want to be sure that they belong to the right group. Some even switch from one fashion brand to another, with a change in the designer, the new brand codes and colors. When they see their favorite “adopted” by people they don’t recognize as themselves, they leave the brand—the group.