Archive for September, 2014

Green is the New Color of Luxury

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Affluent, eco-conscious consumers are driving the greening of luxury brands.

Affluent eco-conscious consumers are driving the greening of luxury brands.

Well not literally, but luxury brands are becoming more sustainable, spearheaded by such visionaries as Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH (Louis Vuitton & Moët Hennessy). He states that, “Environmental protection is not merely an issue of generosity or philanthropy. It is critical to our future.” LVMH is guided by a global charter that defines environmental protection criteria and goals. Its Environmental Affairs Department works to ensure the best ecological practices at all levels of production.

There is plenty of evidence that sustainability is a rising priority among purveyors of luxury goods…

  1. According to Fashionbi, most luxury companies locate their production houses at premium locations – i.e. “Made in Italy,” “Made in France” – thereby avoiding a larger carbon footprint associated with manufacturing all over the world.
  2. Gucci has attained the SA8000 Social Accountability Standard, which includes reduction of its environmental footprint. The company’s plant has attained ISO 14001 Environmental Certification.
  3. Greenpeace named The Valentino Group #1 in terms of Dedication to the Environment.
  4. The Copenhagen Fashion Summit is the world’s largest event in sustainability in fashion.
  5. Piaget states on its website that the company “has decided to take action to reduce our impact on the environment by using raw materials that have been extracted and processed according to the strictest standards and by implementing strong business ethics.

 

Of course a strong driver of increased environmental responsibility is the demand among luxury buyers that their brands are backed by sustainable companies.

The Luxury Institute finds that younger, more-affluent consumers increasingly seek information about corporate social responsibility. “Young consumers believe that caring about the environment is how you create a meaningful life,” notes Milton Pedraza, the firm’s CEO.

Affluent travelers are taking “eco-luxury” excursions guided by fast-growing eco-tourism companies such as National Geographic Expeditions. The Four Seasons Resort in Maui even provides eco-friendly limousine service featuring the all-electric Tesla sedan.

Luxury consumers are becoming more cautious in their choices and look not only for quality, but also to a product’s materials, how it is made and the company behind it. As more brands embrace sustainability and speak to their green initiatives, customers will become more demanding in their preferences for environmental accountability.

Oftentimes “green” products may carry a higher price tag, but as you can see, there is a market for the greening of luxury. In fact, Wealth Window has identified over 15 million “Green Affluents,” who expect their favorite luxury brands to serve as industry leaders in their sustainability practices.  These affluentials are making a positive impact on the environment by voting with their wallets.

Marketers without Borders

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Directly tap into global wealth by targeting affluent consumers around the world

Global email and mailing lists of affluent consumers, investors, travelers and donors can help grab international, luxury brand market share.

The rise in global affluence has expanded demand for luxury products and services well beyond the United States. Just as brand name retailers have literally opened the doors to new stores sited in strategic international locations, direct marketers can also capture international market share by driving foreign customers to their websites by both email and direct mail.

Through the convenience of online shopping, many etailers are shipping worldwide. Fundraising for worldly causes has spread to donors all around the world. Investors overseas are flocking to U.S. markets. And international travel is skyrocketing among the nouveau riche in many countries outside the U.S.

But thus far, acquiring new customers, donors and investors from afar has largely been a passive process, whereby people from other nations are searching and finding what they are looking for online. In luxury brand marketing, it is essential to establish brand loyalty early on because, well, customers tend to remain loyal. So now is the time for marketers seeking a bigger slice of international market share to take their message directly overseas to international consumers of means.

As Media Post reports, favorable exchange rates, affordable home prices and rising affluence abroad are driving international buyers to American real estate investments. This tells me that there is a large international audience out there with capital to invest and who are most likely frequent fliers.

Therefore, the first two upmarket sectors that come to mind for direct marketing to the world’s wealthy are:

1. Luxury Travel

Global jet setters are searching for:

 

2. Financial Services

International investors are seeking:

 

All luxury marketers can generate brand appeal among the über-wealthy in numerous countries that are home to a growing number of affluent consumers — China, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom to name a few. Utilize  email as well as international postal mail to seize the opportunity to establish brand preference among the world’s elite investors, first class travelers, luxury shoppers and major donors.

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