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Today’s concept of luxury is not what it used to be

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Small Brands and Big Stories define new luxury

Over the last few years there is a change in the wind. If not in your own luxury preferences and, then surely with the tenor of a new generation of brands and services.

You may have found yourself questioning whether a mass-produced “luxury” carry-on, simply because of its high price. That’s especially true when you can find a competing product of equal or better quality and at a better price.

Exclusivity is still just as important for the modern luxury experience today as they’ve ever been. But rather than of prestige being defined by the logo on the side of someone’s bag, scarcity and prestige are linked to unique brand experiences.

The recent release of Snap’s Spectacles is a perfect example. The product roll out is intended to delight and to build excitement. But it also offers up a new way of thinking about exclusivity.

The Spectacles, while not quite a modern luxury item, have adopted modern luxury behaviors. In doing so, they’ve stoked excitement for a product whose prestige is separated solely from price. Marked by a dramatic embrace of digital, and the arrival of a new wave of modern luxury brands and services that emphasize delightful experiences we find ourselves at a point on the luxury timeline where choice is now in the hands of the consumer, and smaller brands now have a chance to not only survive, but thrive. They’ve conditioned shoppers and travelers alike to expect certain behaviors. From the luxury brands they support and at the properties around the world where they choose to stay.

Opulence doesn’t cut it in today’s competitive marketplace, which is driven by transparency and consumer choice/independence.

We’ve already seen strategies that reflect this new way of luxury thinking. They intended to offer a more tailored experience for the well-heeled traveler.

These programs are ambitious and certainly forward-looking. They’re also an indirect reaction to the thinking of Airbnb. And as well more contemporary high-end hostels and hotel chains.

Consumers aren’t limited to the confines of a particular brand, this sort of thinking reflects a new philosophy. Companies simply become the catalyst by which they can create their own outcomes. That’s one of the reasons why consumers are flocking to products that hide their logos on the inside, thereby allowing shoppers to express their sense of style without it being defined by a particular logo.

Today’s concept of luxury, whether for retail or for travel, isn’t what it used to be. It’s not about conspicuous consumption. It’s about the personal journey, the experience, and the story behind. That presents the hospitality industry with an opportunity to deliver truly bespoke and memorable experiences for today’s luxury traveler.



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