Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SaatchiKevin: Luxury From The Heart

It’s been a roller coaster of a decade for the luxury business in this new century. Luxury providers have been roiled by cheap chic, robbed by copycats, showered by rubles, shocked by digital, slapped by sustainability, crunched by credit, and thumped by a new frugality.

What a ride!! And so here we are. We’re in Vegas, the sun is up and luxury is in conference. A big thanks to Amex Publishing for inviting me today!!

One certain thing is that the view on the Riviera is changing. It is a new time and a new moment – and the right moment to reflect, re-imagine and reinvent.

So where are we? Bob McDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble – calls today a VUCA world. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.

It’s a post-recession blend of pessimism and optimism. Globally we can expect more financial shocks, debt crises and social attrition as the lingering effects of the economic turmoil roll through. Equally, expect the unreasonable power of creativity to lift the world on a scale, and at a speed, never before seen. Necessity is the mother of invention, there is simply no limit to the power of ideas.

The luxury industry, as they say, has issues. Despite the fountain of youth appearing in luxury advertising, the core consumer base is aging and feels stressed. Billionaires may be on the rise, but the world’s 8.6 million high net worth individuals – with investable assets greater than $1 million – lost 20% of their combined wealth.

Luxury still remains a $227 billion dollar business, so breathe out. We know that consumers have reframed the equation – less spending beyond their means; no more buying stuff they don’t need; shopping on autopilot is out, even as spend returns. People have reframed indulgent treats as a necessary respite.

We know that people want “priceless value” not price-focused value. This is where our expedition begins.

It’s not about putting the customer at the heart of everything you do.

It’s about putting yourself at the heart of everything the customer does.

This is a vital step-change in attitude. This is beyond price, beyond range, beyond business as usual. It is a truth that creates Loyalty Beyond Reason, that creates Lovemarks.

Saatchi & Saatchi has luxury clients: Lexus, Ritz Carlton and Flexjet. We also have clients who are masstige: Olay is an amazing leader in everything it does. It’s our job to know the inner secrets of luxury reframing. And we take this very seriously.

This past September, 30 of our people went out Xploring the world of high net worth and luxury in over 20 cities around the globe. From New York to Los Angeles, Sydney to Buenos Aires, Paris, London, Mumbai to Moscow, and points in between, we met tenacious entrepreneurs, weary investors, optimistic business owners, scarred property investors, heirs to old fortunes, designers and stylists to the rich-and-famous, personal assistants and party planners.

We wanted to harvest insights, language, and core creative directions across design and advertising, photography and fashion, packaging and in-store.

It was a quest for truth.

Let’s pull up the 10 luxury learnings – with key takeouts.

Continue reading click here : SaatchiKevin

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