MILAN — Havas Media Group’s LuxHub division, headquartered here, has released the first of its periodic Research & Insights reports, offering data-based analysis of market trends.
According to the bulletin, the men’s wear sector is booming all around, growing 1.5 times as fast as the women’s sector.
Across product categories, many luxury companies are paying more attention to Africa, viewed as an area of potential growth — especially in cities such as Lagos, Nigeria — given the prolonged slowdown in Europe, Russia and even China. In addition, firms are relying heavily on international travelers to drive sales: in the U.K., France and Italy, 55 percent, 60 percent and 50 percent of luxury sales stem from tourism, respectively.
Whereas for many years, high-end firms spread themselves thin across a wide range of product price-points, hoping to reel in the largest possible number of customers, this strategy is waning as it resulted in “brand confusion and erosion of luxury credentials,” according to the LuxHub study. Instead, successful businesses are opting to exclusively position themselves either in the accessible luxury or the ultra luxury segments.
The findings also pointed to the way social media and e-commerce have dramatically changed consumers’ relationships with luxury retail: to adapt, brands are striving to develop seamless connections between their online and brick-and-mortar presences, and to “make luxury customers feel special.”
“The implications for a marketing standpoint, among other things, are that luxury brands need to promote one-on-one communication and experiential events to encourage store visits, focus on mobile technology and devices for tourists shopping abroad, and keep an eye on the influential Millennial generation,” said LuxHub’s global chief executive officer Isabelle Harvie-Watt, who is also ceo of Havas Media Group Italy. “Moreover, they are challenged by the digital world’s openness, so they should focus on personalized access and content to convey a sense of exclusiveness. Lastly, despite the growth in men’s wear spending, it is important to know that men still prefer to be targeted in non-fashion contexts — news, lifestyle and professional environments,” she added.