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Consumer confidence has been lagging since the beginning of the year, with the affluent in particular expressing skepticism in the overall state of the economy and their personal financial situation. In a recent study of affluent consumers by Unity Marketing, only 23 percent of respondents said they expected to spend more on luxury goods and services over the next twelve months.
With consumers cautious about spending on luxury items, what are marketers of luxury brands to do?
First and foremost, they must recognize consumers’ caution and work hard to help overcome their worries. Messaging should emphasize both high quality workmanship and long-lasting value. Pam Danzinger, president of Unity Marketing and author of Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, says, “Luxury marketers must focus their marketing messages on quality and value this year as the affluent are reluctant to overindulge in extravagant spending. The high-end customers are signaling caution and marketers need to listen.”
Luxury products need to be positioned as a value proposition – keeping the image and essence of luxury while implying affordable prices. Tom Bodenberg, Unity Marketing’s chief consumer economist, says “People with means want to make smart buying decisions and playing up the quality and value of a brand while downplaying the pure ‘luxury’ of it is key for today.”
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