Walpole x VERB Insight | State of Luxe: Reaching and Engaging with the Next Luxury Consumers

How does the affluent consumer value luxury? What do they want to see from luxury brands? And what are the drivers to purchase? Read on for a report from our latest webinar, in association with VERB Brands. 

On Thursday 4th February, we were joined by Chris Donnelly and Sarah Keeble from VERB Brands who presented the findings from their affluent consumer survey, in partnership with Global Web Index, which identified three luxury tribes and how to reach and engage with each of these archetypes on their terms.

VERB was then joined by Ellie Leighton, Global Head of Marketing at Quintessentially, and Stephanie Foxley, Digital Marketing Manager at Garrard, for a lively discussion about the shift of the affluent consumer and how brands are approaching the challenge of adapting to cater to new behaviours.


The Report

With accelerating innovation and changes in consumer behaviour, luxury brands are operating in new spaces — full of not only opportunity, but also challenges, particularly for marketers making sense of a complex landscape in which brands must retain exclusivity yet be accessible on social media and stay authentic but also able to respond quickly to customer trends.

Digital has lowered barriers to entry for luxury consumption, while choice, information and the creation of a more competitive space all play a part in the increasing importance of digital advocacy to the purchasing journey. Research by luxury digital marketing performance agency Verb into attitudes to luxury in affluent and HNW customers revealed key trends.

Its data segmented consumers into three tribes: the digital disconnected who don’t follow brands on social media but instead look for the best experience and have less concern for status. Traditional luxury consumers place value on brand recognition, prestige and visible consumption, while digitally active luxury advocates are trend-conscious, preferring to buy from brands that connect with them.

Quality as the hallmark of luxury is consistent across the board, though. However, experiences, rather than exclusivity, are increasingly crucial drivers among Gen Z and Millennials. Recent research by luxury concierge service Quintessentially resonates with this, noting a shift from ‘being’ to ‘doing’ and focus on connection, whether to self or others, as something brands will need to build into their strategies to survive.

In terms of reach, ‘search’ has never been more important for cut through, whether organic search optimisation or paid for, as half of all consumer journeys begin here. Importantly, though, in-store still matters as a purchase point with 56 per cent preferring it.”

Purchasing motivation, however, remains unchanged, with personal pleasure the prime driver. However, in keeping with the connection piece, significant increase in gifting through the pandemic is something for marketers — often creating audiences solely around direct purchase — to be keep in mind.

Click here to watch the session on demand. On demand is free for Walpole members – email RSVP@thewalpole.co.uk for information.
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