Luxury's Asian revolution: How brands are adapting to the new luxury consumer

Low Lai Chow

Is there something wrong with the term 'luxury'? Banyan Tree Holdings' founder and executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping seems to think so.

"It's not a value proposition. 'Luxury' is a very critical word… it is pure exclusivity."

In short, he would prefer his (for want of a better word) luxury 5-star hotel, resort and spa brand to be known as an "aspirational brand" and "an enabler of experiences", with universal values that resonate on a human level.

"If we were to talk about luxury, we won't last very long, except by being more expensive, more snob-oriented than other people."

The meaning of luxury

Ho was speaking at a morning panel session at Asia Consumer Summit in Singapore, the overarching theme of which was the rising importance of the Asian consumer, and how this shift in economic power is changing category definitions and branding theory.