A guide to luxury brand success in economic downturns

This article discusses how marketers of luxury products and services can survive in a downturn. There are three main types of luxury buyer: empty-nesters (over-55, baby boomer couples); successful married couples in their 30s and 40s (with children, who build wealth for the long term, and will scale back in uncertain times); and young single professionals, who stretch to buy luxury goods and will scale back dramatically if times get hard.

A guide to luxury brand success in economic downturns

Milton Pedraza

First the story was that luxury was omnipotent and luxury consumers were immune. Even affluents were trading up, they said, and luxury could do no wrong. Now the story is that luxury has lost its lustre and even the wealthiest are bailing out. Makes for great headlines.

Neither was, or is, an absolute truth. The luxury market, and wealth segments, are very dynamic entities, comprising different products and services categories, and different segments of wealth, respectively, that respond differently to economic cycles. These responses are driven by both consumer...

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