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Luxury Daily 2019 Conference: Digital Acceleration

On January 16, 2019, Luxury Daily sponsored its seventh annual Luxury FirstLook conference in New York City, entitled Luxury FirstLook 2019:  Digital Acceleration.  The expert speakers were extremely informative and included senior executives from numerous companies, including, Facebook, Google, Boston Consulting Group, LVMH Moet Hennessy, Lladro, Town & Country, Artsy, Forrester Research, McLaren Automotive, Valmont, Quintessentially, Flont, Armarium, Perrin Paris, L.K. Bennett, Publicis Groupe’s Team One, Martini Media, Vibes, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s Luxury Portfolio, Douglas Elliman, Concierge Auctions, Luxury Institute, Customer Experience Group, PMX Agency, Timeless Distributors, Shanker Inc. and Euromonitor.  I was invited to attend as Olshan is legal counsel to Luxury Daily.

Among the topics covered were the state of luxury in 2019; digital’s impact on advertising, marketing, media and retail; transitioning heritage brands to adapt to the new customer; how media and advertising should adapt to remain relevant in today’s changing atmosphere; selling art and real estate in the online environment; acquiring and retaining online and mobile customers; using social media to reach your customers;  what customers’ want today; the growth of the rental luxury market and what it means to brands; tips on how to train store associates; marketing strategies for new luxury brands; navigating the discount online retail environment; and how to crack the U.S. market. 

There were a number of insightful points made by the panelists at the conference, including the following: 

  • 1 Billion people will be entering the affluent class by 2020 and 60% of ultra-wealthy consumers will be under 35.
  • Retailers must recognize that the growth in the next five years will likely be from millennials and the Chinese, who have different values than their predecessors and brands need to adapt to stay relevant. For instance, the luxury consumer is looking for experiences, not just things. 
  • S. consumers are also looking for a more casual lifestyle, and sneaker brands such as Nike, are the new competition as sneakers created through collaborations with designers such as Virgil Abloh, can cost just as much as designer shoes these days.
  • Customers want a seamless shopping experience whether they are shopping on their phone, on their tablet or in the store.
  • Brands need to remember that the story behind a brand makes a difference to consumers and it needs to be put front and center.
  • In the mobile age, consumer’s attention spans are shorter and there has been a shift to more visual-oriented media, such as Instagram. Brands should take advantage of what social media sites have to offer and use tools such as Stories to grab the consumer’s attention.
  • People are getting used to a concierge-like experience in life with companies such as Uber who are always there to provide a car and a drive with the touch of a button. Brands need to provide this type of experience to customers as well.
  • Customers are often more informed then the sales associates in today’s world so sales associate’s need to provide a customer experience above and beyond what was previously expected.

The one-day conference was interesting and the outlook for the luxury market in 2019 is certainly hopeful, but brands will need to continue to adapt to stay relevant to the modern consumer.

If you are interested in reading more about the conference, you can go to Luxury Daily.  The next Luxury Daily conference will be on May 9, 2019, and is recommended for luxury brands - I am certainly looking forward to attending. 

TAKEAWAY: Finding the ideal ways to market to consumers, promote their brands and keep current in this ever changing marketplace is extremely difficult for all brands and it takes a lot of work to stay relevant in today’s society.  However, in their effort to capture the customer’s attention and stay relevant, it is important for companies to remember that even in this digital age, laws relating to intellectual property, rights of publicity and privacy are ever prevalent.  We recommend keeping legal issues in mind when planning marketing campaigns, even if such campaigns are primarily on social media. 

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