Push PR Creative Director, Emma Hart, on the future of luxury

Luxury and the importance of championing sustainability

Strategic consultancy company Canvas8 has outlined what luxury will look like in the coming year as part of its Expert Outlook 2016 series by talking to experts in the industry.

Push PR Creative Director Emma Hart spoke to the team to give her vision on luxury, sustainability and the brands already getting it right.

eileen fisher

Here’s what Emma had to say on the shift in consumer behaviours within the luxury market:

There’s a significant shift happening with transparency and story-telling, and the individualisation of businesses and brands. Instead of seeing big, corporate and untouchable brands, it’s about stripping things back and creating a brand experience.

You take your consumer on a journey and you keep them on that journey. You’re looking at the lifestyle, you’re not just looking at the label they want to wear. It’s almost going back to old-school customer service, where they come in once a week and you have a very close relationship with them. It’s about getting to know the top ten consumers, who come in once a week, rather than the 5,000.

The brick-and-mortar retail experience has always been integral to luxury, but it’s getting bigger now, and stores and brands are coming back to a physical presence. But that physical presence isn’t about driving sales, it’s about creating an experience. While supermarkets install self-checkouts, with luxury it’s the absolute antithesis of that. It’s about human contact, it’s about conversation, it’s about time. We really believe time is a luxury now. People talk about being time-poor or time-starved, and are becoming more interested in mindfulness and being in the present. It’s about buying time for yourself.

Another huge area of luxury development this year is sustainability. People want to know about the journey of the brand, the provenance of the product in terms of textiles and factories. Ten years ago, ‘ethical’ was completely tied up in its associations with hemp and yoghurt, but now it’s very much for the luxury market.

There’s an incredible brand called Eileen Fisher, which is huge in the US and launched in the UK four years ago. The whole ethos is extremely powerful. By 2020 it intends to be 100% sustainable and all its products are an investment in this vision, which they make customers a part of. The brand will bring people in for think tanks, and these people aren’t even necessarily influencers, as such. That’s really powerful.

Read the full article on Canvas8 here.

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