THE FUTURE OF LUXURY

Five trends reshaping luxury consumerism in 2017 and beyond!

 

Michelin star dining at a street food stall...

In July 2016, two street food stalls in Singapore became the first such stalls in the world to be awarded a Michelin star. The Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle are both examples of Singapore's long-standing tradition of open-air 'hawker' street food vendors. The former (pictured), which operates in the Chinatown complex, serves dishes of soya sauce chicken and rice for around USD 2, around half the local cost of a Big Mac at McDonald's.

 

A Pepsi-themed luxury bar and lounge in Manhattan...

In January 2016 Pepsi announced plans to launch Kola House, a luxury bar and lounge in Manhattan's Meatpacking District. The bar will offer a 'full artisanal menu' built around the kola nut, and a resident cocktail curator will be on hand to mix speciality drinks.

 

In 2017, the expectations of luxury consumers are changing fast...

Affluence x Connectivity changes everything.

We all know that luxury is no longer simply about the supercar, the designer handbag and the expensive holiday (as desirable as they remain to many). After all, who needs a car at all when millions around the world now have their own on-demand driver? Rising affluence and the amazing lifestyles made possible by connectivity have shifted the frontiers of luxury. But to trace that shift, we need to understand one fundamental truth: at its heart, luxury has always been about STATUS.

 

Status used to be physical. Now it's intangible.

Status used to be about the possession of certain objects. Now, so many people have so much. The result? Status has become less about 'what I have' and much more about 'who I am': namely, more ethical, creative, connected, tasteful – the list goes on! – than the masses. The implications for luxury consumerism are vast, as premium consumers intensify their quest to live out and personify these ideals. But so are the OPPORTUNITIES for brands that can understand, and deliver on, the new luxury mindset.

 

Everyone knows about the global luxury slowdown...

The smartest brands will see it as a massive OPPORTUNITY!

There's no denying that the luxury sector is coping with some headwinds right now.

Decreased tourism across Europe, instability in the Middle East and weakening economic growth in China are keeping the sector locked in a slowdown. That meant just 1% real terms year-on-year growth in Q1 2016 according to Bain and Company (May 2016).

But while global economic and political circumstances are sure to change (that's what they do), the longer-term strategic challenge for luxury brands will remain the epic shift towards more varied, complex, individualized, and meaningful forms of luxury consumption.

Difficult? Sure ;) But smart brands will use the slowdown as a chance to readjust their thinking, and innovate around the shifting luxury landscape. For those that can stay ahead of the curve, the rewards remain HUGE.

And any brand could start with these five trends reshaping THE FUTURE OF LUXURY in 2017 and beyond...

The global luxury market will reach EUR 295 billion in revenue by 2020.

Bain and Company, May 2016

Five trends transforming THE FUTURE OF LUXURY in 2017 and beyond...

1.THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Because my self-actualization is faster, smarter and more exclusive than yours.

2. V.I.D.

Very Important Data.

3. PREMIUM REDEEMED

Luxury that makes the world a better place.

4. THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY

Luxury on-demand.

5. POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Disrupted demographics transform the who, where and when of luxury.

 

NUMBER ONE

THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Because my self-actualization is smarter, faster and more exclusive than yours.

WHY NOW

Self-actualization is fine...

... if you're happy with average ;)

When the quest for status is ever-more about 'who I am', then the mission becomes simple: get better or go home.

Indeed, in our recent free Trend Briefing THE FUTURE OF BETTERMENT, we saw how – fueled by the maturation of the experience economy, self-tracking and online sharing – the self-actualization status race is more intense than ever for millions of affluent-but-mainstream consumers.

In 2017, then, high-end consumers will look to move – and be seen to have moved – to a higher plane. One way? Innovative products, services and experiences that combine supercharged self-actualization with true luxury indulgence. Because for those seeking the QUINTESSENTIAL SELF, the quest for self-improvement should never mean compromising on self-indulgence.

And if the results make for shareable content – 'I'm doing this, you probably haven't heard of it yet' – then all the better ;)

 
THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Luxury holiday package for people running Barcelona marathon

Self-actualizers run marathons. Status seekers take luxury vacations. Those in search of the QUINTESSENTIAL SELF? They combine the two ;)

In January 2016, the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona unveiled two luxury programs for people running in the March 2016 Barcelona Marathon. The hotel's Marathon Package includes three night's accommodation, personalized coaching, a running t-shirt, and two spa treatments; Get Ready offers a five-day training plan designed in collaboration with a local sports medicine clinic. Prices for the package start from EUR 2,025 for two people sharing.

 
THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Samsung & de GRISOGONO

USD 15,000 luxury watch tracks physical metrics

Need to add a touch of luxury to your self-tracking? The gold Apple Watch Edition is just so...obvious ;) True QUINTISSENTIAL SELFers will aim higher.

Unveiled at Baselworld in March 2016, the Samsung Gear S2 by de GRISOGONO is a limited-edition luxury smartwatch developed by Samsung in partnership with the Swiss luxury jeweler de GRISOGONO. Features include a diamond-set gold bezel and a black galuchat strap. The watch also incorporates Gear S2 features, allowing wearers to track activity levels, heart rate and step count. The watch was available to view only via a consultation appointment at de GRISOGONO boutiques, and retailed for around USD 15,000.

 
THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Crunch Gym

Antigravity meditation and mindfulness sessions

In a world where status and material wealth are decoupling, pursuing THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF doesn't have to mean spending a fortune. Rare, even outlandish – and preferably highly shareable – experiences can also elevate self-improvement to a higher plane.

Launched in January 2016 at New York's Crunch Gym, Antigravity Cocooning is a meditation class that puts members in sling-style hammocks suspended from the ceiling. The class consists of 20 minutes of stretching and abdominal exercises, followed by 15 minutes of guided relaxation. After proving popular in NYC, in April 2016, the classes were also made available in two Crunch gyms in San Francisco.

 
THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Barts

Bar serves mood-enhancing cocktails

Even the greatest self-indulgences can fuel self-improvement.

Available from April 2016, the Mood Menu from London cocktail bar Barts includes three cocktails designed to 'enhance happiness, facilitate focus and encourage relaxation'. For example, the Relax cocktail is made with calcium and magnesium-rich ingredients that combat stress, such as camomile, lavender and cardamom, as well as Zafferan Tanqueray gin. The cocktails also feature ingredients rich in serotonin, which can help regulate neurotransmitters and hormone activity.

 
THE QUINTESSENTIAL SELF

Seabourn

Luxury cruises focus on wellbeing

Where better to have a face-to-face session with your meditation practitioner than on a luxury cruise?

August 2016 saw US-based luxury cruise line Seabourn unveil a spa and wellness program developed in partnership with holistic health practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil. Set to roll out in January 2017, each program will integrate physical, social, environmental and spiritual wellbeing and will be led by Weil or a certified yoga and meditation practitioner. Guests can attend complimentary yoga and meditation sessions or participate in seminars focusing in happiness, healing, nutrition, and introspection. One-on-one sessions will also be available for a fee. Seabourn cruise tickets start at around USD 5,000 per person.

NEXT

Remember, the self-actualization arms race is mainstream. So luxury QUINTESSENTIAL SELFers will seek out rare and shareable experiences or exciting and storied products that supercharge their self-improvement and wellbeing. Start by asking: what aspect of the self will customers trust your brand to help them improve?

 
NUMBER TWO

V.I.D.

Very Important Data.

WHY NOW?

All personal data is equal.

But some data is more equal than others...

Connected consumers around the world know that brands are using (exploiting?) their personal data: location, purchase history, media preferences, and more. And that armies of hackers would love – and some day may get the chance – to do the same.

One powerful form of luxury in the age of personal data? Total data security. Yes, this is a trend where the demand and the solution are created by tech. But in the end, this trend is the peace of mind and the sense of empowerment that comes with control.

And of course, the more your personal data is worth, the more acute the need for that control.

Stashing your personal data in a Swiss vault might today seem a pursuit for UHNWIs only. But where UHNWIs go today, other status-seeking consumers will follow...

39% of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) worldwide say that online privacy and security is an issue of concern for them when it comes to the creation and preservation of their wealth.

The Knight Frank Wealth Report, 2016
 
V.I.D.

Bvlgari

App stores personal data in Swiss bunker

We weren't joking – V.I.D. gets stored in a Swiss Vault ;)

In July 2016, luxury Italian jeweler Bvlgari partnered with WISeKey on an app that provides security around mobile payments and other smartphone data. The Bvlgari Vault app is a secure platform that can protect a user's passwords, banking information, pictures, videos and messages. The information is stored by the app in a high-security bunker in the Swiss Alps. The app can be unlocked in a number of secure ways, including via TouchID and face recognition. Users pay USD 53 a year. Launch of the app followed the 2015 release of a Bvlgari smartwatch that offered similar data security features.

 
V.I.D.

SIRIN LABS

Smartphone has military-grade data security

Secure smartphones are nothing new. Back in 2014 we wrote about the Blackphone, which claimed to be 'the world's first smartphone that is private by design'. But luxury means taking things to the next – more expensive – level. So check this out...

In May 2016, SIRIN LABS unveiled the Solarin: a USD 13,000 Android smartphone. The Israel-based technology company's device has military grade privacy protection and features a chip-to-chip 256-bit encryption activated by a physical switch that places the cellphone in its secure mode. When the secure mode is enabled, the device only connects with other Solarin handsets for calls and messages.

 
V.I.D.

Introspection Engine

Prototype smartphone case tells user when phone is sharing information

Right now, this innovation is only on the drawing board. And its co-creator says it's primarily intended to help defend journalists against snooping. But once luxury consumers see innovations such as these, they're going to want – no, demand – them for themselves.

In July 2016, exiled US whistleblower Edward Snowden and well-known hacker Andrew Huang presented a design for a smartphone case that alerts the user whenever the smartphone is sharing information. The Introspection Engine will connect to a phone's different radio transmitters, and show when the cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection is being used to share or receive data. The case, says Snowden, could act as a kind of 'kill switch' that disconnects the phone's power supply when unwanted data sharing is occurring.

NEXT

You don't have to be a tech brand to apply this trend. If you're not, think partnerships. What data security concerns do your affluent customers face, and who can you partner with to help address them? You bring the luxury polish, your partner brings the development. See how Bvlgari brought WISeKey's data protection services to their customers. Ultimately this is about providing the feeling that comes with control and peace of mind.

 
NUMBER THREE

PREMIUM REDEEMED

Luxury that makes the world a better place.

WHY NOW

Status used to be about how much money you made.

In 2016, it's about how much money you can give away.

One sign of the epic shift in the nature of status? The way we talk about billionaires.

Sure, Mark Zuckerberg (to choose just one example) has changed the world. But today, his personal status story doesn't just center on how he made his money, but how he's giving almost all of it away. For ultra-ultra-rich, philanthropy is the status story. And where their status trail goes, the rest of us will follow.

In addition, millions of affluent consumers feel trapped in a guilt spiral when it comes to the negative impacts – on the environment, society and their health – of their consumption. The real luxury for these consumers? Indulgence without the guilt.

Cue rising demand for brands that can combine luxury and a zeal to make the world better. That means luxe sunglasses on a geopolitical mission, jewels out to disrupt an often harmful industry, premium vodka that harvests sustainable water, and more.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

In June 2016, Fortune Magazine reported that 17 new billionaires had joined the The Giving Pledge, a group started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates that requires its ultra-rich members to commit to give the majority of their wealth to good causes. The group includes Richard Branson, Ted Turner and Sheryl Sandberg, and now has 154 members from 16 countries. Meanwhile, December 2015 saw Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announce that they will give away 99% of their shares in Facebook to serve good causes.

 
 
PREMIUM REDEEMED

Diamond Foundry

Tech CEOs and Hollywood actors invest in lab-grown diamonds startup

Could a startup more perfectly encapsulate the shifting nature of luxury? And yes, it had to be from San Francisco ;)

San Francisco-based Diamond Foundry uses a high-energy plasma field to create diamonds that are atomically identical to those found in nature. Previously operating in stealth mode, the company launched publicly in December 2015 when actor Leonardo DiCaprio announced his participation in a funding round that also included Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. The startup say they provide an ethical alternative to mining for diamonds, which is often associated with negative social and environmental impacts.

 
PREMIUM REDEEMED

Fog Point

Luxury vodka is distilled from San Francisco fog water

Another San-Fran offering: the city may be awash with tech money but there's no shortage of zeal for REDEMPTION, either. One way to REDEEM a luxury offering? Put sustainable values at its core.

Available from May 2016, Fog Point is a vodka made from fog harvested in San Francisco. The Hangar One distillery worked with nonprofit FogQuest to set up fog catchers at four locations, collecting fog water over a six-month period, resulting in enough water to make 2,400 bottles of Fog Point. The vodka is distilled from grape wine sourced from a sustainable vineyard in California, with one bottle costing USD 125. The makers say Fog Point is intended to highlight issues around water sustainability.

 
PREMIUM REDEEMED

SK-II

Campaign encourages women to pursue their dreams

Think Asian luxe consumers are still all about all-out bling? This Asian luxury skincare brand is combining a luxe offering with a purpose to generate meaningful social change.

In July 2016, skincare brand SK-II launched its 'Dream Again' video campaign. In the four-minute video, several young women are seen confessing to an 'expert' counselor that they have given up on their dreams because of financial and societal pressures. At the end of the video, the counselor is revealed to have been relaying the advice of two young girls who have been listening in on the conversation. The video was the latest instalment in SK-II's ongoing #ChangeDestiny campaign, centered around the empowerment of women.

 
PREMIUM REDEEMED

Dear Leader

Sunglasses brand aim to take down North Korean regime

How about this for ultimate PREMIUM REDEMPTION? A brand built entirely around a truly world-changing goal.

Launched in Copenhagen in June 2016, Dear Leader is a sunglasses brand with a distinct political aim. Each sale generates financial support for organizations working actively inside North Korea to bring down the regime. Available from EUR 95, shipping is free on all orders within Denmark, and on orders over EUR 250 worldwide.

NEXT

The key question to ask during your team brainstorm: where in our business do we apply this trend? Take inspiration from Fog Point vodka, and develop a new sustainable/ethical product? Or, launch a new campaign to generate positive social change, like SK-II? Or could this trend lead us to an entirely new business concept? Think Dear Leader, a sunglasses brand built around a mission to bring down the North Korean regime. Be bold! And for more on epic trend that that informs this mini-trend, read BIG BRAND REDEMPTION.

 
NUMBER FOUR

THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY

Luxury on demand.

The on-demand economy has permanently rewired expectations.

Luxury dinner party delivered to the doorstep? Pass me the smartphone...

The on-demand and access economies are now assumed for millions around the world. So what next for affluent consumers, always seeking to distinguish themselves from the masses?

The very real benefits that on-demand and access bring – freedom from the hassle of ownership, instant gratification, and more – are universal. Luxury consumers aren't about to set themselves apart by opting out. Okay, I can afford a Ferrari. But drive it across town to dinner tonight? No thanks.

Instead, these consumers will push their on-demand mindset to new highs, and into entirely new domains of consumerism. Think a move beyond on-demand functionality (taxis, laundry, haircuts, etc.) and towards on-demand EXTRAVANGACE.

Yes, that means the inevitable variations on the 'Uber for private jets' theme. But it also means luxury dinner parties at the tap of a screen. And luxury catwalk shows that are shoppable from a smartphone screen.

 
THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY

JetSmarter

On-demand private jet seats between London and Europe

Uber offered the users the chance to book an UberJET from Paris to Cannes way back in 2014, and revived the service briefly in Romania in June this year. Meanwhile, though, 'Uber for private jets' startups are busy innovating to meet accelerating expectations.

JetSmarter is an on-demand service that has been called 'the Uber for private jets'. In March 2016, the US-based startup launched its European JetShuttle service, allowing any user of the app to book a single seat on a private jet flying on selected routes within Europe, including London to Nice and London to Geneva. In June 2016, the company launched the service for flights between London and New York. Previously, users of the app were able only to book an entire, unused private jet for their own use.

 
THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY

Tmall

App lets users liveshop luxury fashion show

Messaging app culture is deeply entrenched among many connected consumers. Now, expect those apps – already becoming ecosystems in their own right – to become new pathways for on-demand luxe.

In March 2016, Chinese etailers Alibaba and Mei partnered on the launch of Tmall's luxury flash sale channel. Tmall's launch event – a luxury fashion show – was live-streamed on a dedicated mobile app to millions of viewers. The runway show featured 42 outfits, all of which were available to purchase immediately via the app. Discounted apparel and accessories from more than 300 international luxury labels were also on sale inside the app; brands included Giorgio Armani, Longchamp and Stuart Weitzman.

 
THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY

Quiero Taxi Exótico

On-demand supercar taxis

Sometimes, obvious works ;) You demand an Uber; I demand a Lambo.

In April 2016, taxi drivers in Cancún launched an on-demand fleet of luxury cars. Aimed principally at tourists and wealthy travelers, the service is available through the free Quiero Taxi Exótico mobile app. The fleet includes Lamborghinis, Ferraris and a vintage Mercedes-Benz, with prices varying depending upon the model chosen. The drivers behind the new service said it was intended to lure high-spending tourists away from Uber.

 
THE EXTRAVANGANCE ECONOMY

Hunter VIII Hunter

Luxury dinner parties on demand

When affluent consumers see new offerings such as this, what other luxury experiences will they bring an on-demand mindset to bear on?

Available during January 2016, The Drop Off is an app from catering company Hunter VIII Hunter allowing Londoners to order a ready-made dinner party to their door. Users can browse a selection of menu ideas and table decoration options. Items are delivered to the customer's door – including food, wine, flowers, candles and table settings. The app also features a range of downloadable playlists and video tutorials on food presentation. Dinners cost from GBP 49 per person and can be ordered in less than 24 hours.

NEXT

Smartphone-fueled on-demand services have rewired the expectations of customers. And there are endless opportunities for playful, luxury approaches to that trend – see London cocktail bar Bob Bob Ricard's now famous table-side 'Push for Champagne' buttons (pictured). Want to get ahead of the on-demand curve? Take your cue from PREMIUM REDEEMED, and start thinking ethical on-demand luxe services. Our recent free Trend Briefing, PEER ARMIES, can help!

 
NUMBER FIVE

POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Disrupted demographics transform the who, where and when of luxury.

Time to throw out old thinking on WHO your customers are and HOW you serve them.

Embrace a world in which identities, lifestyles – and expectations – are liberated from demographic determinism.

The old demographic model – which sought to predict consumer behaviors based on age, gender, location, income bracket and more – is losing its power. Instead, consumers are freer than ever to construct lifestyles and attitudes of their own choosing. That's thanks to unlimited access to information, the erosion of old social conventions, endless choice, and more.

As it happens, we've mentioned this before ;)

The takeaway for luxury brands? In a POST-DEMOGRAPHIC age, your old thinking on who your customers are and how they think is outdated.

In 2017, then, smart luxury brands will embrace new and previously marginalized identities, daring – even heretical – new brand positionings, and new customer expectations when it comes to the how, where and when of a luxury product or experience.

Get it right, and those brands will connect with millions of new potential customers armed with new, POST-DEMOGRAPHIC expectations.

 
POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Fendi

Capsule collection on sale via traveling truck

One way to reach out to new customers? Radically reframe the physical brand/customer touchpoint. How about luxe fashion out of a traveling van?

In July 2016, luxury fashion label Fendi unveiled a traveling shop. The label's Fendi Ape – a modified version of a traditional three-wheeled Italian truck – is traveling across the US and Canada, selling a capsule collection of Fendi's most iconic products. Bag straps, handbags and fur bag charms are on sale via the truck. Its journey started with a July 2016 celebratory dinner in Montauk, and will finish at Miami Art Basel in December.

 
POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Lamborghini

Italian supercar maker targets women and families

Thriving in a POST-DEMOGRAPHIC age means daring to embrace new demographic segments – those that previously 'weren't for you'.

The CEO of Italian supercar brand Lamborghini, Stefano Domenicali, is presiding over a pivot towards families and female customers. The upcoming Urus SUV, planned to roll out in 2018, will target women with families and single women. Speaking of the brand's iconic bull logo, Domenicali said: 'A bull is always aggressive, but I would like to give us a new philosophy for the future: a bull can be gentle.' Currently women make up just 5% of Lamborghini drivers.

 
POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Louis Vuitton

Luxury womenswear brand’s ads fronted by male actor

One major – and high-profile – consequence of POST-DEMOGRAPHIC diversity? Ever-more blurred gender roles and an end to outdated thinking on what is 'for men' and what 'for women'.

In January 2015, Louis Vuitton announced the face of its Spring/Summer 2015 womenswear campaign. The apparel brand’s ad featured teenage actor Jaden Smith (who has previously been seen at events wearing women's garments) wearing a skirt from the collection, photographed by Bruce Weber. The ad campaign also featured a Final Fantasy video game character as part of its model line-up.

 
POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Dolce & Gabbana

Italian fashion brand runs street graffiti campaign

Reaching out to new POST-DEMOGRAPHIC customers means speaking their language. And that means embracing new forms of culture and communication. High fashion brand meets street art, anyone?

Dolce & Gabbana has placed a number of cartoon-style graffiti images on sidewalks across London and Paris. Sprayed onto the street, the images show the brand’s founders Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and their pets, along with a hashtag reading #DGFamily. Fans of the brand were invited to scout out the graffiti and share a tagged photograph and their location on social media, making it easy for others to track down the images. A Google Map of the #DGFamily graffiti was also available in Paris.

 
POST-DEMOGRAPHIC LUXURY

Richard Mille

Swiss watch-maker partners with graffiti artist

And to close, a USD 685,000 watch ;) The underlying point here: unexpected partnerships are a great way to serve demographically disrupted expectations. Swiss watch-maker partners with a fine artist? Expected. A graffiti artist? Now we're talking...

June 2016 saw Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille partner with French graffiti artist Cyril ‘Kongo’ Phan on a USD 685,000 timepiece. Each internal component of the RM 68-01 Tourbillon Cyril Kongo is unique; the result of a year-long project that saw Kongo develop special airbrushes capable of applying paint thin enough so not to hinder the watch’s movements. Due to the moving parts, the color and appearance of the RM 68-01 Tourbillon Kongo constantly changes. Only 30 timepieces were produced, and all sold before the official launch announcement.

NEXT

This goes way beyond luxury. The epic mega-trend that is POST-DEMOGRAPHIC CONSUMERISM is transforming customer expectations in every industry. If you haven't already, check out the original free Trend Briefing and start planning your strategy.

 
AND FINALLY

THESE MIGHT SEEM RIDICULOUS NOW...

But ridiculous can fast become revolutionary.

Ridiculed to revolutionary: the luxury story that happens over and again.

New modes of luxury consumption and display – and those who pioneer them – have always been subject to ridicule. But look closer, and you'll often spot early signals of new, powerful, and eventually mainstream trends...

 

THE FUTURE OF LUXURY is... danger?

Launched in July 2016, Gems are a line of tumblers from Martin Jakobsen. They are made from radioactive uranium-glass, and glow green under ultraviolet light. Yes, they're radioactive! But the real point here is the magic moment they allow a dinner party host to create as drinks are served. 'What, these glowing glasses? Oh, yes, they're radioactive.' And besides, the makers promise that the levels of radiation emitted are low-level and non-harmful ;)

 

THE FUTURE OF LUXURY is... invisibility?

The ISHU scarf features light-reflecting 'anti-flash technology' that makes the wearer invisible in a flash photograph. Sounds like a gimmick? Privacy-seeking celebrities that have worn the ISHU include Cameron Diaz, rapper DMX, and singer Nick Jonas. From August 2016, the scarf is available to buy along with a range of other anti-flash clothes. Think of it as the desire for privacy and control that we talked about in V.I.D. – but playing out in the physical world.

 

THE FUTURE OF LUXURY is... immortality?

Silicon Valley startup Eternime collects user's social media, photographs, thoughts and memories in order to create a chatbot version of the user upon death, which relatives can then interact with. Virtual immortality? It's the next best thing until Google's Calico solves the problems of aging and death for good. Self-actualization pushed to the point of insanity? Maybe, but a few decades ago people thought jogging was weird.

 

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Seeing these five trends in the context of our Trend Framework.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

Spotting trends? It all starts with innovations...

The not-so-secret secret to spotting trends (including this one!). Stop watching customers, and start watching the innovations – products, services, campaigns – flooding into the market now. Draw lines between similar innovations, and interrogate them for the new customer expectations they're helping to create. There's much more on our end-to-end methodology in our book, Trend-Driven Innovation. So how do we process thousands of innovations we spot? It helps to have a Framework...

 
THE BIGGER PICTURE

The Trend Framework

16 mega-trends that provide structure and context when tracking innovation.

We map all the expectation-changing innovations we spot against our Trend Framework: the 16 mega-trends – that is, the big, slow-moving currents in the consumer arena – that taken together form our complete picture of consumerism today and where it's heading. All of the 100+ trends we track fall under these 16 mega-trends.

Having a robust and comprehensive Trend Framework allows us to assess the implications of the hundreds, if not thousands, of innovations we receive from TW:IN (TrendWatching's global network of spotters) every day. 

And when a cluster of innovations doesn't fit neatly under one or more of our trends, that's when we know we're on the verge of identifying something NEW!

That's how we spot all our trends – including the five trends featured in THE FUTURE OF LUXURY.

 
THE BIGGER PICTURE

Where will these trends head NEXT?

Glance at our Trend Framework, and you'll begin to see where the trends we've featured slot in.

For example, the PREMIUM REDEEMED trend is really just one new direction of travel under the mega-trend that is BETTER BUSINESS, which captures the epic, decades-long search for a more ethical and sustainable consumerism. Meanwhile, THE EXTRAVAGANCE ECONOMY falls under the HELPFULL mega-trend, which is all about the evolution of customer service and convenience.

Watching these trends – and all our trends – in the context of our Trend Framework means crucial added insight on where they came from and, crucially, where they are heading next.

You can get a glimpse here. Clients of our Premium Service have full access.

OVER TO YOU!

So now it's your turn to shape THE FUTURE OF LUXURY – by turning one (or more) of these trends into a new product, service, campaign or business concept! Think, discuss, ideate and execute. Our free CONSUMER TREND CANVAS tool will help get you started!