We have been cogitating, pondering and mulling over the state of luxury today. I (A) have read numerous articles by different experts in the field of branding, marketing, and those who report on luxury sales.
In an earlier post we mentioned "affordable luxury" as a category, which in our opinion is an oxymoron. An article in Harvard Business review by Michael Silverstein and Neil Fisk coined the term masstige brands for "mass prestige" brands in their book Trading Up. These are brands that are affordable to the masses. In real estate talk, the MacMansions are an example of a masstige brand.
We have often asked wealthy people and luxury real estate marketing professionals the question: What does luxury mean to you? One of the answers that stayed with us was from a very successful luxury agent whose answer was, "Luxury is a pair of comfortable shoes!" We identified with this one recalling a trip to Spain. Prior to the trip, we had outfitted ourselves with comfortable shoes that ended up being sheer torture. Luxury was buying new shoes and being able to walk again!
We have always maintained that luxury is not just expensive goods, it is a state of mind. What does luxury mean to you? Stay tuned for Part 2.