The new luxury consumers

Young Asian girls doing shopping

The Chinese luxury clientele is younger and younger, with half between the ages of 25 and 28. © Ilya Terentyev

Young Asian girls doing shopping

The Chinese luxury clientele is younger and younger, with half between the ages of 25 and 28. © Ilya Terentyev

Although Europe remains a bastion of luxury, growth relays now come from emerging countries and the United States. However, brands cannot simply capitalize on their international reputations: they must reinvent themselves by considering these new consumers' often very different expectations.

According to a KPMG report published in January 2013, China, which is now the leading luxury goods consumer, has the youngest clientele in the world. This clientele is particularly fond of French brands – especially for cosmetics – as well as brands from Italy and Hong Kong. While there are real local differences, they tend to converge toward an international luxury market. As a genuine laboratory for this convergence, Hong Kong combines a cultural base similar to the one on the Chinese continent with a strong pervasiveness of international luxury acquired from its Western influences. Like those in Hong Kong, the expectations of Chinese consumers are set to progressively follow the example of the historic luxury markets like Europe and the United States.

As for the Russians, the social distinction that luxury goods procure is a major purchase motivator and the Russian consumers give increasing importance to the brands' symbolic worlds.

In India, luxury especially offers an opportunity for personal expression while in Brazil it Did you know?es more on hedonism. But this quest for pleasure does not overlook naturalness: Brazilians are culturally close to nature and expect brands to reflect inspiration in nature.

Did you know?

 

1/ According to a study published by KPMG in 2011, Chinese consumers associate luxury goods with certain countries and are strongly attached to European brands, especially French brands. In fact, France ranks first for cosmetics and fragrance (mentioned by 76% of respondents), fashion (37%) and handbags (33%).

2/ As the world’s leading luxury consumers, Chinese shoppers alone now purchase 25% of all luxury goods in the world, making them the biggest consumers in this sector, ahead of the Americans (Bain & Company, December 2012).

3/ Chinese shoppers mainly buy their cosmetics in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao (60%), then in continental China (51%) and in Europe (20%) – where France is a market reference (KPMG study, March 2013).