KBB - March 2010 - (Page 12)

Consumer High Minded With the new year comes a new state of luxury Is this what it means to be in recovery? Are we in the throes of a major paradigm shift that will affect the way we spend for the next decade? Or are we slyly awaiting a return to a perceived norm and, in essence, the “ok” to return to our bad behaviors? This year would have the makings of a fascinating study in consumer behavior if we weren’t all playing a starring role in these more realistic times. Only a few years ago, we aspired to living well beyond our means and not really caring so much how our behavior affected our own lives, let alone the country’s outlook. the Greatest Generation, or those born prior to 1946, are now prized: discipline when it comes to finances and saving for retirement. TALK THE TALK The word “luxury” has been used to define many things. As we know, it’s been overextended. What’s in and out for brand-speak? Out Luxury Decadent Exquisite Lavish Extravagance Glamour Flash In Authenticity Discretion Quality Sensitive Dependable Exclusive Subtle NEW WORLD ORDER It didn’t take long, however, to wake up to the new world order. Living with dour statistics sobers a nation quickly: foreclosures, unemployment rates, lack of consumer confidence and credit card debt included. In comparison, what was defined as the luxury market had been somewhat insulated through 2008. But 2009 and beyond has been a different story, one of redefining how we view this targeted population. Opportunity does exist with the true luxury consumer. It’s simply a matter of recognizing that the pool of luxury consumers has diminished— or, some might argue, was overinflated from the beginning. Generally, statistics suggest that 20 percent of U.S. households have incomes of at least $100,000. According to a January 2010 Forbes.com blog post, there are currently 225,000 Americans worth more than $10 million. If they represent the true luxury consumer, then we are looking at approximately 0.01 percent of the population. A different mindset exists for each. First, the Earnest Affluents—or that 0.01 percent of the population—appreciate true luxury and can afford it, albeit more discriminately these days. For them, excess is out and stealthy spending is in. Carrying a brand-emblazoned shopping bag is no longer the epitome of status. Quality is. Yes, they will continue to spend money, but decisions are made with more consideration and they look to marketers and manufacturers to answer the question, “Why should I spend?” The second group, the Offluents, are made up of that 20 percent of the population who exhausted themselves by trying to keep up with the authentic luxury lifestyle. Their new mindset involves the internal needversus-desire debate. If the answer to the question, “Do I need it?” is “no,” likely the item will return to its shelf or remain on a wish list. As a result, frugality is in. Instead of consumers feeling self-conscious about their new shopping habits, bargaining, coupon clipping and consignment shopping have become bragging points. In addition, the values of True luxury brands have remained above the fray, as their brand messaging and company legacy still hold appeal for the wealthiest percentage of the population. Those who have embraced the new vocabulary also find themselves in a good position as tenets like authenticity, quality and dependability are valued. In the future, luxury goods will be marketed to the Earnest Affluents exclusively, or those who can afford the investment. SMALL, SMART & HANDSOME Even design trends have followed suit, with smaller, smarter and handsome homes becoming more enticing for both the Earnest Affluents, as well as the Offluents. While less is needed to fill these more petite homes, the quality of goods has not been lowered. These well-appointed spaces equal singularly chic environments—meaning money saved on energy, for example, may be redistributed elsewhere in the home. Form, function and detail are paramount, along with thoughtful customization to utilize every inch smartly. Finally, we ask ourselves if we did indeed learn our lesson. Industry experts encourage authentic luxury brands to step up and embrace what has made them special: substance over style and quality over consumption. The angst in consumers’ desire to find balance continues, however, as a new attitude toward the elusive business of being happy evolves. As a nation, we sometimes embrace change slowly, which is why some question whether our frugality is a short-term fix or a long-term attitude. s — Jennifer Brough is a trend tracker at White Good & Co. 12 + K BB March 2010 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com Jully2004 http://www.Forbes.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - March 2010

KBB - March 2010
Table of Contents
Editor’s Note
Online Content
Online News
Consumer
Trends
Products
Profile
Bright Outlook
Easy, Breezy, Beautiful
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - March 2010

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20161112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20151112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20141112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20140506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20131112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20121112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201004
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20100102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20091112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20090607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200808
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com