To stay ahead in an ever-growing, ever-competitive marketplace, luxury fashion brands need to be aware of the relevant trends each year. It can be a difficult sector to navigate. Evolving channels and shifting markets offer great revenue opportunities whereas, on the other hand, global economic growth as a whole is slowing and industry competition is higher than ever. Figures show that this luxury market can be incredibly lucrative for brands that stand out. In just 2020 alone, the entire luxury market is expected to grow by over 2% and amount to over £87m of total revenue.
To thrive in this profitable environment, companies must think strategically and stay on top of the latest trends as they pertain to their industry across multiple markets and cultures. However, by taking on these challenges and opportunities in the luxury market for 2020 and understanding luxury fashion industry analysis, it could just be the difference between getting ahead and falling behind.
How Technology and Sustainability Can Help Luxury Brands
No longer is it the case of just searching for ‘what is high end fashion?’ or asking simply ‘what is the most valuable luxury brand?’ and then looking to purchase from there. In the current global marketplace, there is a slew of new traits that need to be incorporated into your approach in order to attract new customers. Sustainability is one such example and the importance of sustainability in retail cannot be overstated.
By focusing on recent technological developments, such as utilising influencers and social media, and sustainable concepts, alternative materials and reduced waste, luxury brands can begin to connect with a younger demographic and take advantage of developing markets. Luxury brands targeting Millennials in this manner is something you should expect to see a lot more of, both in 2020 and for the years ahead.
How to Attract the Luxury Consumer in 2020
So if both the luxury marketplace is changing as well as the luxury consumer, what are the best ways you will be able to attract clients in 2020? Essentially there are three very important things you will need to build into your strategies in order to see increased success. These are:
- Exclusive Collaborations: Collaborations, both artistic and product-based, can create a significant emotional connection with your consumers. This generates greater brand awareness of your products, opens up wider sales channels and creates an overall feeling of exclusivity. The recent Michael Kors collaboration with Formula 1 Company McLaren is an innovative and unique way of striking a chord with the modern luxury consumer.
- Secret Brand Experiences: With the digital age in full swing, brick and mortar locations have found a way to fight back: secret, members-only retail concepts. With customers demanding more from their in-store experiences, offering unique, one-off events help consumers feel special and valued by creating a long-term meaningful relationship that can’t be fostered through online alone. Harvey Nichols offers an intimate, VIP experience with concierge-style services that include personalised technology, combining the best of both worlds perfectly. Be original and unique. Your consumers will value you more for it.
- A Personalised Experience: When everyone can have everything on their smartphone or tablet, the personal touch can quickly be erased. Injecting humanity into your online approach can counter this effect. Digital personalisation is the answer to this as it makes consumers feel special and gets them to engage with your brand on a deeper, more emotional level. Burberry became the first luxury brand to offer fans a personalised experience by letting them interact with a new range of mascara through Pinterest.
Trends That Will Help Your Luxury Fashion Brand Grow in 2020
The luxury fashion world has seen many different trends come and go over recent years and being able to navigate them effectively is key for success. For the luxury trends 2020, this is no different. So let’s take a look and see what the most important ones that will help you grow and develop this year are:
1. You Can’t Rely On Heritage Alone
Heritage in regards to luxury brands is important, it’s just isn’t everything anymore. It’s no longer a guarantee of value and success for established luxury brands. You need to always be looking to find new avenues of relevance to meet today’s consumer expectations. Connect with your past, of course, but find ways to adapt this message and place it in a modern context to offer personal relevance.
2. Be Inclusive and Diverse
The lack of diversity in a campaign or company can be an immediate turn off for modern consumers. Luxury brands need to get serious and sincere about inclusive marketing. From casting models from a variety of cultures and ethnicities to hiring chief diversity officers, luxury brands will need to be more inclusive and diverse in the future.
3. Augmented Reality
With faster download speeds and reduced latency, 5G could see the rise of augmented reality in connection with the fashion industry. This could lead to customers being able to “try on” designs or outfits on social platforms before purchasing them online or through an app. This level of personal experience could be instrumental in generating growth.
4. Rental and Resale Will Continue to Grow
2019 saw many fashion companies beginning to offer the possibility to rent and resell products. This is only set to grow further as fashion brands look to become more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, something this approach can help to achieve. In-house reselling, renting and the use of deadstock fabrics will all see a definite increase in the year ahead.
Speaking of which, sustainability is key. Especially amongst the younger generations in regards to the materials themselves as well as the sourcing, transporting and process of making them. Beyond the use of materials like vegan leather or organic cotton, 2020 will likely see luxury brands look to empower consumers and let them track and control their own impact on the environment with respect to luxury objects.
6. Gaming and Luxury
The marriage of gaming and luxury brands is set to grow in 2020 as the power of virtual immersion is only just beginning to be harnessed. In fact, Louis Vuitton became the first luxury brand to partner with Riot Games’ online video game League of Legends as they created luxury in-game outfits and a corresponding capsule collection of clothing. As people and brands become more comfortable with this idea, we’ll see more companies begin to experiment with it.
7. Next-Gen Social Media
Social media is always changing and staying on top of this is key to maintaining growth and relevance. For luxury brands, committing to a clear consumer focus and the adoption of alternative social platforms will allow them to answer the modern-day customers desire for a more authentic, unfiltered look at all your operations.
8. Smart Shopping
Social commerce will continue on its upward trajectory in 2020. With the new releases and capability of features such as Instagram Shopping, Checkout on Instagram and a number of other features that are presumably in the works, the ability to purchase luxury clothing and products directly from social media is something that will happen sooner rather than later.
9. A New Approach to Packaging
Treasured, not trash, is the balancing act luxury brands will need to nail in 2020 to offer quality packaging that stays sustainable. So we’ll likely see the majority of luxury brands experiment with new sustainable premium materials and digital storytelling as they look to create a way to turn their throw away packaging into lifetime keepsakes.
10. Purely Digital Clothing
Last year saw the beginning of digital clothing, this year will see it become more commonplace. Gucci let customers “try on” Ace sneakers through augmented reality, Drest sold digitised versions of Farfetch’s inventory and Tommy Hilfiger used a virtual showroom to gauge customer appetite. This is an intriguing method for a brand to experiment with technology, engage with a younger demographic and cater to both modern culture as well as the increased desire for sustainability.
Luxury brands need to innovate to stay relevant. Resting on the prestige of a centuries-old name will not be enough to remain successful. The luxury brands who can successfully adapt to the changing of the times and new consumers expectations without sacrificing their core values will be the ones who see the greatest success. However, staying on top of the latest digital trends can be difficult, so aligning yourself with experts in working with luxury fashion brands in regards to eCommerce would also be a highly advisable approach.