Covid-19 presented fashion and luxury with the need to review (almost) everything, starting from their relationship with their community. What could help to get ready for starting over?
In 2020, as the shock of the first lockdown had not been absorbed yet, analysts and operators started to work on numbers and forecasts, with a double aim. The first one: quantifying the loss for the fashion and luxury chain. The second one: daring to suggest a hypothesis on when a new normality could start. Pandemic, unfortunately, put those attempts in a corner, forcing them to expand drastically their timeline. The focus, in some cases, transcended numbers, trying to evaluate what could help brands (and not only them) not to miss the train of recovery.
In order not to miss the train
Équité, for instance, a luxury consulting company, proposed a similar reflection. Their CEO, Daniel Langer (who is also a Luxury Strategy professor at Pepperdine University, in California), explained to the Chinese magazine Jing Daily that there are 3 rules to put into practice, in 2021, to be on the ball. First: consider in a critical way the value of your brand. Second: turn the story of your brand into a thrilling story. Third: make the experience of your clients better, digitally and physically. All of this does not only serve the purpose of keeping the relationship with your community of clients alive. Most of all, it aims to engage a particular and essential category of consumers: those of Generation Z, born between 1995 and 2010.
Catching Generation Z
“Generation Z approaches luxury brands in a very different way, compared with the previous ones. They expect brands to be genuine. For example, they should have a political proposal and position”, Langer writes on Jing Daily. “In addition, these very young people influence older generations, including Millennials. If a brand is not relevant to Generation Z today, it is unlikely that it will be in the future”, Langer declares. Please note that, in China, Generation Z already makes from 12 to 15% of luxury purchases. Within 2030, they will probably place most luxury purchase orders globally.
The 3 rules, explained in detail
And so, what should a luxury brand do in 2021? First of all, “a critical check of their brand equity”, the analyst states. And then: “If you think your story is excellent, try to tell it in less than 5 seconds”. If you think it is a little time, be informed that the attentiveness of a Gen Z is 6 seconds. After that, you need to “turn this story into a thrilling experience”, connected 24/7, because over 95% of purchase decisions are made online. And the process has to continue in the shops. Which are where the end game is played, finally, because they are obviously a critical issue: the brand needs to offer to customers a skilled sales force, especially on products. Those who are going to make it, will not miss the train of recovery.