The quest for eternity: why it matters in luxury?

How to maintain desirability in luxury?

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How to maintain desirability in luxury? With the release of the latest report from the Comité Colbert on the theme of desirability, Laurent Boillot quotes Stendhal: “The desire for luxury is simply a desire for beauty.” He rightly recalls the pursuit of the intimate and the sublime that animates the luxury sector around aesthetic and sensory experiences, as well as the question of brand responsibility.

Going beyond necessity to evoke dreams, the challenge for luxury brands has always been not only to create desirability but above all to maintain it over time. However, this concern now finds itself amidst the evolving codes of luxury, consumer expectations, and brand expressions.

The Allure of Icons in Luxury

The concept of desirability is inherent to luxury. Throughout history, iconic objects crafted with unmatched expertise and recognizable symbols have been symbols of refinement and exclusivity. From Chanel’s 2.55 bag to Hermès’ scarf, to Cartier’s Love bracelet, these pieces transcend trends and eras, embodying a timeless quality that fascinates enthusiasts across generations. Their value, far beyond their material aspect, lies in their ability to embody enduring excellence. For luxury brands, the goal is primarily to create « long-sellers », rather than “best-sellers”that perpetuate the dream in consumers’ imaginations. This longevity raises questions about the space for emerging brands: how to carve a way in a landscape dominated by giants?

New Strategies to Reach New Audiences

In a constantly evolving market, the iconic object alone is no longer enough to generate excitement. Brands are doubling down on creativity through marketing strategies to reach new targets. Brands are doubling down on creativity through marketing strategies to reach new targets. One strategy is to play with the concept of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which encourages consumers to acquire a product for fear of missing a unique experience. Some brands stimulate desire through limited edition product launches or drops, highlighting artificial scarcity, and generating virality. Numerous collaborations between luxury brands and diverse artists, such as that of Moncler and Jay-Z around a capsule that aims to be unique, highlight this blend of two worlds, intended to captivate the attention of new generations and reinvent the codes of luxury. The role of ambassadors also contributes to sustaining desirability. For example, Armani’s Si perfume is now endorsed by a trending brand ambassador like Sadie Sink, joining Cate Blanchett, to reach a new generation. It’s a game with time, an imaginary race against the clock that encourages seizing the present moment, unlike what endures.

Contemporary Perspectives and Responsibility

The traditionally long-term approach associated with luxury and desirability is therefore being questioned. Luxury is becoming increasingly accessible, through the overall experience, but also through diversification, with brands now offering beauty products more affordable than fashion pieces, and finally through new uses. The example of Louis Vuitton’s runway show orchestrated by Pharrell Williams on TikTok – which made the House the most followed luxury brand on the platform – demonstrates the power of influence that offers a relaxed foray into luxury. The live show, once reserved for the happy few, is now open to a wide audience, prompting us to reflect on the legitimacy of luxury in our society and the values it conveys.

To ensure that luxury remains a symbol of excellence while engaging positively and sustainably, other brands aim to make an impact on society through partnerships and commitments. This is the case with Prada, which partners with Libraries Without Borders to promote education for the preservation of marine ecosystems, an engagement reflected in the brand’s overall communication. These initiatives, integrated into green marketing operations, are part of the issues driving the luxury world. The latter seeks to strike a balance between accessibility and responsibility while still eliciting admiration from consumers.

A Delicate Balance: Accessibility or Exclusivity

On one hand, brands are faced with the need to diversify their offers to meet emerging trends; on the other hand, luxury remains inherently linked to exclusivity and rarity. In recent years, in order to innovate, create more products and content, and provoke surprise, the trend is to explore new territories through brand experiences – museums and cultural destinations but also pop-ups, cafes, restaurants, hotels, spas, or even beaches, by Dior, Gucci, Jacquemus, Chanel, among others. This quest for the infinite aims to extend the brand experience and strengthen its impact on a wider audience.

On the other hand, brands cultivate inaccessibility through ultra-luxury or services reserved for a limited clientele, the VICs (Very Important Customers). Chanel’s 11.12 bag has thus crossed the symbolic price of 10,000 euros, reinforcing its status as the ultimate coveted object. Louis Vuitton continues to open its VIC spaces, named L’Appartement, exclusively designed to meet the demands of a privileged clientele. Luxury navigates between two poles, balancing the desire for innovation and democratization with the need to preserve its aura of prestige.

The notion of desirability in luxury is not static but evolves with time. If once it was mostly linked to singular craftsmanship, today it is defined by the ability to create virality or appeal to a target sensitive to sustainability issues or in search of experiences. For Omedia Paris, the key lies in creativity, emotions, the bond forged with its clientele, timelessness, and the precious know-how that must be preserved. To maintain their position as leaders in the industry, luxury brands must continue their efforts to exacerbate and perpetuate desire, while embodying values of excellence and commitment that cater to demanding clientele. Our expertise at Omedia Paris also lies in the ability to innovate to support brands through creativity and strategic choices that make them ever more desirable.

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