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January 27, 2020

According to Lexus's Study, Luxury Will be About Experiences, Not Things

Lexus looks to the future as they reveal luxury trends based on its most recent research. As part of their ongoing efforts to understand what luxury means to people, Toyota’s premium division commissioned a study of more than 3,200 Americans from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. The result of the study is very interesting.

Luxury has always been about exceptional quality and, more recently, experiences over possessions. They are the single most inherent features of luxury and are the top “must-haves” for luxury brands, according to the study findings.

56 percent of respondents feel that luxury is better described as a lifestyle of experiences than a collection of belongings. This trend is projected to continue, as 73 percent of them believe that identifying luxury with experiences over belongings will be just as, if not more, important in the next ten years.

Indeed, looking to the future, successful luxury brands will differentiate themselves with quality experiences and service, not just quality products. 86 percent of respondents expect luxury brands to provide exceptional experiences: from being highly responsive to customers’ needs, providing expert support, and focusing on the details; to the personal touch, such as knowing the customer’s name and preferences and even attention to the sensory, such as scent, lighting and mood.

Because of this, those surveyed believe that luxury brands should be able to cater to a level of personalization. Almost all (93 percent) feel that premium brands should allow them to make special requests. In fact, more than half (51 percent) are hoping to see additional tools and innovation supporting ways to customize their orders, particularly online.

All this leads to respondents believing that luxury should go beyond what’s tangible. Around 51 percent believe that luxury should be down to personal enjoyment. One such personal luxury is “digital detox.” With the constant pressure to always be “plugged in,” away time from social media, news, email, and the internet is what respondents value now.

For the carmakers themselves, respondents believe that luxury brands should act like leaders on issues surrounding sustainability (71 percent). Surprisingly, they are now open to innovative materials to help satisfy their demand for more sustainable manufacturing practices. In fact, nearly half (48 percent) look to see more original materials like faux leather and lab-grown diamonds in the future.

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