As the American Express Publishing Luxury Summit
got underway all old was new again. This is a crowd much shaken by the fickle consumer but also ready to focus on the future. They want your dollars, luxury consumer, and they are tentatively certain you might be ready to spend them again. But they also know that you've changed.
Cynthia McFarlane, President, Saatchi & Saatchi Latin America, broke down the results of her survey of luxury consumers around the world and found some core points of global connection. Customers want what is classic, quality and a known quantity. And yet, they want to be surprised, they want to be dazzled, they want thrills. They want choice, but not too much choice, deals but not discounts. It's all a bit confusing for brands trying to maintain consistency while creating the excitement luxury consumers need to see.
One things interesting to note across the panels was that when it came to discussions of successful luxury one name kept coming up, Hermes. Luxury advisor Michel Gutsatz praised the brand for its integration of ad campaigns, website and stores to create a distinctive unified brand. William S. Taubman, the Chief Operating Officer of the Taubman Centers chain of shopping centers also highlighted the brand for its commitment to quality and authenticity. Time and again the distinctive orange brand received accolades. Louis Vuitton also got approving nods for focusing on core values of craftsmanship, a message neatly shown off in their recent ad campaign featuring everyone from famous astronauts
to Baryshnikov. Pretty amazing that the future of luxury branding is being shown by luxury brands with very long histories. Another brand often discussed was Apple. Why Apple? Because nobody gets Apple discounts and that itself is a form of luxury and a little bit of magic that other brands would love to emulate.