|Luxury Markets See a Boost
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
How is the luxury market doing these days? With the nation crawling out of the hole created by the financial crisis, with the power of the U.S. dollar falling worldwide, and the increasing gap between the super rich and the masses, surely the conversation would be somber.
Not so much. In fact, according to Bain & Company, the luxury market has experienced a growth in the double digits since the end of the financial crisis. There is also an interesting trend in this rise of luxury spending. According to several sources in the article by CNBC, the traditional buying habits of the genders are not applicable. Products that were traditionally not a woman's purchase have been seeing more attention from the ladies, and vice versa.
Marco Mattiacci, president of Ferrari North America, said that the percentage of North American women who own Ferraris grew from 1% to 10%. China experienced a huge jump; now 30% of its market is women. On the other side of the gender spectrum, men have decided to dive into the shoe market. How serious are they? Serious enough for designers Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo to start designing lines for the men. IBM's statistics show that men's apparel sales have the chance to increase 8% during the first quarter of 2012, even after the great last year the market had. Coach, a business that started with men's fashion, believes that it will grow its men's division from $200 million to $1 billion in the next three to five years. Now that's some growth.
How will the advertising world be affected? Will Coach ads become prominent in Details, GQ, and Esquire? Will Kenneth Cole have to match wits with the likes of Louboutin?
As gender roles change, and as the luxury market grows, advertising will have to shift its messaging. The new "masculine" doesn't back away from the man bag. Skinny jeans for men are no longer ridiculed (though still a terrible fashion choice). Same goes for women-specific media. Will OWN turn away Ferrari placements in shows? Will Elle and RedBook be open to the plastic and flashy toys that used to distract their male counterparts? The trends of the buyers will dictate the advertising.
It will be interesting to see where this takes us. After all, when was the last time you saw (or remembered) a shoe-sale ad during a football game?
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