Spending Patterns Of Millenials & Older Generations

It is a known fact that all over the world, the older generations control “luxury spending” across all categories – from personal care to travel and collectibles.

Then how is it that luxury marketers spend so much time and resources trying to attract the millenials’ attention? Are luxury brands trying too hard to attract a younger demographic which could end up losing one gold laying goose for another?


YouGov’s 2016 Affluent Perspective Global Study, derived from profiles of the world’s most elite consumers, reports that despite slight global decreases in spending, travel and fine dining are predicted to see an increase. One thing is certain, age is not a factor for luxury travel spend. Although millennials tend to appreciate and spend more on experiential travel more than their older counterparts.

Here’s the argument. What demographic should marketers focus on capturing market share? Should luxury brands continue to target the millenials’ parents rather than reaching out directly to the younger demographic? Or should they continue to make an effort to be more digitally compliant and accessible to warm their way into the hearts of the millennials?

Is this all connected to ‘when’ and ‘how’ consumers are first introduced to luxury brands? Luxury is typically introduced to younger consumers by the older generations. Commonly as gifts, for special occasions, achievements and luxury experiences during family holidays.

Millenials may not be as impressed with a luxury good or service without a price indication of its worth. Older generations however appreciate the history, quality, design, craftsmanship and retained value that are characteristic of luxury brands.

It is entirely up to luxury brand managers to make sure that their brands remain relevant to the millennials, helping them evolve from immature aficionados to ones that appreciate the true definition of luxury such as the history, artistry and craftsmanship of a product, service or experience.

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