What Millennials Think of Luxury Brands
Special report: some facts and figures on the perception of luxury brands by high earning millennials - with HEC Paris MBA.
Pluris Medias partnered with HEC Paris MBA to launch a survey to 400+ MBA students around the world in over 26 different business schools. Students were asked how they feel about luxury and watches and how they interact with luxury brands via digital. Here is an introduction and some excerpts of the study.
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WHO are millennialsThere is no official singular definition of a millennial. The PEW Research Center defines millennials as being born between the years 1981-1997 (age in 2016: 19-35 years old).
WHY luxury brands should care about millennialsIn short-buying power.
Millennials are set to outpace spending of baby boomers by 2017, according to a study by Berglass + Associates.
In 2020, Accenture projects that millennials will spend $1.4 trillion annually and represent 30% of sales in the United States alone.
Millennials account for 45% of the luxury market, according to a 2015 report by the Shullmann Research Centre.
Survey Target: Millennial HENRYs = MBA StudentsMBA students are an interesting group for luxury brands because of their age and earning power.
82% of survey respondents were between 27-35 years old, classifying them as millennials
The average weighted salary of a MBA graduate one year after graduation is $138,055 according to data from the 2015 Financial Times rankings. This salary qualifies MBA students as a “HENRY”: High Earning Not Rich Yet. Forbes defines Henry’s as “High earning professionals and entrepreneurs running households with annual incomes between $100k-$250k.”
WHAT role does luxury play in the survey group’s lives?57% agree that “Luxury matters to me. I am aware of brands and sometimes look for it.”
65% had recently purchased a luxury item in the last 2 years, using their own definition of luxury.
Top associations with luxury, when they see another person wearing/using a luxury item or service:
HOW do millennials interact with luxury brands via digital?18% of our survey participants had downloaded a luxury brand’s mobile app in the previous year, compared to only 4% in a 2013 survey by McKinsey.
62% reported NOT engaging online with luxury brands regarding their last purchase. Said one person, “I believe that it is personal and should not be advertised blatantly.”
10% reported making their most recent luxury purchase online, citing that saving time and finding the best price were their main motivators. Others said that they found the store atmosphere “intimidating and scrutinizing.”
Of the 90% that made their most recent luxury purchase in-store, 48% said it was because they wanted to see and try on the product and 16% said it was because the online information was lacking.
SourcesMillennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation, Pew Research Center, 2016.
Who are the Millennial shoppers? And what do they really want?, Accenture, 2016.
A 'millennial tsunami' is sweeping over global luxury, Campaign, 2015.
HEC Paris MBA Candidate, Class of 2016
Helen Shih lives at the intersection of good design, the Internet, business, and marketing. After working for creative agencies in New York, she moved to France to pursue her MBA at HEC Paris.