The Loyalty Factor: How Younger Generations are Shaping Luxury Brands

If there is one trend spanning all aspects of life among younger generations, it’s this: change. Whether it be politics, business, or education, Millennials and Generation Z are not afraid to disrupt the status quo and do things their way. And, the way younger generations prefer to shop is no exception.

While creative startups and direct-to-consumer distribution are growing in popularity, it doesn’t mean that luxury brands are a thing of the past. It merely implies luxury brands must adapt their old-age retailing practices to cater to their younger non-traditional customer-base.

If luxury brands are going to work successfully with retailers in a changing landscape of loyalty, it’s critical to understand how younger generations are shaping luxury brands.

Younger generations value innovative and meaningful collaboration

Recent findings suggest that Millennials are well-educated, career-driven, progressive, and likely to develop brand loyalty with brands that offer high-quality products and prove they are actively engaged.

Additionally, research shows that younger generations are highly interested in innovation in design, unique collections that reflect their individuality and values, and collaboration with celebrities. Findings by the Buzz Marketing Group report that 84% of Millennials love it when brands cross over with celebrities to try something new. 

Think Rihanna and Fenty. Beyonce and Topshop. Gigi Hadid for Tommy Hilfiger. Emma Watson and Burberry. You get the idea.

How does a luxury retailer start creating more meaningful connections with younger generations?

Start by with your manufacturing partners about producing exclusives, special merchandising, and capsule collections that involve celebrity collaboration and meaningful innovation.

Younger generations care about social responsibility

Another way younger generations are shaping luxury brands is their increased concern with sustainability and social responsibility.

As of today, 56% of true-luxury consumers are interested in luxury brands’ stances on social responsibility. 62% of luxury consumers say they will do business with brands that support sustainability over brands that do not.

When it comes to what younger luxury consumers care about most in terms of sustainability, here is the breakdown:

  • 42% of Millennials prioritize the environment
  • 26% care about the treatment of animals
  • 31% care about ethical manufacturing

Research aggregated by Salt & Shein confirms and adds to the idea that brands should give back. 75% of Millennials say they are tired of corporate greed and rate support for local communities as a competitive advantage.

What does this mean for luxury brands?

Sarah Willersdorf, partner and managing director at BCG, puts it nicely in a recent Forbes interview. Willersdorf says, “Sustainability will continue to advance in importance. It will feed both the secondary-luxury market as well as give a lift to limited-run collaborations which show a brand’s respect for not flooding the market with too much merchandise.”

Wrap Up

Younger generations are progressive. They care about the manufacturing process, the buying process, and which causes and celebrities are connected with your luxury collections.

Millennials and Gen Z connect more with luxury brands that care about the community, engage in socially responsible retailing practices, and innovate collections in meaningful ways.

As you consider your new luxury collections for younger generations, use your B2B e-commerce platform to track key data, understand what styles and collections are resonating, and find valuable opportunities that will boost loyalty among your younger luxury-buyers.

For more information about how to present this data and new collections effectively, schedule a demo of NuORDER today.