Luxury motor brands embrace greener agenda

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that luxury can be sustainable...

Rolls-Royce has joined a growing set of luxury car manufacturers in admitting that its cars need to be greener – relying less on petrol, and more on alternative fuelling methods such as electricity – if their business is to be sustainable in the long term.

The luxury car brand has built a one-off electric car based on its flagship ‘Phantom’ model, which it is showcasing to consumers on a year-long tour.

Although many people may associate luxury with being inherently unsustainable, but this development shows that this dis not necessarily the case. It is not just car manufacturers taking this step – take the example of the couple in America who are aiming to built the most sustaibable luxury home in the world.

Rolls-Royce are not the only brand to develop high-end alternatives to petrol engines, with BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Porsche all developing rival cars. A few years from now, it seems as though hybrid high-end cars will be de rigueur as the different brands work to attract a slightly different type of luxury consumer.

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How austerity and luxury go hand in hand

Isaac Mostovicz writes that when money is tight, consumers turn to tried and tested luxury...

After the Christmas break, many luxury brands, including Swiss luxury watch brand Richemont, and Rolls Royce, have announced record sales increases. In the US, the Telegraph reported a few weeks ago that while luxury brands are on the rise, discount stores are seeing a slower pace of growth, and in the UK, a similar trend was witnessed that saw consumers preferring to pay more for just one present rather than buying enormous quantities of presents. The pattern emerging in the UK shows a preference for trusted luxury brands over high street offerings.

In the age of “Austerity Britain”, retailers have seen consumers buying with a Victorian style of generosity – spending more on one main present. Items such as Apple iPads, iPods and the Amazon Kindle were along the Christmas bestsellers, with upmarket department stores like John Lewis and House of Frazer drawing in the cash.

In an interview, consumer behaviour specialist Henry Enos explained, “People are looking for value for their money. People have been made to realise that money issues are prevalent, so what people have gone to in times of uncertainty are tried and trusted brands.” With more of a limit of their spending, people plan their purchases more, and spend wisely on items that guarantee durability and value for money. For those brands that tick the boxes of traditional, tried and tested, their resilience and dependability is the main attraction to the consumer. Brand heritage is key.

For the Theta personality, the emphasis on the context of the product – it’s brand name, the connotations it has in society and the legacy it has achieved – are the points that persuade someone to purchase it. Yet also, the heritage of a tried and tested product is built up through performing well and showing its resilience and in this way, the quality and durability of the product appeals to the Lambda personality.

Whatever causes us to purchase a product, it is apparent that as conscious as people are of the need to curb their spending, they are setting their sights higher on the familiar, more expensive brands that have proven to stand the test of time. Plus, when money is tight, quality rather than quantity may help consumers feel upbeat when all anyone around them talks about is the slump.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bill Geiser, Janus Thinking. Janus Thinking said: Janus Thinking: How austerity and luxury go hand in hand […]

Steffi says of this article...

Glad I’ve finally found soemhting I agree with!

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The luxury market in India on the rise

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


Brioni, Rolls-Royce and Stella McCartney are among the luxury brands pondering or already operating stores in India, where spending on luxury goods is expected to grow from $4 billion this year to $30 billion by 2015. India now has 54 dollar billionaires, gaining 19 in the past year. Of course these and other luxury companies are seizing a growing opportunity, but should the major disparity of wealth in India (three quarters of Indians survive on 50 cents a day) give us pause? As we’ve seen before on Janus Thinking, acting in a socially responsible manner can help luxury companies grow their markets. Those companies going in to India would be wise to understand the full impact of their entry.

[Photo by Ooodit]

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Robb Report lists the ultimate sought after gifts

Isaac Mostovicz writes...


The Robb Report, the monthly magazine and website about luxury goods and experiences, has just announced its annual holiday gift guide. While I haven’t been able to find the full ‘Ultimate Gifts’ section online, the Wall Street Journal Wealth blog has had a look and noted a few highlights, including a $250 million yacht (with 13 suites and two helipads) and $16 Ferrari package (with a F1 Ferrari, 2 VIP passes to all 20 Formula One races next season, and lunch with Ferrari personalities).

These are not the only luxury items the Robb Report has recently promoted–earlier this month they began offering the Robb Report Limited Edition Series from their website’s Marketplace section. It’s an elite offering, including a car (a bespoke commissioned Rolls Royce Phantom for $493,272.00), wines (Ultimate Burgundy or Definitive Bordeaux from the Terroir Company, $1 million each), jewelry (Beaudry diamond and platinum bespoke ring, bracelet and earrings), and travel (golf, shopping and winter sports trips with a Sentient Jet membership $195,000-475,000) among other offerings.

Does the fact that the Robb Report is offering such luxury directly (in addition to highlighting items in guides) suggest that demand exists and that the economy isn’t doing as badly as we might think? Are they (cynically) in it for the high margins luxury products often offer, or do they really want to bring their readers the very best luxury they can find? The answer is probably somewhere in between.

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