What's Next In Post-Pandemic Luxury

  • Viceroy Editorial Staff
  • Travel

While the luxury industry has been leaning into wellness and environmental sustainability as macro-trends shaping the future of the luxury market, wellbeing is going to be the emerging macro-trend that will subsume wellness and sustainability as micro-trends within it.

As per a recent article in Forbes, Luxury brands across the board from travel to retail are well versed in applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in their marketing and positioning.

Luxury brands have often played to promising satisfaction of the higher-level needs of social belonging, esteem and self-actualization, taking for granted that their affluent target customers has the lower-level physiological and safety needs covered. However, after the coronavirus pandemic, they can’t take those lower-level needs for granted, which Maslow theorizes must be satisfied in order for people to focus on their higher-level needs.

In effect, the coronavirus pandemic has turned Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs upside down. Shopping, even for the affluent, has shifted toward the basics with many affluents for the first time experiencing online grocery shopping.

As a result, the luxury sector that will benefit most from the pandemic reset is the $4.5 trillion global wellness economy. Products and services will gain that offer real wellness benefits, that is, things and experiences that actually do a body or our collective bodies good, rather than just do less damage to the person or environment.

Mental and emotional wellness has been the biggest trend in the wellness space before coronavirus and it will become even more important after because many people will suffer post-traumatic-stress levels of anxiety and fear caused by the threat to health and extended social isolation.

As many emerge from their cocoons where they have had ample time to reflect on what’s most important to them now and in the future, spending habits are likely to take a radical shift from indulging in luxury goods as much as their income allows to saving and more modest, discreet luxury indulgences where high-quality and long-lasting utility take precedence. This will be for some, not for all. 

But the biggest accelerator we will see is that of expectation on luxury brands to give back in some way that deepens the well-being of all involved, and many corporations will have to make more meaningful pivots to create enduring, new campaigns.  The true winners who do so and really connect will be those who do so from the core DNA of the brand.  Get involved and urge them to do so via their social media platforms!  Now is the time for beautiful change for all!

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