Millennial Luxury Consumers Will Behave Differently
Feb 20, 2014
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Members of the Millennial generation will begin to reach their peak earning years in 2020, according to Unity Marketing, and the wealthiest members of this cohort will enter a "window of affluence" that will last for two decades.

Unity Marketing said that predicting who is likely to be wealthy is not as difficult as predicting how members of the Millennial generation, born between 1978 and 2000, will spend their money.

Unity Market research has determined that Millennials are different from previous generations of luxury consumers in four key ways:

One, Millennials will reject their parents' status symbols. Millennials will find status in achievements instead of purchases. They'll get far more satisfaction from earning a degree or completing an athletic event than by some kind of status symbols that can be bought.

An example of how this might affect buying behavior: they may be more interested in buying a $500 Ironman triathlon watch to mark an achievement rather than a $5,000 brand name watch.

Millennials will trade money for time, so they will have less to spend on luxury.
Millennials will trade money for time, and will have less to spend on luxury. While prior generations of affluents were willing to work long hours, Millennials will be willing to slow career progress—and earnings—in order to enjoy the time they have now. That means fewer discretionary dollars.

Millennials will shift from conspicuous to conscious consumption guided by values.
Social, environmental, and ethical values guide how Millennials spend money and make purchases. This can already be seen in Millennials' tendency to rent rather than buy. This may impact tendencies to buy cars, designer clothing, and other products that could be rented instead.

Millennials see "luxury" as a marketer's label.

Millennials perceive the term "luxury" as another tool to entice them to buy, not a descriptive adjective conveying something important about the product or service.

Affluent Millennials will key in on products that help them live the lives they want, and will be far less likely to look for luxury or status as traditionally defined.

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