By Will Shorrocks

What is luxury?

Traditionally used to denote exclusivity, status and price, this definition has by no means become redundant but has become increasingly used in a far broader context. The notion of luxury is now something that more of us are able to participate in.

Are we all getting richer? It would be nice to think so but it’s probably not the case. What is more likely is a shift in our values and behaviour. Not only have we become more sophisticated in our tastes and aspirations, we make more considered choices with the way we spend our time and money. The idea of luxury is no longer limited to the ownership of physical objects.

Fashionable woman shopping with sunglasses and bags

Beyond the increasingly tired display of status-driven objects and labels, a new softer, more quiet idea of luxury has begun to emerge. Something more abstract and less tangible. In a world where the motivation is more about the value and quality of an experience, this becomes increasingly personal and emotional. As Marc Jacobs says, “I think there is something about luxury – It’s not what people need, but it’s what they want. It really pulls at the heart.”

This means brands (and not necessarily just luxury brands) are navigating a more subtle, emotionally intelligent and engaging approach to communicating with their audience. Whether that be an artisan coffee roaster, a travel agent, restaurant or fashion brand. It’s important to speak a language that emotionally resonates with your customer’s values, lifestyle and aspirations in what is essentially ‘a luxury of the heart and mind’.

A couple run into the waves as the sun rises