The Psychology of Luxury: How the Chinese Luxury Consumer Has Changed

A representative of the team that conducted a study World Luxury Tracking, Shū lán Zhang told about changes that are taking place on the Chinese luxury market. In general, the survey covered five countries, but today we would like to pay attention exactly to the Chinese luxury consumer.

The Appearance of Conscious Hedonism

Luxury is perceived from the perspective of longevity and tranquility: the days of compulsive frantic consumerism are gone. A new page in history is “conscious hedonism.” The categories in which luxury goods are most represented are no longer limited to buying an expensive handbag or a watch. A new classic is Jewelry & Travel. The background to these values that have come to the fore is a new collection of aspirations caused by the need to disconnect from the hyperactivity and bustle of everyday life as well as the desire to enjoy the moment “here and now,” especially through calm and tranquil luxury.

Today's mood is determined by the paradox of values (egocentrism versus aspiration for belonging, restrained tradition versus sensuality, intensity versus pacification).

The trend of using luxury things as a means of expression is particularly noticeable in China. This is done either discretely (87% of wealthy people surveyed believe luxury brands will protect their personal data), or through a more visible demonstration. Luxury is seen as a social marker for 81% of consumers, it is a means of expanding personal rights and opportunities, especially for the female part of mankind.

In China, more than in other countries studied, the need for a manifestation of caste belonging is expressed. This is especially noticeable as the number of wealthy women increases: they make 41% of Maserati's sales in China and choose the poshest and high-powered models. Gender-oriented communications are developing, brands arrange more and more VIP meetings and events exclusively for ladies.

The internal social circle (family or marry a russian girl and friends) stays the main zone of influence (46%). However, the VIP clients are still open to the rest of the world, especially in China, where consumers tend to learn about the newest trends when they are traveling abroad (92%).

Fashionable categories that have a strong association with luxury for many years remain the most popular among VIP clients in the studied regions (54%). Nonetheless, each territory is characterized by its cultural peculiarity and a special interest in a certain product segment, for example, in China, it is about premium cosmetics. Some brands have gained additional value in local markets thanks to specialized localized collections.

For example, last year, Chinese Marie-Claire magazine launched a campaign with influential senior citizens (average age was about 80). The campaign was extremely successful and in 3 days, the publication was viewed 650.000 times, creating many positive activities.