The Culture of Luxury

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This is a presentation for The Luxury Market Symposium in Mexico City on May 17th.

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The Culture of Luxury

  1. The Culture ofLuxuryMarie Tupot Tim Stocktwitter: @mtupot twitter: @timstockscenarioDNALuxury Markets Symposium 2011Mexico City 1
  2. what isluxury? 2
  3. In the 14th century, luxury was originally apejorative word, denoting ‘sinful self-indulgence’. 3
  4. we don’tneed it... 4
  5. but it is interwoven into our ownstories of desire... 5
  6. Luxury reflects us.Its value is an expression of our own desire. Are we living up tothe ways that aspirations have evolved? 6
  7. 485,000,000 results luxuryBut the signals have become noise.What does 435 million results tell us? The noise tells a story. 7
  8. The noise has put our compass off course.We’ve lost sight of where the journey began. 8
  9. Soho, NYWe’ve lost our sense of place....those characteristics that make a place special or unique, as well as to thosethat foster a sense of authentic human attachment and belonging. 9
  10. recent trend forces have the story out of synch... 10
  11. borrowed money value bubblespursuit of excellence reveals fallacies Recession (arete) was paramount.such recession has left us acutely aware ofand intelligence. The aspiration required effort, discipline the fallacies of finance and the need for sustainability. | connecting brands to culture 11
  12. transparency loss of controlTechnology feeds a new expectation.A catalyst for stories and participation. 12
  13. recasting spotlighting assumptions ironiesGlobalization has broadened the narrative.More than half of the growth in global demand for imports is noworiginating in developing countries, providing export opportunities for bothdeveloping and developed economies. | connecting brands to culture 13
  14. We need to reboot ourperspective to manage and grow luxury brands going forward... Luxury must regain its connection to the human. 14
  15. Cinema is a matter ofwhat’s in the frameand what’s out.” MARTIN SCORSESE 15
  16. Brand mise-en-sceneWhat we choose to fill the scene with. How we construct themeaning of brands is tested by the believability andauthenticity of our choices. 16
  17. motive story trajectoryThere is a language to these scenes.How well we understand the mechanics of the scenes our brandslive within determines how well we fit believably and sustainably. 17
  18. what if...we were to ban the word? (china has) 18
  19. Take away the logo, the licensing andthe hubris and ask yourself... 19
  20. do you still have a compelling luxury productthat will stand up to today’s consumers? 20
  21. we must evolve themeaning of luxury if it is tohave meaning going forward... 21
  22. we must engage... knowledge it engages the human| connecting brands to culture 22
  23. we must engage... knowledge involvement authenticity sustainability| connecting brands to culture 23
  24. Culture reconnects us to the meaning that incites knowledge and nurtures relevance. 24
  25. rank freedom 4 culturalPerfection codes drive meaning Guilt 25
  26. rankthe last bastions ofconspicuous consumption. 26
  27. 1980s 1980s Wall Street (1987)80s greed economics fuels the code of rank.“...greed--for lack of a better word--is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greedclarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. | connecting brands to culture 27
  28. Glengary Glen Ross (1992) 1990s90s consumption as culture of keeping up.“you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an eighty thousand dollarBMW.” (exclusivity is lost) | connecting brands to culture 28
  29. 1990sCounterfeits & Mccmansions signala bubble of value. | connecting brands to culture 29
  30. “Today’s superrich no longer imitate a pseudo-aristocratic lifestyle with horse prints on the wall. Now, youbetter have a Koons and a Hirst or you’re going to lookprovincial.” -Tobias Meyer, Sotheby’s principal auctioneer(excerpted from an interview by Kelly Crow, published in the WSJ Magazine, April 2011)Today rank must set authentic standardsAn evolving generation accepts that the definition of rank and its appearanceexpands and matures over time. | connecting brands to culture 30
  31. No gifts, please. Britian’s Prince William & Princess Kate opted for charitable donations in lieu of wedding gifts. The couple selected five causes.Rank = the ability to choose & direct.now, there is compounded responsibility that comes with settingthe standard by which others follow. | connecting brands to culture 31
  32. Today rank is crafting fluid experiencesLufthansas First Class Terminal (FCT) is an independent terminal completelydedicated to meeting the needs of (and pampering) first class passengers flyinginternationally. One barely sees the travelers in other classes. 32
  33. A major new Vertu launch is planned for late 2011, along with a new targeted service that will complement its hot Musician Seal and his Vertu Constellation Quest button concierge service.pursuit of excellence (arete)intangibles. Stealth activates was paramount.such things we crave most are not discipline and we can see The aspiration required effort, always what intelligence. and touch. | connecting brands to culture 33
  34. Perfection appreciate the process by which an object is crafted. 34
  35. Greek ideals havenew relevancePursuit of excellence (arete)was paramount. such aspirationrequired effort, disciplineand intelligence. | connecting brands to culture 35
  36. “Over a nine-year period, Chanel bought seven ofthe most specialized ateliers in Paris, many inoperation for more than 150 years, ensuring both thesurvival of a dying industry and the continuation of thehouses own couture techniques.” (source: WSJ)Control of process is criticalCommitment to the preservation and sustainability of an idealunderscores the strive for perfection. | connecting brands to culture 36
  37. Troon Golf, Waterstudio.NL and Dutch Docklands haveannounced plans to build an 18-hole floating golf course inthe Maldives islands. It’s intended to have zero footprint.Perfection should feed transcendence.It’s emotive to do something special that no one else can. | connecting brands to culture 37
  38. “In 2010s Oscar-nominated "I Am Love," thevisually luxuriant tale of a wealthy Milanese family in thesurrounds of their tapestried villa, food—and preciselythe dishes created for the film by Italian chef CarloCracco—is not a cursory detail.” (source: WSJ)Every detail is subject to scrutiny.Perfection applies to all senses, as well as to what you don’t perceive.deliver on authenticity. luxury is only as good as its worst rumor. | connecting brands to culture 38
  39. Guilt we are forced to reflect onour consumption in ways we have never done before. 39
  40. Rethinking power. power, for luxury, has been communicated as arrogance that exacerbate tensions between rich and poor or secular and religious. we now seek power that enables change."Power is the ability to produce intendedeffects." --Bertrand Russell, 1938 | connecting brands to culture 40
  41. Chrysler “Imported from Detroit”Reclaim origins.The new message for luxury is about reconnecting to the source andprocess as part of the story. | connecting brands to culture 41
  42. Two New York culinary refugees set up a rustic cocina called Hartwood in Tulum, Mexico, using local meats, seafood and produce cooked in an outdoor open kitchen.The best stories are where you are.Working within local parameters makes a profound statement ofcommitment. | connecting brands to culture 42
  43. photo: ubierna.andres to buy less historically places us lower on the social totem pole. Technology fuels collective intelligence.The more we know, the more we share... with collective knowledge,luxury becomes about choice and our power to choose. | connecting brands to culture 43
  44. Intelligence fuels new standards.Hawaii has been mapping plans to harness the abundant windsthat blow across the states numerous islands. GE will now test itssmart-grid technology in the Maui luxury resort community of Wailea. 44
  45. Britains Prince Charles has been trying to set a good example by reducing the carbon footprint of his transportation fleet. He had his Range Rover and Jaguar converted to run on biodiesel. His vintage Aston Martin was converted to run on surplus British wine by having it distilled into ethanol.With choice comes responsibility.If you can afford all the riches in the world, it’s impossible not to feelthe gravity of choice and be compelled to give back or take action. | connecting brands to culture 45
  46. At the Blue Pearl Laguna yoga ashram, guests are served a calorie-restricted vegetarian diet and no alcohol, caffeine or refined sugars.Restraint trumps decadence.We force ourselves to engage new rituals in attempt to get closerto the essence of what we seek. we want to feel where we are. | connecting brands to culture 46
  47. freedomthe pursuit of personal acquisitionsand creative accomplishments. 47
  48. the power of one Freedom is about creative beginnings...(like Coco Chanel) To move forward, we need to look back and understand origins. we’ve lost track of history.| connecting brands to culture 48
  49. Dolce & Gabbana recently announced that it isfolding its younger, less expensive D&G brandinto its high-end line. (source: Wall Street Journal)Freedom starts with simplicity. (leave room for their story)Consumers have learned to mix and match. Tiers confuse them.only the brand matters as they layer on their own narrative. | connecting brands to culture 49
  50. “If we did it in New York or Los Angeles I dont think wed be able to work in secret." --Madonna talks about her Hard Candy gym in Mexico City.Creative ways of framing the storyThe most intriguing luxury developments are those that happenunder the radar. 50
  51. The Council of Fashion Designers of Americarecently supported congressional efforts to formulateprotection specific to fashion designs.IP eclipses open source sensibility.Debates continue over who owns IP, why and how. the question is: will stricterIP law in luxury inhibit creativity and embolden the better financed? | connecting brands to culture 51
  52. BurdaStyle believes that removing copyrights from its sewingpattern designs inspires creativity and spawns multiple newdesigns. Even Karl Lagerfeld has submitted unique patterns.We began as open source culture.We question the sharing of intellectual property and undermine theresults of collaborative efforts. yet, open source is as old as humanity. | connecting brands to culture 52
  53. Mexico CityFreedom breeds confidence.Public affection has increasingly become a symbol of what expertsdescribe as a city learning to loosen up. (source: NYT) 53
  54. the standards we set for the brands we manage are meaningless unless they are believable to the people who engage them.| connecting brands to culture 54
  55. we must engage the human truths to allow the scenes we build to work most effectively.| connecting brands to culture 55
  56. we must regain perspective| connecting brands to culture 56
  57. we must regain our sense of place.| connecting brands to culture 57
  58. Inception (2010)“You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into thatdream and fill it with their subconscious.” | connecting brands to culture 58
  59. thank you. Marie Lena Tupot marielena@scenariodna.com twitter: @mtupot Tim Stock timstock@scenariodna.com twitter: @timstock | connecting brands to culture 59

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