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Unity Marketing's Annual State of the Luxury Market Report Is Published
Fewer Consumers 'Traded Up' to Luxury in 2009 as the Share of Aspirational Luxury Consumers Fell Sharply -- The Growth Burst That Luxury Marketers Enjoyed as a Result of Aspirational Consumers 'Trading Up' Is Over, as Luxury Marketers Must Now Focus on th

STEVENS, PA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/11/10 -- Unity Marketing has just published its annual report on the state of the luxury market. ( The Luxury Report 2010: the Ultimate Guide to the Luxury Consumer Market, provides detailed data about the purchase behavior and spending patterns of the nation's most affluent consumers from 2007 through 2009. In addition to its focus on historical shifts and trends in the luxury consumer market, it gives marketers a forward-look into the future trajectory of the affluent consumer that will transform the luxury market in 2010 and beyond.

Latest report gives marketers the data they need to track trends and plan new strategies to succeed after the recession

"We designed the Luxury Report 2010 as both a powerful desk reference and a source for insight into the future trends in the luxury market. The new report provides the kind of detailed facts and figures about trends in the luxury consumer market that will delight data-driven executives. But it also focuses on the mindset and attitudes of the luxury consumer, making it an invaluable tool for luxury brand executives to plan for the future of their changing marketplace," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead analyst for the new luxury market study.

A total of 4,739 luxury consumers were surveyed in 2009 with an average income of about $220,200. Here is a link to more information about the report:

Highlights reported in the latest Luxury Report 2010 include:

  • Dramatic increase in consumer spending on luxury goods - Average spending by luxury consumers increased nearly 30 percent, with over 50 percent increase in spending on home and personal luxuries and a nearly 20 percent increase in spending in automobiles over 2008 levels. Recording the highest rates of growth in spending in 2009 were luxury linens and bedding, wine and spirits and art and antiques.
  • Spending on experiences declined below 2008 levels - Affluents spent less on experiences in 2009 than they did in 2008, down 8 percent overall. While the average number of trips taken in 2009 rose, spending on travel declined, suggesting that affluents took advantage of favorable discount offers that let them travel for less.
  • Participation in the luxury economy overall is down in 2009 - While spending on luxury rose sharply in 2009, those increases were driven by the much smaller, ultra-affluent segment (HHI $250,000 and above) of the economy. Actual levels of participation in the luxury market, as measured by overall purchase incidence, were down dramatically in 2009, as compared with 2006 pre-recession levels.

Net/Net: Luxury marketers have fewer customers in 2009 than they had prior to the recession.

The actual number of customers of luxury goods and services declined sharply
throughout the recessionary period starting in 2007 through 2009. So far
there are no signs that the customers who dropped out of the luxury market
as a result of the recession have returned.

Here is the real and painful story about fewer luxury consumers in the
market at the close of 2009. For example,

  • In 2006 some 52 percent of all affluent consumers bought any home luxury, as compared with only 41 percent in 2009;
  • In 2006 some 54 percent bought any personal luxury. This dropped ten percentage points to only 44 percent in 2009;
  • In 2006 60 percent of affluent households enjoyed luxury experiences; in 2009 only 45 percent participated in experiential luxuries.
  • Only two product categories have retained the same share of customers in 2009 as in 2006 - Only in automobiles and kitchen appliances, bath and building products has the share of luxury consumers who purchased remained stable, 10 percent and 14 percent respectively. In all other categories, declines in consumer participation are noted with fine dining, luxury clothing and apparel and luxury travel purchases losing the largest share of affluent consumers.

Commenting on the major findings in this year's report, Danziger says, "While there are many positive signs that the stranglehold the recession had on luxury consumer spending is easing, the luxury market has largely lost the aspirational consumer segment (HHI $100k-$249.9k) due to the recession. Future luxury market growth will depend upon attracting the much smaller, though much more affluent, ultra-affluent consumers to your brand. The ultra-affluents will demand higher quality and more value in the luxury purchases they make. For 2010 and beyond, providing superior quality and good value will remain the most powerful way for luxury brands to connect with their ultra-affluent target customers."

Click this link for more information on the new report:

For Luxury Marketers: This is a report about your customers & your target customers

The Luxury Report 2010 is a compilation of the quarterly luxury tracking surveys that Unity Marketing conducts every three months with 1,000-1,250 affluent consumers who purchased one or more luxuries in the study period. Unity's luxury tracking study is the only longitudinal study of its kind that tracks the luxury consumer market, what they buy, how much they spend. The survey sample of 4,739 luxury consumers surveyed in 2009 with an average income of about $220,200 is representative of the 22 million affluent households in the country.

In addition to providing detail data about affluent consumers' purchases and spending in 22 categories of luxury goods and services, this year's report includes new metrics that measure spending by specific product and share of product category spending by retail distribution channel.

The report shows which of the product categories are growing the fastest year-over-year based upon increase in sales and which product categories are dropping at the fastest rates.

This report doesn't stop with the data -- It pushes further to help marketers and retailers put the information to use

Unity Marketing's aim in publishing the Luxury Report 2010 is to translate the data into information that marketing executives can use to make critical strategic decisions. This market research report helps make the research data and findings accessible and useable. It provides marketers with three powerful perspectives: "What," "So What," and "Now What." The report is written to reveal the key research findings, explain why they are important to luxury marketers, and then help marketers find ways to put the research to use in developing new concepts, new strategies, new tactics for success.

To that end, the report includes nearly 50 take action call outs that will help luxury marketers translate the research findings into marketing strategies and tactics.

Every luxury marketer needs this report on their desk

Click this link to learn more about the Luxury Report 2010 and to order your copy or call Pam Danziger at 717-336-1600 to discuss your specific research needs.

For media: Danziger available for interviews. Charts, tables and graphs detailing major findings in the report also available.

About Pam Danziger and Unity Marketing
Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights for marketers targeting the affluent consumer. She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992. Pam received the Global Luxury Award for top luxury industry achievers presented at the Global Luxury Forum in 2007 by Harper's Bazaar.

Pam gives luxury marketers "All Access" to the mind of the luxury consumer. She uses qualitative and quantitative market research to learn about their brand preferences, shopping habits, and attitudes about their luxury lifestyles, then turns these insights into actionable strategies for marketers to use to reach these high spending consumers. Unity Marketing is the voice of the luxury consumer for such clients as PPR, Diageo, Tempur-Pedic, Google, Swarovski, Constellation Wines, Luxottica, Orient-Express Hotels, Italian Trade Commission, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board

She is currently working on a new book, Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, to be published in late 2010 by Paramount Market Publishing. Her other books include Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, published by Kaplan Publishing in October 2006; Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses--as well as the Classes, (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $27, hardcover) and Why People Buy Things They Don't Need: Understanding and Predicting Consumer Behavior (Chicago: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2004).

Pam Danziger

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