LeGrand Mag Observatory – The New Era of Luxury

Luxury has always captured the everlasting expression of what our society is, through the creation of unique pieces that give a sense of belonging to a particular fashion moment.. Brands are gradually evolving towards putting under the spotlight symbolic values and meanings that resonate with their consumers’ need to express who they are through a product capable of telling an inner story.

In this ever-changing scenario, 2020 will be remembered as the starting point of a new Era for both the Luxury and Fashion industries. Both systems must learn to play a different game, following the new customers’ needs for more authentic, personalized, life-enhancing moments they can connect emotionally with. A well-thought brand strategy and clear communication will be the only recipe to survive in this new turbulent world, while rethinking the system. After all, during a global pandemic that sees the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs not met, it is no surprise witnessing a shift of the luxury concept.

When physiological and safety needs are no more covered, people, find it hard to focus on higher needs such as social belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Therefore, this is a unique time for companies to connect genuinely to their customers, showing their true values by remaining truthful to their roots while focusing on continuity. 

The new Luxury will be about emotional well being: lifestyles will be significantly influenced by the physical, social, cultural environments in which we live. We will all pursue activities and make choices that will lead to a real state of personal well being. Physical health, emotional and financial components will merge, with the world having to reset to these new dimensions.

It all starts with an idea, a vision towards uncharted horizons and the thirst to go beyond what’s already known: A Journey has begun. Throughout the centuries we, as humans, have always turned our collective eyes up to the Cosmos, letting the far away glimmering of the stars be an encouragement to dream.

This journey is a golden opportunity to tackle the unknown and let it all unfold right before us, in a journal brimming with great stories. A quieter style of luxury will emerge. The next decade will be one of uneasy affluence, with customers in many parts of the world reverting to less conspicuous forms of luxury. Brands, Academies and Visionaries will have to be culturally credible and grapple with that fundamental shift in what “luxury” really means, as consumers become more environmentally and socially aware and digital channels become more important as sources of inspiration and purchases.

They will ultimately be the Stargazers of our story, observing calculating and predicting alternatives to deliver a new kind of magic engagement. This however would mean nothing without the Cosmonauts, intrepid space travelers ready to challenge all assumptions and be the pioneers taking the first steps onto the new territories of Luxury. As the main target of luxury purchases by 2035, the iGen’ers will be our Cosmonauts, a generation of fearless future leaders that will rewrite history and reshape the world of Luxury as we know it.

THE NEW ERA OF LUXURY: REINVENTING EMOTIONAL AUTHENTICITY AND TRUST

The concept of Authenticity has always been a fundamental feature of our times, especially in Fashion and Luxury. Clothing has always helped us assert our identities, and Luxury has always interpreted our desire to be perceived in the world. In the past two decades, globalization and digitalization have increased the exchange of cultures and traditions, and therefore, individuality – the possibility of expressing one’s identity through many different styles. Brands have been called to action, to reflect authenticity through the products they sell, their heritage, tradition, symbolic values and meanings. We want our clothes to mirror who we are, looking for companies that are customer-centric, digital, agile and sustainable.

More than ever, we look for Trust and Transparency: what we wear must tell our personal, inner story.

In this ever-changing scenario, 2020 will be remembered as the starting point of a new Era for both the Luxury and Fashion industries. Both systems must learn to play a different game, following the new customers’ needs for more authentic, personalized, life-enhancing moments they can connect emotionally with. A well-thought brand strategy and clear communication will be the only recipe to survive in this new turbulent world, while rethinking the system. Isolated and fragmented actions will not be successful as only a well-coordinated ecosystem can support the industry to overcome problems and find solutions for the long-term tenure of the whole industry, still attracting new customers. Spending in the luxury sector has always been based on emotions and feelings more than reasoning. The spending in times of crises adds the need of identity and security, aiming to exorcise the fear of uncertainty and to reduce the anxiety of living.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been revolutionized: with physiological and safety needs not covered anymore, individuals are having a hard time to focus on higher levels of needs like social belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Therefore, this is a unique time for companies to show what their values truly are, inspiring customers and not manipulating them. Brands will have to focus on continuity, remaining true to their roots and surviving changing times and trends, delivering on their promise and not betraying customers. Transparency will be about highlighting parts of their history and production process that are particularly authentic, using real contents. Trust will be gained by addressing consumers’ self-consciousness through more introspective concepts such as health, happiness and mindfulness, which are fast becoming the new luxury commodities.

The Fashion and Luxury industries will have to explore alternatives to deliver a new kind of magic engagement. This will be fundamental to win over iGen customers, who will be the main target of luxury purchases by 2035. Digital channels will be the one-and-only currency, as social media “moments” are driving all brands popularity.

The new Luxury will be about emotional well being: lifestyles will be significantly influenced by the physical, social, cultural environments in which we live. We will all pursue activities and make choices that will lead to a real state of personal well being. Physical health, emotional and financial components will merge, with the world having to reset to these new dimensions.

Smart Internship – a Revolution in the making

Internship are integral to the process of career planning and a fundamental process for any college student hoping to work in a professional environment. There are several reasons for this, with one of the largest being simple: internships provide a fertile ground for any later career to be built upon. 

Internships are the key to employment after graduation, bridging the proverbial gap between the Workplace and Higher Education, which is something that traditional Universities have generally a hard time coping with. 

Employers will look for candidates who possess previous experience whithin their field, or experience just in general, because it shows that the student has developed skills that are uniquely taught through frist-hand experience. This also has a ripple effect on career placement in general, making it easier for freshly graduated students to demonstrate a level of professionalism and a proactive mindset that can only be obtained by a working life experience.

This is all great but what happens when the world suddenly halts? What happens when something unpredictable shakes the foundations of the workplace on a global scale? 

That’s exactly the moment in which a a simple yet visionary solution finds room to develop and turn into something massive: that was how ESE’s Smart Internship Program was born.

It is an innovative, practical and easy project that can be very beneficial to both students-future-to-be professionals and companies. 

The ultimate aim of the project is to provide actionable recommendations for the company’s business challenges by creating for them a project on demand. While companies may develop projects that have been left aside unfinished, not having to deal with traditional bureaucratic internship issues, students can learn how to deal with a complex project in smart working, can increase levels of responsibility and autonomy and can elevate competences and skills fundamental for future candidacy or entrepreneurial projects.

The Program has been very successful so far and ESE will definitely keep it as an option for students who would like to proceed gaining valuable experience with innovative methods.

Is your workplace smart? Ask the iGen.

 

The old refrain that “young people aren’t committed to the workplace” is something that iGen’ers, and their older comrades Millennials, have to deal with on a constant base from all over the place. But is it a fair statement? Is it true then, that the so called “snowflakes” are becoming more and more apathetic? A survey conducted by Deloitte suggests the exact opposite, showing that a whopping  84% of the interviewed faced burnout due to the excessive workloads.

So how do we fix that? Well, once again, turning to the young ones is probably our best bet. In fact, the generational divide can be seen on the most varied topics, from self-development to remote working, from freelance roles to future-proofing strategies.

To further prove this assumption, a World Economic Forum Report on the future of Jobs highlights how 1 in 10 baby boomers feel they should considering reskilling as technology threatens the stability of many traditional careers while, three times as many millennials and Gen Z-ers believe that developing new skills is their own responsibility, rather than their employer’s.

Here are some ways in which new generations are reshaping the workforce:

  • Reskilling – While most managers believe reskilling is important for employees, there is a generational gap on the best approach. As we said the vast majority of baby boomers feel that employers have the task to reskill their staff, while millennials and iGen’ers are more likely to seek out self-development and be proactive.
  • Planning ahead – Younger generation managers are generally more likely to consider future workforce planning a top priority. This is true both in establishing a flexible talent strategy as well as in investing in technology to support a remote workforce.
  • Smart working – Younger generation managers are keener to employ smart working, both for their employees and their staff. Three-quarters of millennial and Gen Z managers have team members who work remotely, and this trend is expected to to rise to 73% of all teams by 2028.
  • Freelancing – iGen and Millennial managers are more than twice as likely as baby boomers to have increased their use of freelancers in the past few years, and are projected to continue increasing it going forward. That is dueto the value they see in terms of productivity and cost efficiency.

The Power of Authenticity: How the iGen and Influencers are Changing the Game.

A recent study by the Morning Consult, based on over 2,000 survey interviews within 13 to 38-year-old, was set up to explore the scale and nature of influencer engagement. By looking at which influencers young Americans follow, why they follow them and how much trust they have in influencers we can paint a pretty accurate picture of what actually drives young minds to make choices.

The study highlights how crucial influencers have become in the marketing game, so much so that an astounding 72% of the people interviewed admitted to follow several influencers compared to “regular celebrities”. This result could be due to the constant rise in popularity of platforms such as Youtube, Instagram and TikTok that are able to deliver massive amounts of engaging content in a fraction of the time that traditional media generally needs.

“Influencers have become a central part of social media for young Americans, and social media is an increasingly central driver of consumer decisions. Nearly three quarters of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers on social media, and a majority say social media is where they most often learn about new products, they’re interested in.

Because of this, influencers provide brands with a key opportunity to reach young Americans – so long as they adequately understand how and where to engage them.”

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(Photo: Morning Consult)

Another possible explanation of this phenomenon can be found within the concept of Authenticity:  the study found that both Millennials and iGen’ers look for deeper connections with their role models and are more likely to get influenced if they perceive a sense of genuine care and raw authenticity, a feeling that they can relate because “they’re so real!”.

It will come as no surprise that more than 50% of the people interviewed put their trust in influencers they follow, on product recommendations, compared to 38% for their favorite celebrities.

Source: Morning Consult, The Influencer Report (November 2019)