What does Luxury mean to you?
The definition of the word luxury has absolutely no resemblance to the definition of the word luxury to everyone. It’s a word used in everyday life, yet nobody defines it the same way.
Perhaps it used to mean something made by craftsmen in a fine material, or it may have been related to money, but as we use the internet and become less tolerant of things that are separated by money, how do we define what luxury is?
I think it is now a personal experience and that is as simple as it is bizarre. For a busy person luxury can be defined as a leisurely bath, the luxury of stopping and taking time for yourself is indeed a luxury when you have enough money to pay your bills and your biggest pressure is workload deadlines; then luxury means something else. As a result, hotel suites have dedicated more space for this pleasure and designers have put much decadence into this ritual. If it is the ability to stay in bed an extra hour then the bed, the time to relax and recline, each deliver a different feeling of pampering but the emotion of luxury is felt. Luxury to me has moved away from a tangible item made of precious material and craft, and become more about an experience. That includes the luxury of travel, the ability to take time and explore new destinations, meet new people, see old friends and eat great food. These are all related to the senses and the way we feel has so much to do with what luxury is in in 2019.
Everyone can have the item of choice, it may not be the same price point but the ‘look’ and the design ‘style of’ will be the same as the bespoke, iconic, extravagant, first class version etc. It will just be made in a material and quality to suit different price points. That is inclusiveness. In creating experiences for everyone to enjoy, we became an inclusive society and so where will the next thrill come from?
If we move around in search of new thrills and luxury, how will business generate repeat business? Is multi-location of the same brand the way forward? I travel a lot and personally I don’t like the fact that every high street and every city has the same stock, at the same price, with the same manufacturer labels across the world. The fun has been removed, finding something different, unique and for me – a bargain! That’s a great thrill. So how will these super brands from coffee shops and restaurants to hotels and furniture compete if we are already bored with duplication?
I go in search of trust and comfort. I want to know that the restaurant has clean worktops and high standards, and the hotel will be clean and safe. So, will branding be the new luxury? Will we stay in a cave on a mountain which has been approved by a famous hotel brand. Is our identity the value that creates our worth to business, which will provide us with the perks that we now consider luxury? Or will a super expensive car still provide that thrill? I don’t know the answer, but it I do know that we are all moving so fast that we do need to just stop and absorb our own little personal luxuries sometimes.