Luxury is changing.
In the 75 years since Independence India has been developing her profile as a modern nation with a global reputation for high quality technical skills. However, until recent years, the foundations of Luxury - more often associated with the historic symbols of the past such as the Taj Mahal - have remained relatively unchanged, with a primary focus on the bridal market more than everyday indulgences. But these foundations are now being rebuilt by the needs of a new commercial force. Driven by the emerging Luxury consumer who is younger and more demanding of brands to be sustainable, even the materials and production methods that are used to produce luxury goods are changing.
The definition of 'Luxury' is also changing. This shift from 'elitist' to 'indulgence' is opening up the market for new types of products that provide the luxury consumer experience, including foods, day spas, and beauty products. All of this is having an impact on India and the Indian luxury market, attracting new consumers and providing opportunities for businesses and employees to create amazing locally inspired luxury brands.
With the benefit of being a non-Indian with an outsider’s perspective our Founder and CEO, Helen Cooper, has identified that it’s not only the lack of luxury branding skills that is holding back this trend from taking hold, but also a belief that ‘West is Best’ in Luxury.
Why is that? Do India consumers simply not believe that locally created brands can be truly ‘Luxury’? India is already a global centre for luxury production, with a rich heritage of service and craft excellence, so why are there not more Indian-created Luxury brands? Why do the fabulous garments and pieces of jewellery only get ‘luxury legitimacy’ when they are given a western luxury brand tag?
To help overcome these views our opinion pieces, newsletters, and social media posts will be introducing you to some fabulous local luxury brands that you might not have heard of before, as well as celebrating some of the amazing established brands that we all know and love.
Because the first step in having global Indian luxury brands is to have local Indian consumers be aware of them and support them. We’re inviting you to take that first step with us today!
The second step is to understand the rules and expectations of luxury branding, so that you can be considered part of the Luxury market. Attention to detail is essential in Luxury, and knowing what to look for is a skill that has to be learned. Sometimes it might be a small tweak that is need in how a product is photographed, or a brand colour palette that adds a more sophisticated look. Knowing the 10 characteristics of a modern luxury brand provides a checklist of what you need to offer to consumers, which of course includes a strongly sustainable and responsible way of working.
The modern luxury consumer is asking more of their luxury brands than just a beautiful product. They want brands that reflect their own values and demonstrate that they understand their role and responsibility in the wider world.
So whether you are a brand owner or an employee, or simply an interested consumer, and you feel, as we do, that we shouldn’t just be handing the Indian Luxury market over the western luxury brands, we all have a role in challenging the assumptions and prejudices that are preventing our local luxury brands from really breaking through – in India and around the world.