Management Practices

The Future of Luxury

Stacey Soble | February 18, 2016 | 1:40 PM
A luxurious moment from Luxury Brand Partner's Front Row, which united a like-minded family of salon owners and stylists who focus on luxury clients.

Daniel Kaner, one of the founders and a co-president of Oribe, recently attended a graduation ceremony for the Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management master’s program at the Fashion Institute of Technology. As part of the ceremony, the students presented results from a research study, in which they partnered with The Boston Consulting Group, predicting what the luxury market segment will look like in 2030.

“The results of the study define a new mindset for the luxury consumer, and that mindset bodes well for the professional beauty industry,” Kaner says. “While the future luxury consumer will continue to value quality, craftsmanship and heritage, the study also found three universal values that all consumers share regardless of their generation or geography. Those values are family, time and health.”  

With these values in mind, the graduate students proposed three new strategies for speaking to the luxury consumers of tomorrow. Let’s take a look at these strategies and how they play out in the salon context:

Appeal to the consumer’s desire for intimacy and build more meaningful one-on-one relationships with your customers. “A one-on-one relationship is inherent between a beauty service provider and a consumer,” says Reuben Carranza, president of R+Co and V76. “There are few consumer experiences more intimate than washing and cutting someone’s hair or giving them a manicure or facial. Consumers spend, on average, four seconds in front of a shelf or a few minutes with a sales clerk at a beauty counter, but they spend a minimum of 30 minutes with their stylists, nail technicians or estheticians, and that interaction is personal and builds meaningful and deeper relationships over time.” 

Maximize a consumer’s limited time by providing solutions that bring value and convenience. Ninety-two percent of the study’s respondents valued time to oneself as a high priority. “To the busy executive, parent or any other time-conscious person, an hour at the salon may be the only personal time they experience in a month,” says Tom Seeberger, Luxury Brand Partners’s dean of the school. “Technology is helping to make beauty experiences more valuable and convenient; extremely customer-centric.  This allows the bulk of the client’s time to be spent enjoying customized experiences perfectly designed to appeal to unique preferences.”  

Shift business priorities to ensure that your brand leaves an impactful legacy for the future. When the study asked participants, what kept them up at night, 97% said their health and well-being were most important. “The escape of a salon experience addresses some of the future consumer’s desires to focus on well-being and health,” says Tev Finger, CEO and president of LBP. “Service providers who continually focus on the wellness benefits derived from beauty services and products will cement long-lasting relationships with loyal clientele.”

"Working with leading salons around the world to deliver on the wants, needs and desires of the beauty-conscious client is a key focus for Luxury Brand Partners, and we are extremely excited to partner with Salon Today on this very special issue that addresses the future of luxury in service and retail,” says Dan Langer, LBP’s chief marketing officer. "The meaning of luxury is so shaped by one’s personal perspective. If you live in a big city, your luxury might be space; if you are extremely busy, it might be time; if you are a new parent, sleep might be a luxury. When you marry a client’s personal needs with the highest levels of service, it can transition the hour (or two) that one spends in the salon from a simple visit to a meaningful and exceptional experience.”


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