From Baked Beans to Luxury Dreams: Gen-Z's Relationship with Luxury Brands


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From Baked Beans to Luxury Dreams: Gen-Z's Relationship with Luxury Brands

Baked beans, pot noodles and knock-off vodka brands. When you think of Gen-Z, luxury brands might not be the first thing that comes to mind….

In a recent report, it was revealed that the industry has skyrocketed with every luxury category seeing an increase in sales following the pandemic.

So, what's the secret behind this dramatic shift?

It all boils down to the redefinition of luxury itself. Forbes defines the term as “the highest quality products, the highest status and in-store experiences”. Yet, with the rise of TikTok as the go-to social channel for brands to connect with younger consumers, the democratisation of luxury has been widespread.

A recent report found that Gen-Z are making their first luxury purchases earlier than millennials did — at around age 15, fueled in part by the accessibility of “buy now, pay later” schemes emerging as popular alternatives to credit cards. So it comes as no surprise, that it is predicted that millennials and younger generations will make up 80 percent of luxury spending by 2030. 

So we ran a live focus group, where we invited our Gen-Z network to share their thoughts on luxury trends, and here’s what we discovered:

  1. Gen-Z aren’t loyal when it comes to luxury brands…

Gen-Z want to discover the best deals when it comes to luxury. All five participants in our focus group emphasised the importance of shopping around to identify credible retailers before committing to a purchase of this magnitude. 

So what would encourage loyalty? Our focus group unanimously agreed that it would take unique products and “brands that are making a difference in the wider community”.

  1. The discovery to purchase journey is complex

TikTok was noted as a primary source of inspiration when considering luxury purchases. They actively seek multiple reviews of the product, forming the initial phase of their purchase journey. From there, they then do the research. From looking for the best deal, to finding out more information about ingredients in a skincare brand; Gen-Z puts the time in!

  1. Gen-Z care about the experience

All of our focus group stated that they wouldn’t buy a luxury product from TikTok Shop. When  it comes to luxury, Gen-Z values the experiential aspect of luxury shopping, preferring the in-store experience to view and assess the products. 

  1. UGC is king

Gen-Z love seeing reviews and seeing real people using the products. However, when it comes to luxury purchases, our focus group expressed a particular interest in observing content beyond the initial point of purchase, focusing on experiences and feedback after a two-month period. These long-term insights informed their luxury decisions and emphasises the significance of post-purchase UGC.

Their advice to luxury brands?

Big marketing productions are not needed:

“Don’t fall into the trap of micro trends"
"Create timeless content with credible influencers”.

… So how can luxury brands achieve success with Gen-Z?

1) Understanding Your Audience: Explore popular trends, hashtags, and challenges. Conduct thorough research to understand the preferences, interests, and behaviours of Gen-Z.

2) Choosing The Right Influencers: Influencers can help promote your luxury brand, showcase your products, and lend credibility to your brand message. Look for influencers whose values and style align with your brand to ensure authenticity in collaborations.

3) Encouraging User-Generated Content (UGC): Create branded challenges or campaigns that encourage users to share their experiences with your products. 

4) The Power Of Authenticity And Storytelling: Showcase the unique aspects of your luxury brand, its heritage, craftsmanship, and values. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses, product creation processes, or stories of brand ambassadors that align with your brand identity.

5) Community Engagement: Engage with your audience actively by responding to comments, messages, and participating in trending discussions. 

… So the final question: what methods are you going to use to connect with Gen-Z as a luxury brand?

Looking for more industry insights? Register your interest for one of our upcoming live focus groups by emailing: