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von Markus Albers

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“Rethinking Luxury” is out now – and I think it looks gorgeous

When business consultancy RolandBerger Strategy Consultants approached me last year to write a book together, dealing with the changes in the luxury market I was immediately intrigued. Here was a business that seemed rife for disruption and that was challenged by digital communication, Asian customers’ mindsets and a growing interest of consumers in sustainability and ethics.

With lifestyle bloggers the communicative ecosystem around luxury products has become an increasingly leveled playing field. Brands such as Burberry are showing the way in terms of using cutting edge digital technology in online as well as bricks-and-mortar retail. More and more luxury brands have to adapt to the tastes of Asian cultures. Successful new brands such as Tesla prove that high-end products and global responsibility can indeed go together very well.

So my co-authors Martin Wittig, Fabian Sommerrock, Philip Beil (all from RolandBerger) and I set out to research the topic extensively. We looked at the latest studies and figures, and analyzed broad industry trends as well as specific micro ones. We conducted in-depth interviews with company heads and luxury industry opinion leaders who exclusively told us about their view on the changing landscape of their business. Which strategies they plan to implement. Which trends inspire and which ones frankly scare them.

The book contains exclusive interviews with:

– Armando Branchini (Altagamma)

– Jean-Claude Biver (Hublot)

– Jiang Qiong Er (Shang Xia)

– Anders Thomas (Nymphenburg)

– Milton Pedraza (The Luxury Institute)

– Jörg Wolle (DKSH)

– Bernhard Maier (Porsche)

– Barbara Coignet (1.618 Sustainable Luxury)

– Lutz Bethge (Montblanc)

– Bernd Kolb (Club of Marrakesh)

We found that since it had long been a market governed by tradition and firmly based in Europe’s old world aura, the luxury industry has been hesitant to admit the world is changing. But the rapid pace of innovation and demographic upheaval has made even the most staid luxury company take note. What we‘re witnessing is just the start. Shifts in demographics, money flows and ethics mean luxury consumers are becoming more digital, more interested in sustainability, and more Asian with cultural and familial roots often alien to traditional European makers of luxury products and services.

The book has been beautifully designed and edited by our team at Rethink. With London-based LID we found an inspiring and committed international publisher. We strongly believe that it’s time to rethink luxury and we hope our book – available now worldwide on Amazon and at selected bookstores – can play a modest part in this transformation.

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