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Brief Published: 8 Dec 2016

Rethinking Luxury: Shopping with a Purpose

Shopping with a Purpose

Luxury brands are embracing purpose-led business models in a bid to navigate an increasingly turbulent consumer environment, according to Shopping with a Purpose: The New Retail Revolution.

The white paper, released in November, comes from global brand consultancy EY Beacon Institute and London-based Positive Luxury, which awards a ‘butterfly mark’ certification to luxury brands that position sustainability as an integral part of their business. Highlights include:

  • Turbulent Times: According to the white paper, businesses today face tremendous levels of uncertainty and volatility in the consumer market. “Driven by a host of factors such as rapid technological developments, demographic shifts, sociopolitical instability and slow economic growth, the business environment seems to be in a state of permanent disruption,” said Valerie Keller, global leader at EY Beacon Institute. In response, brands are embracing purpose and rethinking how they create and measure value. For more, see Consumers in Chaos, part of our Currency of Dissent Macro Trend.
  • Rethinking Luxury: As consumers become more socially and environmentally conscious, overt displays of wealth are becoming less fashionable. In response, luxury brands are repositioning their message – see Luxury Changes Gear and 2017: Look Ahead for our plans to cover the future of the luxury market. 
  • Sustainable Initiatives: Brands are increasingly incorporating sustainability initiatives as a strategy for connecting with consumers and generating value. The report highlights US retailer Patagonia as a leading brand that uses purpose and functionality as its driving mission. The outdoor-wear brand commits 1% of net annual sales to grassroots environmental groups. See Brands Take a Stand for more.