What Luxury Products Are Millennials Actually Buying?

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

We asked Millennials what luxury products they’re actually buying. Find out where they’re allocating their spending power…

Yesterday, we told you about the luxury brands Millennials most want to own. And while their answers give us insight into their aspirational purchases—and into what brands are staying relevant—what they’re actually buying today tells a bit of a different story.

Traditional luxury stores and brands are striking out with young consumers. In 2016, the global luxury market shrunk for the first time since 2009, according to CNBC, and Forbes predicts that 2017 is not expected to fare much better. A recent brand equity poll shows Nordstrom is losing favor with Millennials as they skip luxury department stores for off-price options, and MediaPost reported that while the full-price store’s sales showed a 2.8% drop from 2016, discount chain Nordstrom Rack’s sales spiked 2.4%. In other words, Millennials like their premium products, but not at a premium price: a recent Ypulse monthly survey found that 60% of 18-35-year-olds say they’d prefer to buy products that are a “good value for the money” and 33% would prefer things that are “premium but affordable,” versus 5% who prefer to buy “top quality.”

This gets at the heart of the issue for Millennials: it’s all about their bottom line, and their values. According to Forbes, the biggest problem with the luxury market is that today’s consumers “look at what the luxury brands offer and see that they are heavy on marketing, but light on authentic values that really mean something to them personally and in their current lifestyle. While this is giving whole new industries the chance to be considered luxury, it’s also creating an atmosphere where luxury is in the eye of the beholder. All of which begs the question: what kinds of…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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