The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Luxury Is Now A Price Point …
April 26, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Corporate Evil, Marketing

The picture above was spotted in Shanghai a few weeks ago.

The fact it is trying to convey a sense of luxury despite wonky lettering, sums up what is wrong with the whole ‘prestige’ category … despite the fact it is doing better and better every year.

When I was a kid, anything described as luxurious basically meant ‘rare’ and only for the ‘super wealthy’.

It could be anything from precious gems to 5 star hotels to even a colour television.

But for that rarity, you could expect to be in the company of perfection.

No flaws.

No mass production.

No new edition in 12 months.

Nowadays it’s all so different.

Luxury food.

Luxury toilet paper.

Luxury holidays.

The ‘luxury’ word has been hijacked by marketers and ad agencies to elevate the importance of their product – a product, that most of the time is only luxurious because of one thing.


But that price isn’t down to the craftsmanship behind the product or even the rarity [though I appreciate in some cases, it still is] it’s the price we are asked to pay to not feel like we’ve not been left behind.

At school we were told we would do well.

If you passed your exams and worked hard, you could make something of your life.

But sadly, while those traits are still super important, they’re no guarantee to success and now we have millions upon millions of people who were sold the dream of hope who are looking around asking themselves why the hell they haven’t succeeded … at least based on the expectations they were led to believe they could look forward too.

They studied hard.

They passed their exams.

They are committed to doing the best they can do.

But nothing. Nothing at all.

And this is what marketers have jumped on.

They’re selling these people the chance to feel successful … the chance to be given the momentary illusion they’re doing well, despite the fact the purchase of some of these items can lead to a lifetime of debt and even more despondency.

It’s like anti-prozac.

And what’s worse, modern luxury isn’t that luxurious at all.

There’s flaws.

There’s mass production.

There’s new versions superseding old versions every 12 months.

And we all buy into it. All of us.

I was having this discussion with a friend of mine recently – he’s a very senior, super successful marketer for a very desired luxury brand. I told him that the fact I was part of this trade made me ill and the only way I got my father to not be disgusted with my choice of career was because he could see I was committed to trying to do things the right way, not the dirtiest.

My friend looked at me and said,

“But Robert, what do you think people would feel if they weren’t given the chance to see they were achieving things in life?”

And some say marketers aren’t smart …

21 Comments so far
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That comment at the end is dark. Proper dark.
Did Lee say that? It doesn’t sound like Lee but it’s written like it could be him.

Comment by DH

No David, I would never utter those words.

Comment by Lee Hill

you bought me a fucking nice lunch so i wont disagree with you.

Comment by andy@cynic

I see Lee has already jumped in to protect himself – ha.

It wasn’t him and the person who said it [who you don’t know] is a good person, but I must admit, when he said that to me, I went, “whoa!!!”.

Worse, he’s probably right.

Comment by Rob

Bit ironic you screwed up at school and didn’t go to university but ended up with more money than the rest of us. Except Baz, George and Lee.

Comment by DH

Writing this has depressed me.

Comment by DH

theyre all deal makers with the fucking devil where as i married him and had to pay a shitload of it in alimony. twice. first lesson of school should be lifes unfair as fuck. fact.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have a son now Dave, all my money has gone.

Baz on the other hand …

Comment by Rob

The traditional economic definition of luxury is a product or service for which demand increases more than proportionally as price rises.

Comment by john

so one direction were a fucking luxury? shows how fucked those economic wankers are. where is my present doddsy?

Comment by andy@cynic

I left it with the doorman.

Comment by john

That may be the case John but it is driven by scarcity or rarity, whether that impression is real or, as brilliantly manipulated by De Beers, perceived.

Comment by George

Agreed. I was just pointing out that it’s always been about price.

Comment by john

You mean luxury has always been defined by price, but its justification used to be because of factors like rarity and scarcity.

Comment by George

Yes and no. Sometimes the price is the whole point.

Comment by john

I get the economic definition of luxury has always been about money – and I get luxury has always been associated with a high price point – but my point is 15 years + ago, that high price was justified by craftsmanship and exclusivity [even if it was just perceived, as George said] whereas nowadays that has gone, so people’s attitudes towards luxury now match the economic definition which is a major shift in opinion. At least in my mind it is.

Comment by Rob

And to answer your friend’s question – I can clearly see that I’ve never achieved anything in life and consequetly I never buy luxury products.

Comment by john

Given how often you update your gadgets, you certainly seem to buy in to it Robert.

Comment by George

Good job drugs aren’t a luxury.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Luxury is just a label these days Rob, used to justify a price premium and placed on anything, from canned food to toilet paper.

Comment by Pete

ive just had a luxury shit so send me some of that luxury bog roll.

Comment by andy@cynic

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