Presented by Pam Danziger
President of Unity Marketing
and Par Excellence Magazine
Advisory Board Member
Pamela N. Danziger is an internationally recognized expert specializing in consumer insights, especially for marketers and retailers that sell luxury goods and experiences to the masses as well as the 'classes.' She is president of Unity Marketing, a marketing consulting firm she founded in 1992.
Advising such clients as PPR & Gucci, Diageo, Waterford-Wedgwood, Google, Swarovski, GM, Orient-Express Hotels, Italian Trade Commission, Marie Claire magazine, The World Gold Council, and The Conference Board, Pam taps consumer psychology to help clients navigate the changing consumer marketplace.
Follow Pam on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/PamDanziger
It's changing consumer lifestyles, not problems with fashion, that are driving changes in the women's apparel market
For several years, women's fashion designers and retailers have celebrated the surge in interest in the fashion accessory. Starting with Carrie Bradshaw's famous addiction to Manolo Blahnik shoes on Sex and the City, and continuing through years-long waiting lists for an Hérmes Birkin handbag, the women's fashion accessory had been the bright spot for designers and retailers during the recession.
Now, however, the women's apparel industry is expressing concern that women seem to be shying away from making purchases of women's apparel, and that the interest in shoes and handbags has masked a change in consumer behavior regarding fashion.
Consumers Find Brands Important in Buying Decision, Ralph Lauren Takes First Place, Uniqulo Makes First Showing with Men
NEW YORK NY June 28, 2012 - Five years ago, when retailers were sent spiraling from the economic downturn, only 8% of US apparel buyers felt fashion brands and logos were of increasing importance when it came to differentiating their wardrobes. However, in the following years Brand Keys consumer research tells a very different story, especially as to how consumers are making their fashion buying decisions.
Since 2008, the importance of brand names has consistently increased, standing in 2012 at 29%, more than tripling in importance over four years. And consumer expectations continue to rise as shoppers increasingly seek uniqueness in their choice of fashion brands. Taking the top spot is Ralph Lauren / Polo, followed by: one’s favorite sports team, Armani, Nike, and Versace, Chanel, tied for fifth place.
Unity's Luxury Consumption Index (LCI) proves predictive of third quarter results, offers indications for future
According to reporting in The Wall Street Journal, U.S. consumers spent less in October than hoped, disappointing retailers and leading to a rocky first part of November on Wall Street, as the stock market reacted to this decline in consumer spending. However, those who follow Unity Marketing's Luxury Consumption Index(LCI) expected the dip and could plan accordingly.
In July Unity Marketing's exclusive LCI took a deep dive, predicting a drop in luxury consumer spending during the third quarter -- which is exactly what happened, according to the results of Unity Marketing's latest survey of affluent consumers luxury purchases. Luxury consumers spent nearly 20 percent less in the third quarter than in the second quarter 2011.
New survey finds improved outlook for 1Q2012
Commenting on Unity Marketing's fourth quarter survey of 1,498 affluent luxury consumers (average income $279.1k; avg. age 44.4 yrs.), Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of the just released Putting the Luxe Back in Luxury, says, "Our latest survey reveals turmoil in the luxury consumer mindset, just like the Dow Jones Industrial Average measures turmoil in the investment markets.
Affluents are uncertain about their present financial status and worried about the overall economy, which translates into more cautious spending on luxury indulgences. For example, 70 percent of the luxury consumers surveyed this month said they are spending the same or less on luxury now than they did twelve months ago."
Are Things Any Different for the Affluent Consumers?
Stevens, PA January 30, 2012 -- This morning the U.S. Commerce Department squashed marketer's dreams that the consumer spent his or her way to happiness this past December. Rather than spend it, consumers took modest gains in income and
socked it away for a rainy day. This latest news about slowing consumer spending is leading many pundits to predict economic growth will slow during the first quarter of 2012.
Unity Marketing plans to launch a new study of the gifting market early in 2012 to give marketers the facts and figures
The Christmas gift shopping season is nearly over, but it seems like the pundits and industry watchers haven't got a clue about what the gift giving consumers are really up to. Take Black Friday sales for example. While some industry experts gleefully put sales on this much-examined retail day several percentage points ahead of last year, others quickly pointed out that any increase in revenues was likely due to the practices of opening store doors as early as Thanksgiving night, effectively tacking another six or eight hours of sales time onto Black Friday.
And just yesterday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) revised its forecast upward from their previously bullish pre-Thanksgiving estimates. But on the same day, the New York Times featured a story that said stores sales are lagging after Thanksgiving. As a result, they are taking drastic steps, including deep discounts, staying open late, and extending specials, to entice shoppers into the stores before Christmas.
Not only that, the New York Times article also reports that troubled retailers plan to manipulate the way they account for holiday gift sales this year to get a more favorable report from the actual year-over-year comparables. In other words, if the real data doesn't tell the story they want to tell their shareholders, they are going to 'cook the books' in order to do so.