Updated: Sep 15, 2020
“Showing your identity is a very important emotional aspiration that plays into shopping behavior. Luxury says to the world that I’m doing well and that I can afford this. From that comes a greater sense of comfort and security,” he believes, and continues, “The spending that comes after hard times is more about identity and security.”
Gray also foresees luxury brands could get a boost after this crisis because following the short-term hardships, affluent consumers will be ready to open up emotionally to new long-term possibilities.
“Luxury items provide a sense of possibility and freedom to dream. When you are in the middle of a crisis, it is hard to dream,” he says. “People are focused on the day-to-day versus being able to think about how life may be better in the future. This opens another opportunity for luxury brands to be able to provide people with that sense of aspiration and possibility.”
The fact is that no one is entirely certain how shoppers will respond once this crisis finally subsides. Though short term losses will be very painful for many retailers, opportunities do exist in the long term. How brands and retailers respond to this crisis, and how they engage with their customers throughout, will have a strong impact on consumer perceptions and behavior for years to come. My question for any brand or retailer is "Who do you want to be to your customers once this crisis has ended?" Once you answered, act accordingly.