Time Is a Powerful Luxury Differentiator

Part 2:  The Luxury of Moving Ahead of Time

By Daymon Bruck

 

Bypassing “Normal” Time  

I remember taking a flight from NYC to Paris on the Air France Concord in the mid 90’s and when I got into the plane for the first time I thought – what’s so special about this? A tight and slightly claustrophobic cabin (by jumbo-jet standards) was just aquatically appointed and left me disappointed: I was expecting more after all the hype and prestige associated with the Concord brand. What did impress me (and my colleagues at the time) was the super fresh Parisian baked goods I brought back with me to the office at 9:00 am for breakfast, only 3.5 hours from taking off from France the same day. Those same pastries would have been day-old stale had they arrived by any other means available at the time. Reducing the hours spent in transit between destinations by any measure and making the most of your time on either side is still a luxury high on everyone’s list. Removing the barriers of time through speed, privilege or technology (VIP access, private jets, exclusive travel connections, etc.) and other types of rarefied access that allow for “jumping the line” provides the greatest luxury for those that put the highest value on their personal and professional time. Those five minutes you spend waiting in line (any line) will never be reclaimed. With less and less time and people putting more value on how they spend personal time, how will brands create experience worth our limited time? Bottom line - it better be amazing. As brand builders, we have been increasingly asking ourselves and our clients - what barriers, inconveniences or steps that create a personal time suck could be removed to provide a luxury experience that bypasses the normal or common flow of time? 

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The Luxury of Time

By Daymon Bruck

A Seventeenth century Japanese Tea master Naosuke coined one of the most common Zen phrases: Ichi-go ichi-e, which is often translated to “once in the lifetime, never again”. The intended meaning of this phrase is that every experience we have is unique and can’t be repeated. We only have one life and every day, encounter and experience is one of a kind. Once time passes it never will be recaptured and this quintessence makes Time the ultimate measure of true value; you can’t make any more of it or bend it to your will. Or can you? 

A new experience economy has been steadily emerging and with it a sense of what else might come to define the luxury category. This newish luxury is all about rare and privileged experiences available for a price. At the center of many of these exclusive events or experiences is a unique benefit of leveraging time in some manner: saving it, making the most of it, slowing it down, even sidestepping its normal flow altogether. It makes sense that Time is becoming more highly valued than money as a luxury indicator, especially considering time’s finite quantity. Luxury brands are awakening to this shift and those that cater to making the most of their customers’ need to control their personal time are differentiating from the those that only focus on products or services.   

I’ve collected some examples that are grouped in this article under two general categories: the value of Slow Time (Part 1 in the series) and Faster than “Normal” Time (Part 2 in the series). This first looks at the how Luxury uses values associated with slowing down or aging to differentiate and the second posting will focus on examples of moving faster than or even bypassing everyday timeframes.

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How Can Malls Remain Relevant?

Shouldn’t the mall experience evolve to capitalize on how consumers’ predilections have changed?

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Dress Bar at Dress Barn: A Strategic Activation

In which I visit Dress Bar, a pop up activation from Dress Barn. That’s right, the strip-mall retailer made a move to Fifth Avenue and their window display actually made me walk right in. How?​

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Q&O - The Future of Retail for Macy’s with Founder of the Luxury Marketing Council, Greg Furman

Q&O has gotten a facelift! This year I’ll be asking industry experts to weigh in on industry news and adding my own opinion to the conversation. A series of short soundbites will provide insight into where smart, innovative brands are headed. Read on!​

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Q&O - Changing Consumer Behavior & the Evolution of Retail with Luxury Marketing Council Founder, Greg Furman

WWD recently ran a feature on the “sea change in consumer behavior,” citing opinions from experts ranging from Jerry Storch (Chairman, Hudson’s Bay Co.) to Jack Kleinhenz (chief economist, National Retail Federation). The majority of opinions reflected the theme of retail having fallen behind the consumer behavior curve. Do you feel that’s true?​

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Excuse me, Express?

Over the past few weeks it’s been difficult to ignore the fact that a certain retailer, which hasn’t been a major player in my wardrobe game since c. 2001, has pushed itself to the forefront of my social media accounts. Guess who?​

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Can Malls Remain Relevant for Consumers?

Shouldn’t the mall experience evolve to capitalize on how consumers’ predilections have changed?​

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Bringing the Whole Foods Experience to New Consumers

Despite the apparent contradriction, lower-priced goods and services can absolutely be considered a luxury. Whole Foods’ newest launch exemplifies just that.​

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4 Ways Malls Should Act like Luxury Brands

Malls and mall branding are an ever-changing, multi-dimensional puzzle. Mall operators are constantly trying to attract consumers and tenants to their properties’ “next big things.” Successful malls execute well but they could and should be even better​

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