Exploring the Ever-Evolving Meaning of Luxury for Today’s Consumers 

As we prepare for the upcoming Report on Data event on November 29th in Toronto, IAB Canada and our community are all about data that helps discover opportunities in the Canadian digital media landscape.  

Recently, The Globe Media Group released a study exploring a niche audience and topic – the meaning of luxury. Leveraging the Globe Insider’s readers panel, the study focused on Style Advisor readers (a diverse audience considered to be at the forefront of luxury trends and preferences) to gain deeper insights into lifestyle interests and perceptions of luxury in Canada. IAB Canada took note of the interesting findings that shape today’s luxury landscape in the eyes of consumers.   

Today’s Definition of Luxury 

From a distance, ‘luxury’ as a term, may be viewed as subjective. The Globe’s reporting unearthed the nuances associated with how ‘luxury’ is defined by Canadians in today’s economic climate.  

While ‘superior quality’ is the resounding association for 8 in 10 of readers, other terms like ‘expensive materials’ (56%), ‘luxury brand labels’ (52%), and ‘indulgent expense’ (50%) also make a significant impact.  

Additionally, the study uncovered some newer concepts such as ‘label-less quiet luxury’ (36%), ‘handmade products’ (34%), ‘locally custom-made’ (25%), and even ‘celebrity association or endorsement’ (11%) contribute to the rich tapestry of luxury in their eyes.   

Quality Matters 

A reoccurring theme with IAB Canada members is the prioritization of value over cost. The Globe’s reporting shows that Quality indeed reigns supreme for luxury brand shoppers. The perception of value can also be determined through other attributes that have come into vogue in recent years – namely locally sourced products as well as sustainability profiles.  

The reporting shows that when purchasing a luxury brand, readers consider several factors to be important: 

  • Quality of the brand’s products (97%)  
  • Price of the brand’s products (85%)  
  • Brand authenticity (70%)  
  • Brand sustainability (64%)  
  • Made/designed in Canada (63%)  
  • Brand status (26%)  
  • Appeal of brand to a diverse customer base (21%)  

Diverse Lifestyle Interests  

The Globe Insiders panel is a diverse group with multifaceted lifestyle interests. Following were the leading interests discovered in the study: 

  • Travel – 89%  
  • Art – 83%   
  • Food, wine & spirts – 83%  
  • Design – 77%  
  • Technology – 74% 
  • Fashion – 62% 

Digital Enhances Tactile Media 

46% of readers turn to digital newspapers for their dose of luxury lifestyle information and over half (56%) turn to online search. But despite the digital age, Globe readers still rely on print media to stay ahead of the curve. An astonishing 66% of respondents turn to print newspapers, while 61% opt for print magazines to glean lifestyle trends.  

In a world dominated by digital content, print media still holds a special place in the hearts of our readers. A staggering 79% agree that reading a magazine in print feels more luxurious than its digital counterpart. Furthermore, 71% emphasize the importance of being able to read a printed copy of a magazine.  

Quality Carries Through to Content Consumption 

Globe readers have a discerning taste when it comes to the content they consume. Story features (53%), in-depth articles (53%) and photo quality (40%) are all highly regarded by the luxury-focused audience.   

In summary, luxury for today’s consumers encompasses a vast array of lifestyle interests, with quality and superior experiences at the core. When developing strategies to reach this niche consumer, it is important to consider the nuances behind their perception of luxury and to deliver at every stage from channel to media execution. 

Leveraging trusted publications that have a refined perspective on audience expectations to help deliver campaigns with impact can reduce the risk of missing the mark. Luxury remains a complex fusion of quality, craftsmanship, and the finer things in life, all made more vivid when experienced through the trusted channels that are built to inspire and delight.   

Source: Globe Insiders Style Advisor study, July 2023