Social media influencers boost luxury sales among Gen Z in India


05 July 2023, Mumbai

Luxury brand communications are targeted at the affluent young ones in India, with their aspirations to have everything luxe, right here, right now. As per Bain & Company, Gen Y and Gen Z together will make up 70 percent of the global luxury market by 2025 and India is no exception.

Luxury market arriving

Luxury brands have been arriving in India by the droves with growth opportunities as the world’s fifth largest economy is too irresistible to stay away from. As per senior partner and global head of fashion & luxury at Bain & Company, Claudia D’Arpizio, at the close of fiscal year 2022, the total amount Indian consumers spent on luxury was $8 billion.

And the 21st edition of Bain & Company’s luxury study predicts the luxury sector in India will grow rapidly by three and a half times until the projected period of 2030 and add between 35 and 40 million new consumers in the mid and high-income groups. These consumers, fed on aspirations on social media, will be hungry for luxury as their choice of lifestyle.

Catch them young and watch them grow

Luxury brands have completely re-defined their target audience as they realize their profits lie in catering to the waves of young (Gen Z) or relatively young (Gen Y) consumers.

Social media is the luxury brand’s new best friend as gone are the target audience that was patrons of high-end glamour and lifestyle print media. Social media has grown and established an ecosystem that suits luxury brands well indeed – the social influencer with millions of doting followers are the new dictators of what’s hot, and what’s not.

We live in a social media era; The advantage influencers have is their ability to impress both Gen Y and Gen Z in one stroke as more often than not, Gen Y yearns for the “younger” look and feel.

In India, some key social influencers are making a difference. Influencers have more influence within luxury and fashion compared to film stars. Founder of Indian luxury leather accessories brand Hidesign, Dilip Kapur couldn’t agree more as he says Hidesign’s success at the community level has been spearheaded by Indian luxury influencers.

Gen Zers are more sustainability-driven

What sets the Indian Gen Z high-end consumer is they watch their shopping habits more than their counterparts in developed markets. The Gen Z and millennial consumers in India are more likely to buy sustainable products than in developed countries, says a 2022 Credit Suisse Research Institute report.

However, when it comes to key trends, like their Western counterparts, Gen Z Indians favour the luxury meets streetwear style as this generation sees no reason why everyday living can’t be luxurious.

Trends; Achim Berg, a senior partner at McKinsey and global leader of its apparel, fashion, and luxury group explains that combining luxury statement pieces with fast fashion is a big trend compared to 10-15 years ago.

Fashion designer Manish Malhotra, who recently launched ‘Diffuse’ targeted at Gen Z, says his new line hits the point between couture and street-wear that the younger generations) love.

Luxury brands rely on social collaborations

Luxury brands have invested deeply to master social media and fine-tune their targeted messaging, using the assistance of social media influencers and celebrities who the brands find relatable to their label.

More often than not, these influencers are not exclusive brand ambassadors and luxury brands find it smarter to collaborate with other luxury brands or even popular high-street and fast-fashion brands to become part of what’s on trend.

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