Welcome to the most recent chapter in Highsnobiety and Boston Consulting Group’s landmark exploration into the New Luxury landscape. It is also the first since the COVID-19 pandemic and shows how the themes we’ve been reporting on for years have reached a critical mass – and the need for brands to pay attention to the new luxury paradigm is more urgent than ever.

In Luxury 3.0, the communities surrounding a brand have become active stakeholders. It is a landscape that places stories over product; knowledge over possession; community over crowds; participation and experiences over observation.

The implications of the past two years will have an outsized global impact across culture at large, and we’ve observed that the pandemic has largely been an accelerator for the nascent trends we began tracking with our first paper, The New Luxury (2018), and in Culture Culture Culture (2019), in partnership with BCG. For this installment, co-authored by Tony Wang, we continue our exploration in how the brands that are winning today and tomorrow build credibility in culture, taking a particular look on the importance of the role of the communities that surround brands.

Central to our analysis are the behaviors and attitudes of Cultural Pioneers, a highly influential cohort of consumers with a growing importance to the New Luxury equation. This is the group whose values play a significant role in indicating future trends and whose influence isn’t necessarily defined by their reach and purchase power but by their knowledge, authority and social influence. Cultural Pioneers are the first to adopt new products, brands, and ideas, and they are an important litmus test for where culture is heading for.

Ultimately, Luxury 3.0 is a framework for brands to understand how to build true cultural credibility by paying more attention to their customer and what they buy into.

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