FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DAVEK, producers of high-performance rain umbrellas, uses the term Luxe Utility to describe a business that produces everyday, utilitarian items that are emotionally engaging, hedonic and experiential.
Consider Bain & Company’s recent luxury report, which projects that the luxury goods market will return to growth in 2017. Manufactures of utility products can benefit from this recovery, as consumers are willing to pay more for utilitarian products that feature quality and design cues that are traditionally associated with luxury goods.
The 5 characteristics of a Luxe Utility brand are:
Categories that have a low-quality threshold, little emotional engagement and no clear brand leader is ripe for disruption by a luxe utility brand that offers high quality, functionally superior and emotionally engaging utilitarian products.
The product must offer genuine functional benefits, and be immediately distinctive from the market’s clutter. They incorporate authentic, premium materials into a beautiful design, complete with the artisanal touches that are usually reserved for traditional luxury goods.
For luxe utility brands, “special” carries more weight than quantity. A small, curated product selection conveys exclusivity and specialness to the brand.
Many brands in the luxe utility space, from Le Creuset to Briggs and Riley, communicate long-term enjoyment by offering an unconditional lifetime warranty, essentially guaranteeing that customers will have a great experience using their products for decades, if not for life.
Developing a sense of community for utilitarian items that were previously generic might seem odd. No one ever thought that you would see people raving about vacuum cleaners or smoke detectors, and yet both Dyson and Nest have created vibrant online communities, across social media platforms and site forums.
Adding joy and delight into an umbrella is no easy task. But with consumer preference for emotionally engaging products only growing, and many companies already finding success in the luxe utility space, it’s clear that injecting luxury into life’s most utilitarian products could be the great business opportunity of 2017-18.