Luxury can assume different meanings depending on time and locale.
In 21 century America, where there’s been a renewed emphasis on home and hearth, the pursuit of luxury is shifting from expensive cars and lavish vacations to super-premium household enhancements like furniture, kitchen appliances, 4K Ultra HD TVs and home remodeling.
Indeed, according a recent survey commissioned by LG Electronics USA, nearly half of U.S. luxury consumers – defined as those with annual household incomes over $100,000 – said the feeling they get when buying ultra-premium products is better than going on vacation, and 2-in-5 said it’s better than sex. (See charts, below.)
Accordingly, two-thirds of respondents in the LG Signature Modern Luxury Survey said their home spending has increased in the last 5-10 years, with 40 percent ranking kitchen majaps as the most important luxury category for home, and 56 percent citing the refrigerator as the most important kitchen appliance for entertaining.
Results were somewhat skewed for the much sought-after millennial crew (ages 24-35), who pointed to smart technology as the most essential element of a luxury home. Of that group, 25 percent put their money where their responses are, claiming seven or more smart products in their homes.
Perhaps most pertinent for the tech and appliance industries, 67 percent of all respondents said they associate “innovative” with luxury more than they did five to 10 years ago.
“We’ve seen the definition of ‘luxury’ shifting over the past decade,” noted LG marketing VP Dave VanderWaal. “The way wealthier Americans think and speak about luxury has evolved drastically … Now, more than ever before, luxury-identifying Americans value home kitchen appliances as a top category for creating a luxurious and sophisticated home environment.”
The findings support the development of LG Signature, the company’s standalone line of super-premium products that includes the ultra-thin W-series “wallpaper” OLED TV and the InstaView door-in-door refrigerator with a mirrored glass panel that illuminates the contents with a double knock.
The survey itself was conducted for LG by Morar Consulting, which queried 1,002 high-income U.S. consumers on Aug. 18-20.