In the luxury industry, brand storytelling not only plays a fundamental role in the commercial success of products but is an integral component of the brand itself. The absence of a carefully crafted narrative centered around the customer, one that values and celebrates their uniqueness, not only leads to market share loss and missed profits but, in today's context, renders the product nothing short of "defective," inadequate for the times, and indicative of an attitude that can only be described as "arrogant."
If arrogance or even a simple sense of "flat-out superiority" had any validity in the market, they have long lost their relevance, especially when it comes to the demographic classification known as "Gen Z." This generation has unequivocally ushered in a new operational switch favoring what has been brilliantly summarized as "barefoot luxury". This economic model allows for no forms of self-referential ostentation, not even by the most renowned luxury brands globally.
"Gen Z" is perhaps one of the most widely used and abused terms in the industry and beyond. If the frequency of its mention were proportional to the actual study and business analysis conducted in relation to this new "social" class, even before considering it as a market force, the business world would undoubtedly have a greater awareness of the epochal change it is facing.
Unfortunately, the reality for economic operators does not confirm the equation between the mention of "Gen Z" and a genuine understanding, most likely due to the continued underestimation of its economic impact. Many brands, not yet considering Gen Z as their own customers, fail to grasp or willingly refuse to comprehend the urgent need for adaptation.
This lack of responsiveness puts them at a significant strategic disadvantage compared to those who have rationalized the "systemic" importance of this change. Daniel Langer, one of the leading industry experts, succinctly captures this notion in his latest editorial on the Jing Daily portal:
"Many managers underestimate the purchasing power of this generation, which is the wealthiest ever to enter the luxury market, especially in China. Gen Z expects the largest transfer of wealth ever. Therefore, brands that are not yet ready for this generation will pay a high price in the near future."
Another critical element, particularly in the Italian landscape, is the acquisition of a true awareness of the importance of the "digital" realm. It is still seen, used, and undervalued as a mere "immaterial" extension of physical retail stores when it should possess its own narrative, emotional, and commercial distinctiveness.
This limited view of technology usage, despite its increasingly qualified, immersive, and emotional points of contact encapsulated in the term "ER" (extended reality), will prove particularly detrimental. The Generation Z, who expect to be actively engaged and surprised in every brand interaction, finds the digital touchpoint crucial. It constructs 90% of the brand's perceived value and subsequent purchasing preferences.
Creating value today means, above all, generating content that becomes a true cultural capital benefiting a new segment of customers. These customers are not interested; in fact, they detest self-celebration and self-referential narratives.
Tradition, history, and technical abilities of a brand become increasingly irrelevant unless they create and then transfer precise and "actionable" values to this fragmented, sophisticated, and multifaceted universe known as Generation Z.
Dr Marco Gianni is an experienced professional with extensive experience in the legal and financial field. He worked as a lawyer at the law firm of Professor Bernini, former foreign minister, focusing on international commercial litigation. Subsequently, he expanded his international skills by working as a manager of Professor Sammarco’s law firm in Miami, focusing on international tax law.
His career in the financial sector began with experiences at banks in prestigious places such as Luxembourg, Monaco and Zurich. He then moved to London, where he held the position of manager at the City’s main foreign exchange operator for the Italian market.
Today, Dr Marco Gianni is dedicated to strategic consulting in the luxury sector, collaborating with one of the most important agencies in the sector. His extensive professional experience and knowledge of international law and financial dynamics make him a reliable consultant for companies operating in the world of luxury.