First Luxury Brands Summit prioritises digital transformation

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

First Luxury Brands Summit prioritises digital transformation
Singapore University of Social Sciences welcomed over 100 industry and academic professionals at the Mystique of Luxury Brands Conference 2018 on 8th May and 9th May 2018.

Taking place in Singapore for the first time, the event explored trends, ideas and approaches to luxury by brands in the digital sphere. Held at Sheraton Towers, the event was led by Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and Curtin University's Luxury Branding Research Cluster and Louken Group.

Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower, attended as the special guest of honour.

Demographic shift

In 2017, the Millennial demographic comprised 85% of the international luxury market. As this generational group seeks high-end premium cosmetics and personal care items, brands are updating how they structure their customer user experience.

Focusing on mobile commerce and social media marketing techniques, today’s brands are leveraging these channels to communicate their high-end values. E-commerce sales are also reflecting the digital age. Bain & Company: Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study, Fall–Winter 2017​ found that luxury brand sales rose by 24% and is particularly strong in both Asia and Europe.

IMF: Asia's Dynamic Economies Continue to Lead Global Growth 2017​ revealed that as brands in Asia build their economic growth, they will need to utilise developed technologies that provide clear metrics and consumer insights to progress business strategies.

Tapping into digital

"Companies need to continually plug into the evolving digital world to seek innovative ways to connect with the new generation of digitally-savvy consumers. This is relevant even in the luxury brand market, one in which Singapore's SMEs can gain an advantage through digital transformation,”​ expressed Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).

Commenting on SUSS’ mission, Hee Kiat added: “SUSS plays a forward-looking role, through our strong tech-enabled applied education, in supporting our workforce and businesses to acquire new digital knowledge and build their capabilities to stay competitive and succeed in a fast-changing business landscape.”

Consumers today seek information and advice from online, as SUSS will achieve the same: “As a pioneer in online education, SUSS itself utilises emerging solutions to better engage and develop our students, and foster a strong spirit of innovation within our learning environment."

Focusing on the evolution of luxury brands, new innovations, key trends, SUSS plans to narrow the “link between industry and the academic world”.

Luxury in Asia

Specifically exploring Asia, panel discussions looked at luxury lifestyles from an Asia-Pacific perspective and what a luxury lifestyle consumer in this region typically demands.

"While global brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermes continue to dominate the luxury brands market, the rise of affordable and bespoke luxury brands has blurred the definition of luxury products and is changing the face of the industry as we know it,”​ stated Professor Ian Phau, the Head of the School of Marketing at Curtin University.

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