We are talking about many aspects of the century we are in, and we will continue to do so. For example, at the beginning of the 21st century, while the world was discussing the third millennium, it was stated that this century would be an “age of reason” and a century of space competition. However, looking at the 2008 global financial crisis, current intercontinental tensions, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, we have almost completely forgotten what is hoped for this century and found ourselves in a situation that made us think that we have entered an “age of abdication of reason” or a severe “age of uncertainty.”
It is a difficult period in which the world population, which has reached 8 billion, is facing the most challenging energy and food crises in its history. The fight against global poverty has not progressed to the desired extent.
However, it is interesting that this challenging situation is not reflected in the consumption preferences of people around the world, especially in the preferences of middle-income and upper-middle-income consumers. The 21st century is a period where companies have succeeded in establishing a service network on a global scale and are now aiming to sell you “status,” not a “product.”
Therefore, the 21st century is a century in which not “product marketing” but “status marketing” is prioritized, and the world’s leading brands market you a “status” or “solution,” not a “product.”
This method, which we call “status marketing,” is a marketing tactic that aims to take advantage of people’s obsession with buying status symbols. From a smart device you buy to sneakers, from the bag you carry to the car you get in, from the hotel you stay at to the restaurant you eat in, you are marketed “status” and “solutions.” For this reason, we pay a high price to feed our love of “status,” which leads us to purchase intelligent devices worth a fortune to replace the previous, still-functioning model.
Considering the fact that you are buying “status” instead of “products,” buying a good from a “branded” city in the world such as Paris, Milan, Istanbul, New York, London, Barcelona, Dubai or Singapore now has a different meaning and a different value, instead of buying it from a store in your own country. For this reason, Eurasians, as well as shoppers from the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Gulf, love to shop in Istanbul, and Asians love to shop in European cities, especially in Paris, London and Milan. Global brands are also aware of the fact that the entire shopping process from packaging to store bags is actually status marketing. They accordingly shape all their designs, store decorations, shopping bags and packages accordingly. As the world has just entered the new year, it is possible to see this up close in all media around you.
Even though the world’s leading brands had difficulties in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions and quarantine measures, as of the end of 2022, especially luxury consumption expenditures are expected to reach 1.4 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion), with an increase of 21% compared to the previous year. At this point, it is forecasted that the strong trend toward especially luxury consumption products, goods and services (high-status travel) will continue growing until 2030, due to the significant increase in consumption in leading developing countries, especially in China, whose rising middle class is growing.
The main generations that the world’s leading brands have difficulty in understanding are the Z and Alpha Generations. If the new generation’s view of the concept of “luxury” differs significantly, if the new generations prefer to live a more “minimalist” life or if the interest in luxury products and “status” decreases, it seems that the leading brands of the world will have a very tough time. But sports brands will be the luckiest sector because the new generation is seriously interested in sports and sports-based smart devices.
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