By: Natalie Mortimer, The Drum
A new global study produced by UM, a division of IPG Mediabrands, was launched today and identifies a new consumer segment in the luxury space, the “global luxury citizen”.

Entitled ‘Shared Stories: Curiosities About the Global Luxury Storyteller,’ the study, which was produced in partnership with Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design, polled data from over 1,000 luxury consumers across the UK, China, Russia and the Middle East, and overlayed this with social media tracking across 65 countries.

The results revealed strong self-awareness, brand preferences and converging media behaviours and will provide brands with an understanding of how to target the group, which accounts for 50 per cent of all luxury spend, according to UM.

“This study has been a breakthrough for UM. The insights we have uncovered will allow marketers in the luxury space to deliver real business outcomes for customers within this fiercely competitive market,” said Gary Bonilla, chief strategy officer, UM G14.

“In our digitally democratised world, luxury behaviours and values have changed dramatically, yet marketing remains stuck in the past – with print often still accounting for almost 90 percent of media spend.

“Our study reveals a clear need to transcend these one-dimensional, traditional marketing methods, and understand the motivations of global luxury citizens from Russia, China and the Middle East – not only as economic powerhouses of luxury goods, but also as leaders of social movements, influencers of design and taste, movers of merchandise and future creative talents,” he added.

According to ‘Shared Stories’, harnessing earned media is essential for luxury brands, allowing them to create a unique and distinctive identity to appeal to consumers who want their own identities included within marketing messages.

Three types of “storytellers” within the new consumer segment were defined in the study. Chinese luxury consumers as the “Essayists”, Russians as the “Autobiographers”, and in the Middle East the “Freestyle Poets”.