Made In Heaven
Businessworld|September 28, 2019
Made In Heaven
Millennials and Gen Z do not want to indulge in exhibitionism, rather they are looking to spend on experiences that would make their D-Day meaningful and memorable
Jyotsna Sharma

INDIAN WEDDINGS are a large affair in India. A guest list of 3,000-4,000 is not unusual. The wedding involves a minimum of three events before the actual ceremony, often followed by a reception. However, social media culture has upped the ante, particularly after the dreamy weddings of celebrities Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli, Priyanka Chopra-Nick Jonas, and Reliance Group heiress Isha Ambani. Brands that are part of the $50-billion India luxury market have started recognising this shift and are investing in nurturing the new consumer.

It is increasingly common for affluent Indians to spend on outfitting family members and even guests for the occasion — all the better to show off on social accounts. Brides and bridegrooms are becoming conscious about how weddings are documented, and with the aim of a uniform aesthetic, close family will also choose looks from the same brand.

While some, on the other side, do not want to indulge in exhibitionism. They would rather spend on experiences that would make their special day meaningful and memorable. For instance, a bride today might not see merit in spending on an expensive outfit but would definitely spend on curating a travel experience to an exotic locale for a set of close friends to mark her wedding day.

According to Varun Chadha, CEO, Tirun -- the Indian representative of the Royal Caribbean Cruises -- everyone wants a memorable wedding, one which is different from the regular. “The desire to seek new experiences defines modern consumption, and when it comes to weddings, cruises offer the best opportunity to have a varied palette of experiences. Whether it is a huge gathering or a small intimate affair, a cruise wedding offers the perfect venue, offering a high novelty quotient.”

Luxury brands realise that millennials and Gen Z are consumers of the future, so they have shifted their focus on them now. A rising class of great importance are the HENRYs (High Earners Not Rich Yet), affluent millennials that have high disposable income and a propensity to spend on luxury items, experiences and services. To them, personalisation and authenticity are important when making purchasing decisions. According to leading fashion designer, Gaurav Gupta, “Luxury to millennials is unique. It does not have anything to do with acquisition - it is an experience. They like to invest in a meaningful narrative rather than a superficial image.”

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September 28, 2019