The Definition of Luxury
The definition of luxury must reflect the multi-dimensional aspect of the word as it varies from person to person, product to product and culture to culture. Traditionally, luxury was defined as “something coveted by most but only attainable by a few”. It speaks of privilege, pedigree, paucity & pricing, but I now find this definition to be somewhat outdated. With years spent traveling the world while working alongside our world’s financial elite, I find myself in search of a more compelling definition.
When putting in review the lives of these UHNWI, I can assert that luxury is rarely define as something to purchase as a stand-alone product. For some, luxury was having the freedom to live aboard their superyacht, working remotely as they traveled the world. Luxury was also gathering all family members for a short week-long charter, something that seemed impossible to do. For others, luxury was about being able to afford the best medical doctor to try to beat a deadly disease or to prolong a comfortable lifestyle in order to spend quality time with loved ones. One thing was common to all – luxury was not about acquiring things, but about acquiring experiences.
When I compare these luxuries to mine, someone who is far from being a billionaire, I see many commonalities. I too seek the freedom to travel the world while growing my brand remotely, and I too seek to gather my immediate family for a short week-long jaunt, a task that seems doomed to fail every year. After spending years caring for a father with heart issues, I too believe that medicine is a luxury that is beyond price. Luckily, I am Canadian, and my father was given a new heart from an extremely generous young man who was not so lucky. His gift was the ultimate luxury – the luxury of a second chance at life. Please allow me to take a moment to give my thanks to this anonymous donor and his family before I continue. Thank you!
Same as those of a billionaire, my luxuries are about acquiring life experiences not buying things. Living aboard a superyacht worth 220 million Euros or a 40′ bare catamaran with no electricity or fresh water shower is practically the same thing. If you love life at sea, the boat is secondary to the lifestyle. I have experienced both, and wouldn’t know wish one to choose if I had to make a choice.
Luxury is in the eyes of the beholder. The definition of luxury should therefore be one of “experience or lifestyle that is above all else”. If you are a brand that seeks to market yourself to an elite audience in search of the finer things in life, you need to provide an experience beyond the product in order to be considered “luxury”.
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