from Hermès “Black Rider”
Being a luxury strategist has several complexities primarily because one explores perhaps the most difficult question in the history of business communications which is what do those who have almost everything in the world really want along with the more mysterious question that is WHY do they want it. High psychographics is, by far, one of the most practical tools to demystify the why question for the luxury brand managers around the globe.
High psychographics is an exceedingly interdisciplinary methodology of research which is conducted before constructing luxury market segments or dividing the market into luxury consumer groups. The methodology is never multidisciplinary, but always interdisciplinary because it examines not only a large number of fields but also the relationships between them. Some of these fields are: cultural anthropology, symbolism, environmental psychology, linguistics, ancient history, futurology, system dynamics, philosophy, biology, behavioural economics, psychoanalysis, neuroscience etc.
Today, like never before, this delicate methodology has become the most profitable instrument for the executives within the luxury industry. It must be noted that only a small minority of the luxury brand strategists around the world is highly trained to be able to use this instrument to its full extent. The reason why high psychographics is so practically useful and rewarding in the mid-term and the long-term is because it focuses on lifestyles, attitudes, value systems, mindset, motivations, behaviour, taste and interests. Researching lifestyles in-depth becomes a lifestyle in and of itself. This then turns the psychographics researcher into a psychographist agent as the research company tranforms itself into an intelligence agency.
There are, however, still many ‘professionals’ in the global luxury industry that are too pre-occupied with demographics rather than letting high psychographics play the dominant role in all brand management operations. The socio-cultural and socio-psychological dimensions matter more than just the socio-economic perspectives in high psychographics, which is why it is much more effective than mere demographics. In other words, demographics is what is written on the ID card or passport of the consumer whereas psychographics is what is written in the mind (both conscious and subconscious). It is a dimension beyond demographic segmentation. It must also be stated that in the age of hyper communication there is no such thing as psychographic data or analytics but psychographic intelligence will continue to exist.
High psychographics differs from the usual psychographics as it focuses exclusively on the aristocratic way of thinking (mindset) and way of living (behaviour). The noble-minded high net worth individuals are a completely different type of species. They are the higher species who perceive fundamental notions as time and space in a rather peculiar way. No species in nature is higher than them.
To conclude, this particular in-depth research methodology is critical for figuring out the consumer behavior in the luxury industry because it provided, provides and will continue to provide the keys to open many doors within the mind of those that are on top of the Pyramid.