According to data on consumer expense patterns put out by American Express, the charge card and travel company, Indian millennials—those in the 19-39 age bracket—are raising their outlays on luxury products and services faster than older generations. Between 2014 and 2018, they recorded a 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in luxury spending, a figure that beats that of others. Does this suggest that India’s well-off millennials have a special psychographic profile?

They do seem better disposed to luxury than the older lot, and this may be because they came of age after India’s economic liberalization, which marked a paradigm shift in attitudes towards fancy stuff. While younger folk in earlier times grew up thrifty, putting the earnings into property, bank deposits and other assets, millennials now seem to believe in living in the moment. For them, experience is everything. This could explain choices that seem somewhat hedonistic to middle-agers—their love of fine dining, globe-trotting and high-glam apparel and accoutrements. Instant gratification is the key, it would seem. Of course, they do invest as well.

Luxury seems to hold a special appeal for them. Attitude-wise, they have had no socialist conditioning whatsoever, and so are far more comfortable with the status signals that luxury products send. In fact, much of it is peer pressure. Brand exposure is another factor. In all, it’s easy to conclude that millennials make a target audience quite distinct from others. Luckily for marketers, they don’t just love luxury, enough of them have the money for it, too.

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