Now that we have prestige for the masses, how can beauty brands profit?

Ella Ceraulo investigates trends in the context of the democratisation of luxury beauty

The word luxury conjures images of expense, grandeur and exclusivity, but changes in consumer priorities and shopping habits cannot be ignored. Online content has given rise to a much more savvy shopper. We have seen the growth of the budget supermarket, whose car parks are more often than not graced with Range Rovers and BMWs.

In the 1970s, L’Oréal’s slogan ‘because I’m worth it’ sought to empower women, but now that mentality appeals to all. With the rise of ‘indulgence for all’, one-time luxury items have now become more affordable. For example, the last decade has seen numerous collaborations between high end fashion designers and high street stores.

Why not pop into H&M to pick up some Versace or Topshop for Christopher Kane? Welcome to the democratisation of luxury.

Enter Masstige

Michael Silverstein and Neil Fiske’s book Trading Up defined ‘masstige’ as “an increasing number of non-luxury brands selling luxury products or ‘masstige’ (mass prestige) products with (at least) some feeling of luxury”. During the credit crunch, we saw a shift to more frugal formulations, but almost a decade on we have seen a steady stream of products launched enticing consumers to trade up and treat themselves.

To emulate the success of masstige products, we first need to identify what . . .

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