How can luxury brands engage Gen Z? Chanel has a new idea

Nowadays Millennials are no longer the “favorite child” of luxury brands, because  Generation Z is becoming the spending force to be reckoned with. Mllennials and Generation Z represented around 30% of the luxury goods market in 2016, and they will grow over 40% by 2025 especially due to the financial maturity of today’s Gen Z’ers, according to a study by  Deloitte. 

So, how can luxury brands engage Millennials and expecially Gen Z consumers?

First of all, luxury brands should start changing their own mindset in order to engage with these very particular audiences. In fact, whereas historically luxury brands used to promote the culture of being something “exclusive,” today they have to be inclusive, engaging and have an open manner. The key to attract these generations is to become their “friends,” participate in their lives through relevant channels, and speak their language.

Then, another important thing is to understand that what they really care about is the experience and actual human feelings associated with the consumption of the product. This is why many luxury brands are going in this direction.

Last but not least, in this digitalized world, networks became essential for brands because they are considered to be the most valuable thing and a major factor when evaluating brand equity. So, especially in the luxury sector, this means that brands have to change the way they market their content and the way in which they address their customers. It’s obvious that brands that use networks like Instagram and other social networks are more open and approachable, allowing their consumers to actively participate on many levels.

We should take inspiration from network-based brands like Glossier, that use customers and employees as models, engaging fans in every product-related decision, or Chanel, which has just opened a new Atelier Beauté Chanel in Soho (Manhattan) with the focus on encouraging customers to play rather than shop.


The Chanel boutique in Soho is a permanent shop that aims to be a “veritable beauty playground,” where visitors can use and try all Chanel’s products. The words Chanel is using to define its “Beauty workshop” as a place of discovery are very effective. The brand is saying, in effect,  “Come as you are, stay as long as you wish, and visit as often as you would like. Try a little of everything, make a mistake or two and find new things you love”.

It is immediately clear that this is not a normal shop, but instead is created with the aim of making Chanel’s luxury products known also to younger generations.

Chanel 2

At the entrance of this store, Chanel asks people to create a personal account online in order to appreciate, save and buy products they have discovered. And inside, the Atelier Beauté is divided into three categories: make-up, skincare and fragrances, and a “lab” for lessons and treatments. Another method found by Chanel to attract  Generation Z was mixing online and offline experiences creating a room called “content creation,” which gives customers the ideal location for making beautiful photos to be published on social media, using Instagram-approved lighting.

Chanel 1

So, now other luxury brands have to take inspiration from them with the aim of attracting and engaging this new generation, that in the future will represent the majority of their customers.







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