I came across a nice new acronym this week, while doing some research on the new meaning of luxury for one of our clients. Being first to spout any acronym always makes one sound smart and superior so I thought I’d share.
A HENRY is someone who is a ‘High earner, not rich yet’. So most likely a millennial, working in a knowledge based role. Professional but not necessarily in the traditional ‘doctors and solicitors; sense of the word. Mobile, in-demand and connected.
Because HENRY’s are cash rich but haven't accumulated significant wealth yet, they exhibit certain interesting traits when it come to consuming premium or luxury goods. Here’s a few:
Experiences trump products
This market places a higher priority on life experiences including travel, culture, adventure and gastronomy than owning luxury goods. These things are seen as more lasting than material possessions, which go out of fashion, become obsolete or just fail.
Rent it, don’t buy it
As experience seekers, HENRY’s aren’t that taken with owning things - it’s the experience, rather than the object that matters. Hence the rise of Airbnb, Uber, Netjets or even Dublin Bikes - services that deliver access rather than ownership.
Functional luxury beats frivolous luxury
Beautifully designed and crafted but highly functional products are more in vogue than decadent and extravagant fripperies. Think Tumi luggage over Louis Vuitton luggage for the perfect example.
This is a general millennial trend to be fair but significant nonetheless - purpose, craftsmanship and authenticity matter more than brand names. To HENRY’s “luxury is about where it was made, how it was made,” says Matthew Woolsey, EVP for Digital at Barneys New York. A superb example of this is the Detroit watchmaker, Shinola, which has built a powerful brand story around revitalising traditional American manufacturing.
by Niall Dowling, Strategic Director.