Reports

    What Asia’s lifestyle and luxury consumers want in 2024

    A new report outlines the shifting behaviors, values and preferences of lifestyle consumers in Asia.
    Chinese tourists queue up in front of a Louis Vuitton boutique at Siam Paragon department store in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Shutterstock
      Published   in Consumer

    The Bluebell Group’s “Asia Lifestyle Consumer Profile 2024” report, released on March 11, examines the evolving dynamics of lifestyle consumption across Asia’s most vibrant consumer markets.

    Surveying 1,750 premium lifestyle enthusiasts in Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the burgeoning markets of Southeast Asia, including Singapore and Malaysia, the study delves into the changing perceptions of luxury amid global upheaval and economic flux.

    This year’s insights center on the concept of value in luxury, exploring how Asian consumers balance brand reputation, quality, and the potential for investment returns in their purchasing decisions, as well as attitudes towards price standardization and servicing.

    The findings reveal robust consumer optimism throughout Asia, post pandemic.

    Consumer optimism in China has remained high over the past four years, with 97% of respondents expressing optimism in the future. Consumers in Southeast Asia have grown notably more sanguine – 93% expressed optimism, up 17% since 2021 – and Japan has also seen a significant rise in consumer positivity since 2021.

    Luxury value redefined

    The luxury paradigm in Asia is shifting to a pronounced emphasis on craftsmanship, reputation, and resale value, with the majority of consumers “prioritizing craftsmanship over brand or design.”

    Over 70% of respondents across markets view luxury as synonymous with quality, particularly in China (94%) and Taiwan (93%). Brand reputation remains crucial, while an increasing focus on resale value (Southeast Asia leading the pack at 85%) signals a move towards more mindful consumption and “a trend toward deeper evaluation of acquiring less products,” the report outlines.

    The importance assigned to quality in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Korea and Japan. Photo: Bluebell Group
    The importance assigned to quality in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Korea and Japan. Photo: Bluebell Group

    Localization and premium Asian brands

    There is a growing preference for domestic luxury, with China (85%) and Southeast Asia (83%) leading in terms of Asian premium brand demand, indicating a shift towards consumers recognizing the quality and accessibility of regional luxury.

    They are trailed by Taiwan (68%), Hong Kong (65%) and South Korea (62%), while Japanese consumers show a comparatively weaker preference at only 51%. The intricacies of this dynamic become evident when dissecting regional responses.

    This shift in consumer preferences towards homegrown premium options also indicates a growing cultural pride in the continent and that Asian brands are becoming viable competitors to their Western counterparts, especially when it comes to the premium sector. Homegrown labels can often be more agile and adaptive to their home markets, culturally, stylistically and economically.

    Support for local brands in China, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Photo: Bluebell Group
    Support for local brands in China, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. Photo: Bluebell Group

    High expectations

    Asian consumers expect brands to offer special perks and superior service, with expectations varying by market. But what expectations do they expect from brands to maintain customer loyalty?

    The good news is that most of these highly sophisticated Asian consumers are willing to accept price hikes, of which there have been many in luxury, as outlined in several Jing Daily articles. However, this broad willingness to shoulder the burden of escalating price tags, is an acquiescence not without its caveats.

    The quid pro quo lies in an unyielding expectation for unparalleled quality and craftsmanship – a standard that brands must invariably meet. According to the study, a significant majority in China and Southeast Asia (88% and 78%, respectively) demonstrate a robust tolerance for price inflation. This contrasts starkly with their counterparts in South Korea and Japan, where only 62% and 49%, respectively, exhibit a similar attitude.

    The study also notes the digital dichotomy between consumers who gravitate towards brands’ official websites seeking authenticity and those who favor multi-brand platforms for their assortment and convenience, which underscores a pivotal challenge for luxury marques.

    Ensuring price uniformity across diverse shopping channels emerges as a strategic imperative, aligning with the expectations of an increasingly digital-savvy consumer base.

    Consumers in China (59%), South Korea (61%) and Taiwan (54%) predominantly prefer official brand websites, and are inclined to direct brand engagement, possibly in a search for authenticity. Conversely, in Japan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, a significant portion of luxury clientele leans towards the breadth and flexibility offered by multi-brand platforms, highlighting a prioritization of variety, competitive pricing, and convenience.

    Preferred online shopping channel by market (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan). Photo: Bluebell Group
    Preferred online shopping channel by market (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South Korea, Japan). Photo: Bluebell Group

    These findings provide strategic insights for brands navigating Asia’s intricate, growing and diverse luxury market. They emphasize the need for adaptability in meeting the evolving expectations of a dynamic and varied consumer base, and signal the imperative for brands to navigate these complexities with adeptness and strategic foresight.


    • Asian consumers increasingly value quality, craftsmanship, and resale potential over brand name, leading to a trend of buying fewer, high-quality items. A majority of respondents, particularly in China and Taiwan, associate luxury with superior quality.
    • Consumers are significantly shifting towards domestic premium brands in China and Southeast Asia, driven by regional pride. There is a broad acceptance of the quality of homegrown brands and their adaptability.
    • Asian consumers, while willing to accept luxury price increases, demand exceptional quality and service in return. This creates a challenge for brands to balance high craftsmanship and service standards against price sensitivity, especially in less tolerant markets like South Korea and Japan.
    • Brands need to show strategic foresight to capture Asia’s lifestyle trends and luxury consumers’ loyalty. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated, thus missteps in delivering the right experience, or quality could be particularly damaging.
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