What is “relevant” in luxury commerce today?

At a recent industry event on the evolution of luxury commerce, Milton Pedraza, CEO at the Luxury Institute, spoke on a panel and made the claim that many well-known luxury brands have lost out by not educating their customer’s children. Apparently the luxury market’s children are following in their parents’ buying footsteps, but that’s about the only footsteps they’re following. Everything about the way they buy has changed.

The Luxury Institute, an independent ratings and research organization, conducts primary research globally with wealthy consumers in the luxury space.

In the panel discussion, Pedraza said that certain brands are becoming relics and are dying because they did not take care to cultivate younger generations. He said that the key to success is for these brands to make themselves relevant again.

That’s something I’m hearing a lot these days – but what does it mean? “Relevance” can be so subjective. Does it mean becoming a bigger part of the social media world? Does it mean you should know what technology younger generations are using, or what they’re watching on TV? If you are a luxury watch manufacturer and you are trying to sell your product but you don’t know what an iPad is or why it matters – then you probably aren’t so “relevant” are you?

But what if your customer doesn’t know what an iPad is either? How do you continue to know what they know? Or perhaps the overarching question: how do you remain relevant to your customer of tomorrow?