When Virgin Galactic launched in 2004, I think we all knew that the future of luxury travel would look very different than we ever could have anticipated.
In each of the last 36 years, we have begun the analysis of our survey data with a search for trends. What's up? What's down? What has changed in Affluent lives, spending patterns, and media habits?
"Homeland," Showtime's 2012 Emmy-winning series, is a story of heroic efforts by a team of dedicated intelligence professionals to promote the interests of the United States and safeguard it against threats in an ever-changing, turbulent world. In a larger sense, it's very similar to the efforts of luxury marketers to gain mindshare of affluents. The storyline has a premier brand, the United States, whose influence is being threatened. Like luxury marketers, the team has to promote the brand while also protecting it from powerful, opposing forces in the marketplace who desire to diminish its influence.
Last time I was in New York, I found myself ducking into Saks Fifth Avenue to avoid the sirens from the President's motorcade. You have to appreciate the full retail experience of an upscale store like Saks. What really struck me on this particular visit were not the couture products or the latest high-ticket items that would require my selling a limb to purchase, but the habits of my fellow shoppers -- in particular, the number of mobile cameras being used to take pictures in every corner of the story really stood out. If I ventured a guess, I'd bet ...