THE DAWN OF THE LUXURY SUBSCRIPTION

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The phrase “the world is your oyster” today resonates strongly with the ethos that almost anything can be obtained — including luxury goods and services procured from the comfort of one’s own device. The process of purchasing is far more accessible, convenient and unbelievably more efficient than ever before. Going beyond the traditional ownership associated with long-term commitments are luxury subscription services. This pertains to everything from premium cars to fine wines, private jet flights and superyachts usage, to name but a few.

As this model becomes increasingly popular, a generation of users with refined tastes and cravings latch on, wanting to adhere to the variety of experiences with a twist that await them. Luxury subscriptions are bringing this type of service directly to clients in many shapes and forms. Two forms exist: to purchase a commodity or to pay for a subscription that grants access to a product or service for a short period of time without committal.

Private aviation companies such as Wheels Up, Surf Air and JetSmarter were among the innovators in the luxury sector to have mastered the art of this new level of subscription service. Proposing a no-strings-attached offering built on a community — more than just a group of individual users; their models set them air miles apart from their aviation competition. The concept encouraged a unique, high-touch experience sought after by a new breed of clientele at a fraction of the price compared to jet ownership or flying first class.

Revolutionizing the luxury driving experience is Revolve. As a premium vehicle subscription service, it was devised for those with a thirst for automotive variety and the freedom of driving an array of premium vehicles of their choosing for up to three months at a time.

As tastes are changing, new technology becomes readily available faster than before, customers are happy to pay a premium for what they are passionate about; they love the convenience of having a wide spectrum of cars to choose from. Be it an Audi RS7, Porsche 911 Carrera, Aston Martin DB9 or BMW i8, you drive a car for a few months then rotate into new one right after. This is luxury sharing economy at its very best. Negating the need to buy or lease a new vehicle over the years, and with zero commitment, Revolve grants users brand new driving experiences. The luxury of choosing what’s next is delivered right to your doorstep, easily and flawlessly, and is made possible through an easy-to-use online platform and app. Maintenance and insurance is all inclusive, so members are freed from the inconveniences that often come with traditional vehicle ownership.

“Today’s buying process has significantly changed. Where variety is now at the forefront, the car is not merely a product, but an experience,” says Asoka Veeravagu, Co-Founder and CEO of Revolve. “Our offering grants members all-inclusive automotive access with a luxury concierge service. We provide the most desirable new cars on the road and allow for frictionless automotive access.”

With a subscription business model, users are much more likely to stay on and grow their customer lifetime value. Companies such as Revolve are more in touch with their members and can deliver an experience that is far and above what competitors are able to offer. The result: existing members act not only as brand ambassadors, but also influencers in their entourage, explaining why a strong member loyalty program exists to reward new introductions and heighten the offering to the client in various forms, such as VIP events.

The London-based fine wine specialist, Berry Bros. & Rudd has more than 300 years of experience, an extensive collection of 5,000 wines, and six offices worldwide. Pioneers in providing an eclectic mix of wines through a distinguished Wine Club, the company has implemented monthly subscriptions tailored to each segment of relevant wine aficionado. “People are leading increasingly busy lives and understandably want to buy and enjoy the best,” says Katie Rolph, Wine Club Manager at Berry Bros. & Rudd.
“A short time spent setting up a monthly subscription can lead not only to a hassle-free way to receive the products you want but also can introduce you to things you might never usually choose for yourself while standing in a shop.”

In the case of Berry Bros. & Rudd, by subscribing to one of the four levels of the Wine Club, customers are offered the experience of broadening their horizons with selections that they might not have had a chance to try had they not been members. Trying something new and going beyond the comfort zone at a set fee is what makes subscriptions a much more pleasurable exploit.

Regardless of whether you are developing your taste in wine or if you are an established wine connoisseur, there is a level to suit each drinking style. Starting with Bourne, a mixed case of delectable day-to-day wines, up to the luxurious Wellington, a case comprised of refined wines and coveted vintages, honing the palate of even the most discerning clientele is easily achieved and becomes a pleasurable affair.

The company also offers various added perks, such as expert tasting notes, serving directions and suggested
food pairings, which add to the overall experience. The best luxury offerings of today are customized, not standardized. It’s apparent that consumers are valuing access and experience to luxury goods over ownership.  The traditional definition of luxury is somewhat deviating from its meaning of a few decades ago; ultimate luxury today is more about convenience, leaving the idiom “variety is the spice of life” ringing loud and clear in our ears.

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