Speaking at the LuxePack event in New York last week, the expert focused on the luxury packaging segment where she reported that a recent survey found cosmetics to have claimed 55 percent of the 90 percent of consumers that believe luxury is important or would buy on a regular basis.
Hartmann has been living in China since the early 80s, where he has been observing Chinese culture, a practice she has turned into a successful business, by reporting on consumer behaviour and advising brands particularly those in the cosmetics industry, on their spending patterns.
Firstly giving a general overview, the expert highlighted that China has really come to the forefront as disposable income increases and middle class consumers look to invest in luxury goods.
Of that he mentions that the research carried out by his team found that most consumers buying luxury items were mainly travellers. "The Chinese customer is now the largest overseas traveller. 38 million have passports but this is merely 3 per cent of the population, in the next few years we will see more people travelling and this will in turn boost spending patterns."
The expert goes on to say that 61 per cent of Chinese consumer spending is outside of their own country across all sectors on luxury goods, which has really increased in the last few years, placing them as the number one spenders in Europe.
Packaging for duty free
"Our research shows that 1.7 Chinese million customers travelled to the US last year, of those, 73 percent were under 35."
These findings he says, that it is the young wealthy affluent and inquisitive consumer that is investing in luxury items which is down to a shift of consumers becoming more brand conscious, particularly in the last 10 years or so.
In terms of advertising in China, Hartmann reckons it is fast evolving and is the most influential on the AP region. "Consumers are now able to see and go inquire, themselves about a product, and packaging in duty free for example that incorporates an experience is even more attractive to the buyer – particularly in the line of gift giving."
Finally, the spending pattern expert explains that people are also looking for special treatment but not necessarily unique, he gives for example sake a type of occasion such as guests being treated to a private tour of a wine chateau with the proprietor rather than wandering around a vineyard on any given day.