Lifestyle & Luxury

Lifestyle & Luxury


Emotionally led purchases can take your business to the next level

From sporting goods and fashion to watches, jewelry, and luxury items: emotions can be a powerful driver for retail. Brand heat is helping to create demand and outstanding consumer experience in the channels that will convert these emotions into purchases.

woman choosing glasses
"The essence of success in our industries lies in understanding the consumer desires, fostering brand authenticity and delivering exceptional quality - it is about the magic of emotions."
Portrait of Faris Momani
Senior Partner
Zurich Office, Central Europe

What may sound simple is a complex process that requires a clear strategy, convincing business model, and powerful operating model. Developed over decades, this approach has proved a reliable source of steady, profitable growth.

But now the challenges in the lifestyle and luxury industry are growing, from the impact of Gen-Z shoppers and AI to socioeconomic changes. Companies must adjust, with some already reinventing themselves completely.

Not all companies are ready, though, and face what might be significant transformations. Roland Berger is ready to support you in this journey. Our consulting teams around the world have extensive expertise in navigating these journeys. From defining “where to play and how to win” to shaping implementation plans, our consultants know how to create real impact for luxury brands.

Direct-to-consumer models and their right balance with the wholesale channel

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) models pose a unique challenge as they require businesses to rethink traditional marketing and distribution strategies. Luxury and lifestyle brands, known for their exclusivity and in-store experiences, now face the task of translating that same prestige, expertise and customer service to the digital realm.

This shift demands significant investment in online platforms, consumer data analysis, and personalized digital marketing. It also challenges the perception of luxury, balancing accessibility with exclusivity. Companies must maintain their allure while expanding their reach through DTC channels, all without diluting their perceived value or alienating their traditional clientele who value the tactile, personalized in-store experience.

Loyalty and customer segmentation

With consumers now inundated with choice and the allure of the latest trends, maintaining customer loyalty requires more than just a prestigious label. Brands must consistently deliver exceptional quality, exclusivity, and a personalized experience that resonates with their clientele's desires.

As the rise of digital platforms has intensified competition, it is crucial for luxury brands to create compelling marketing narratives and engage directly with consumers to build an emotional connection. The key to success lies in customer segmentation, providing impeccable service, and ensuring every product feels like a tailored indulgence. For premium brands, loyalty is not just about a repeat purchase; it's about nurturing a continuous relationship that transforms clients into passionate brand ambassadors.

Customer experience

Digital transformation means consumers now demand highly personalized, engaging journeys across all touchpoints. The rise of online shopping has increased the need for businesses to create seamless omnichannel experiences that reflect the exclusivity and high-quality service of in-store interactions.

Meanwhile, the push for greater sustainability and more ethical practices has also become integral to customer satisfaction, compelling luxury brands to reassess their operations and storytelling strategies. Staying ahead in this dynamic environment requires constant adaptation and a customer-centric approach that embraces both technological advancements and core brand values.

New luxury

In the ever-evolving lifestyle industry, the concept of luxury is being redefined. Businesses must navigate a landscape in which exclusivity blends with sustainability and ethical practices, and personalization is paramount. The new luxury paradigm is not just about premium quality but also encapsulates a holistic experience that respects the planet while catering to individual values and desires.

Luxury brands are being tasked to create exceptional products and services that not only exude sophistication and craftsmanship but also have social responsibility and authenticity at their core. This shift is shaping a future in which luxury transcends material wealth, becoming a symbol of conscious lifestyle choices and refined tastes that contribute to a better world.

Go-to-market strategy

Rapidly shifting consumer trends and a crowded marketplace mean luxury brands and retailers must identify and appeal to their target demographic, differentiate themselves through product innovation and branding, and develop an omnichannel presence. A successful strategy requires thorough research and a clear differentiation of available channels.

Store operations

Managing store operations is a complex challenge, encompassing inventory control, staffing, customer service, and merchandising. Retailers must balance the demands of cost control with providing an exceptional shopping experience, all while adapting to shifting market trends and consumer behavior. Effective communication and technology integration are critical for streamlining processes and ensuring efficiency. The ever-present need to optimize the supply chain and manage in-store dynamics adds to the intricate nature of store operations in today's fast-paced retail environment.

Merchandise management

End to end merchandise management involves continuously optimizing product selection as well as development, stock levels, and pricing strategies to meet consumer demand and maximize profitability. Retail operators face the challenge of balancing inventory investment and time to market with sales forecasts, navigating supply chain complexities, and responding swiftly to new trends.

Effective management requires a blend of data analysis, market insight, collection structuring, and operational agility to avoid overstocking or stock-outs and ensure the right products are available at the right time and place.

Supplier management

Dynamic supplier management presents a significant challenge in the lifestyle industry, requiring meticulous coordination and relationship-building as well as responsive set-up. Brands and retailers must balance cost-efficiency with quality assurance and lead times, often navigating complex logistics, varying regulatory environments, and the unpredictability of global supply chains.

Effective communication, strategic partnerships, and connected digital processes are crucial to managing lead times, maintaining inventory levels, and quickly adapting to changing market demands or potential disruptions. This ensures the end consumer receives products smoothly and markdowns and product promises are under control.


Retailers must navigate sustainable sourcing, reduce environmental footprints, and ensure fair labor practices while remaining profitable. As consumer awareness and regulatory pressures rise, retailers must transparently integrate ESG into their operations and supply chains, striving for ethical excellence and sustainability without compromising on cost-effectiveness and competitiveness. The challenge lies in achieving this balance while meeting the evolving expectations of stakeholders and maintaining a positive brand image.

How we helped other clients
Customer segmentation for a leading automotive OEM

For a leading German automotive OEM, we developed a global customer segmentation blueprint in line with its new luxury strategy. By analyzing the client base, identifying relevant segmentation criteria, and developing preference-based offerings, our consulting team helped take buyer experience and luxury perception to the next level, all while drawing on best practices from other segments. By designing a practical, actionable blueprint for all stakeholders (central teams, markets, and local car dealers), we were able to ensure the approach was implemented globally across the organization.

New manufacturing strategy for a global textile manufacturer

For a leading family-owned and run Danish manufacturer of luxury textiles, we analyzed their complex production set-up and developed a “future-ready” strategy for a new global manufacturing footprint. There was a strong emphasis on strategic partnerships and how to ensure long-term capability-building within the organization. Based on a thorough analysis of more than 15 scenarios and various potential locations, our consultants made a concise recommendation for the clients' future footprint.

Enhancing wholesale at a French fashion house

We developed a comprehensive B2B strategy for a core business unit at a leading luxury fashion house. To achieve the company’s ambitious sales target while protecting and strengthening its brand equity, our consulting team was tasked with evaluating and enhancing their existing wholesale business. After an extensive assessment of the internal status quo as well as an external market analysis, we established an international wholesale strategy with well-defined cross-regional guardrails and a target operating model. As a result, our client strengthened its brand equity and enhanced its value proposition in the wholesale channel.

Accelerating D2C retail for a sports brand

We conducted a comprehensive retail acceleration program for the direct-to-consumer (D2C) retail operations of a global sports fashion company. The project was split into two consulting modules: First, deliver a performance improvement program for prioritized loss-making stores based on internal peer-group benchmarking, translating into realizing EBIT potential and performing concrete improvement measures. For part two, we assessed the future role of the firm's D2C retail channel. This meant analyzing various external market drivers, conducting extensive external benchmarking, and outlining strategic recommendations for our client.

Revamping ESG at a leading European luxury house

We developed a tailored ESG risk and opportunity assessment methodology for a leading luxury firm, ensuring alignment with regulatory demands while promoting sustainable business planning. In our four-step approach, we identified, prioritized, and assessed ESG-related risks and opportunities across the global organization, taking into account regional and business unit differences. By blending qualitative and quantitative data, we constructed a comprehensive process that seamlessly integrates into the enterprise risk management framework and aligns with other pertinent activities such as the double materiality assessment.

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