Trendwatching.com published their view on 10 crucial consumer trends for 2010 (http://trendwatching.com/trends/10trends2010/).
The one that caught my eye was the definition of luxury – you simply cannot define it. Luxury is what you (your customers) define it to be. According to the review you should not focus on understanding what is the next thing but how your customers define it. They appreciate it because it is scarce.
Services are often considered as luxury. But for some luxury can be simply more time, time for yourself, NOT having to do something, not spending money, contributing to charity etc.
How could we offer something that consumers are willing to have and gain value of, at the same time contributing to our company success? Productization of services is common for companies who can provide services on a more mass tailored way; haircut, spa treatment, personal trainer or coaching session. But according to trends surveys, we need to provide more unique, more tailored, more personal experiences and ways of consumption. I guess one of the key questions is how you can you make customer meeting as (cost) effective as possible, still making it unique. Or can you make the experience ultimate unique that customer is willing to pay or do most anything to have it again? Can you replace or mass-tailor physical contact? What do you say of mass wedding nights at local churches? Personal or mass-tailored luxury? Easy-to-get or easy-enough-luxury? At least fits with target audience needs – churches have been fully booked so the concept seems to work. But it´s one service which the customer should not come back to, so expect no return calls.