Luxury equates to scarcity, and scarcity to what is extremely unique.  Hence, the obtainment of the scare and unique is highly valued. This has been the case since ancient times.

What does change is what is considered a scarcity.

“while scarcity in traditional consumer societies was for decades defined by the biggest, the best, and the most expensive 'items', the consumer arena in 2009 shows a bewildering number of 'scarcities', some of them invented purely to overcome the abundance now found in traditional sectors.”
- 2009 Trend Report,

What is scarce in 2009?  Time.  Community.  Authenticity.  Family.  Service.  The new return on investment (ROI) is seeing your life-partner overcome with joy, sharing intimacy, service from a real person truly focused on your needs, peace and quite, people who really do care, establishing authentic connections.

Cruise Market Watch’s October 12, 2008 post “Mortgage Meltdown” predicted two primary general market trends, “anchoring” and “just enough.”  Anchoring means:

  • finding comfort and being comforted
  • authenticity of surroundings and people
  • grounded experiences
  • reflection on what’s really important

“Just enough” means:

  • form follows function
  • sustainability
  • Karma (more than ostentatiously flaunting)

Scarce and unique in 2009 is:

  • Attending the winter Olympic games, from a luxury cruise liner
  • drinking fermented lychee herbs from a century old Vietnamese villager recipe, consumed quickly before the lychee juice is able to alter in color and flavor
  • experiencing complete physical healing, spiritual enrichment and mental rejuvenation from Ayurveda or Siddha at a Haridwar wellness center located at the point where the Ganges emerges from the Himalayas
  • traveling to remote Nepal, to recover from a marital breakup
  • personal coaching by Anthony Robbins, at Hoshi Onsen
  • a family reunion on a cruise ship, where everyone on the ship feels like “family” including the crew
  • a wedding in a mission in remote Copper Canyon, Mexico, with food catered from France

In 2009, cruise lines have the power to define what is scarce and unique by introducing the opposite of anything that is already becoming too affordable, accessible, or well-known. Branding the right scarcity in a framework of the current economy, tailored specifically for the right audience, will build rewards for both the cruise consumer and cruise line's franchise.