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Conspicuous Conservation: Using semiotics to understand sustainable luxury
Marie-Cecile Cervellon, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 5, 2013, pp. 695-717
This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands.
This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands. In doing so, it highlights the interest of using a combination of semiotics tools (Peirce's and Greimas' paradigms) to analyse consumers' discourses. Indeed, understanding the sign-value of a brand in relation to the natural environment and society is paramount to the development of CSR activities, in order to avoid, on one side, being perceived as greenwashing and, on the other, losing the brand meaning and authenticity. Findings indicate that the luxury clientele opposes 'ascribed luxury' (discreet and emphasising traditional manufacturing techniques) to 'achieved luxury' (conspicuous and marketed). The contribution of luxury brands to society welfare should be located on a continuum between sustainability in ethos and along the supply chain, and pure philanthropic actions, both being worthy in consumers' views, and both being expected from luxury brands to different degrees, depending on the brand ascribed or achieved status.
Consumer meaning making: the meaning of luxury brands in a democratised luxury world
Liselot Hudders, Mario Pandelaere and Patrick Vyncke, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 3, 2013, pp. 391-412
The nature of luxury is constantly changing and this makes it difficult to formulate a universal definition of luxury brands.
The nature of luxury is constantly changing and this makes it difficult to formulate a universal definition of luxury brands. The current paper aims to enrich the understanding of luxury brand meaning from a consumer perspective. In particular, this paper investigates consumers’ perceptions of luxury brands based on the extent to which they associate various attributes to luxury brands. A large-scale survey in the Flemish part of Belgium reveals three facets of luxury brand meaning: an expressive facet that refers to the exclusivity of luxury brands, an impressive-functional facet that refers to premium quality and an impressive-emotional facet that refers to extraordinary aesthetic aspects. In addition, the current study distinguishes three consumer segments (i.e. impressive, expressive and mixed segment) that differ from each other for the importance they attach to these facets of luxury brand meaning. The impressive segment associates luxury brand meaning with both impressive-functional and impressive-emotional facets, while the expressive segment associates luxury brand meaning with the expressive facet, rather than with impressive facets. The third segment, mixed group, thinks both expressive and impressive facets of luxury brand meaning need to be present before a brand can be categorised as luxury brand. In addition, the current study extends previous segmentations by providing a detailed profile of the segments. In particular, this study shows that the views are differentially related to both individual difference variables and various aspects of individual well-being (i.e. self-esteem and negative affect).
Sustainability, higher margin opportunities & economic crises - Lessons from the global study of premium products
Marco Bevolo, Alex Gofman, Howard R. Moskowitz, ESOMAR, Congress, Montreux, September 2009
The recent economic downturn resulted in the rapid deterioration of the appeal of “classic” luxury propositions and an equally rapid rise in the demand of a new, ethically-driven aspiration, namely the sustainable notion of premium.
The recent economic downturn resulted in the rapid deterioration of the appeal of “classic” luxury propositions and an equally rapid rise in the demand of a new, ethically-driven aspiration, namely the sustainable notion of premium. This presentation combines scientific market research with trend analysis, re-framing and presenting the “algebra of the mind” of potential customers of premium value, with respect to the opportunities in sustainability. The approach is demonstrated by a case study in a project between Philips Design and Moskowitz Jacobs Inc. for Wharton School Publishing. The objective was to discover the properties of high end products and services, and the dynamics of aspiration that result in people’s willingness to buy them, resulting in higher margins for corporations - even in times of crisis.
Quality insights to solve a luxury problem - marketing to affluent consumers in the digital age
Beth Uyenco, Olivier Goulet and Alex Charlton, ESOMAR, Worldwide Multi Media Measurement (WM3), Budapest, June 2008
Luxury brands rely on carefully planned and executed marketing activity to appeal to consumers' emotions, and also look to cultivate an image of exclusivity.
Luxury brands rely on carefully planned and executed marketing activity to appeal to consumers' emotions, and also look to cultivate an image of exclusivity. As their customers increasingly spend time with digital media, they must wrestle with decisions about if they should try and extend their communications into a world more associated with social inclusion and rational, direct-response advertising, and if so, how this is to be achieved. This paper discusses the findings from an international study of luxury consumerism and digital media, conducted on behalf of Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions and KR Media. It argues that digital channels can be complimentary for the communications efforts of luxury brands, and that luxury brands and high technology are often associated with one another in the minds of consumers, resulting in the evolution of the 'technoluxe' category of consumers which could soon be an important player across the digital marketplace.
The Cosmocrats - identifying new targets for modern luxury
Adeline Attia, ESOMAR, Annual Congress, Cannes, September 2005
Cosmocrats are an elite of luxury consumers estimated to number 20m worldwide, which could double in size between 2000 and 2010.
Cosmocrats are an elite of luxury consumers estimated to number 20m worldwide, which could double in size between 2000 and 2010. Luxury advertisers find it difficult to reach this highly attractive group first spotted in the US, and later Europe and Asia. This paper uses an unusual combination of macro and micro trends to profile Cosmocrats in Paris and New York. It analyses effective communications approaches, including from Hermès and Dior, the luxury brand groups, for targeting this audience.
Impact of personal orientation on luxury-brand purchase value: an international investigation
Shu-pei Tsai, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 47, No. 4, 2005, pp. 427-452
As marketing-related literature shows, luxury-brand marketing to the segment of personally oriented consumers has not been investigated to a full extent, rendering it difficult to base marketing strategies on empirically verified principles to improve purchase value for this segment of consumers.
As marketing-related literature shows, luxury-brand marketing to the segment of personally oriented consumers has not been investigated to a full extent, rendering it difficult to base marketing strategies on empirically verified principles to improve purchase value for this segment of consumers. The current study, incorporating relevant theoretical frameworks and empirical findings, establishes a model specifying the antecedents and consequence of personal orientation towards luxury-brand consumption. The model, tested by data collected across the regions of Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America, illustrates that personal orientation in the international market may significantly impact on repurchase behaviour elicited for luxuries. It is recommended that international marketing efforts for luxuries, while revolving around enhancing the impression management function, should also be geared to meeting the needs of self-directed pleasure, self-gift giving, congruity with internal self and quality assurance for building and strengthening brand loyalty.
The pursuit of luxury -bling-bling vs. savoir faire
Alexander Maule and Steve Hales, ESOMAR, Qualitative Research, Venice, November 2003
Understanding trends in youth markets is challenging due to the dynamism and fluidity of consumer attitudes.
Understanding trends in youth markets is challenging due to the dynamism and fluidity of consumer attitudes. This paper aims to outline how a bricolage approach using creative methodologies can help understand these changing dynamics, and how leading-edge opinion can be harnessed to anticipate future changes. The paper also outlines how to design such a future-focussed study in order to build in the flexibility and partnership needed to adapt as findings emerge, allowing findings to shape the research process as it evolves, and creating actionable outputs which can be used to fuel strategic decision making. This paper also provides an insight into how luxury and prestige are being re-defined by young European consumers, and the implications this has for the brands attempting to reach them.
OBSERVATIONS: Understanding the World of International Luxury Brands: The 'Dream Formula'
Bernard Dubois and Claire Paternault, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 35, No. 4, July/August 1995
Marketing luxury goods is a paradox. Managers want a certain level of diffusion for their brand in order to achieve success in the marketplace; yet, if their brand is overdiffused, it loses its luxury characteristics.
Marketing luxury goods is a paradox. Managers want a certain level of diffusion for their brand in order to achieve success in the marketplace; yet, if their brand is overdiffused, it loses its luxury characteristics. This paper empirically explores the status of international luxury brands in the United States.
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