Buying luxurious brands is seen nowadays as a regular part of life. The appeal of these goods is undeniable though the price tags might be off-putting. There are over $200 billion annual sales each year of luxury goods due to a global increase in demand. Consumers have numerous reasons for purchasing these items (Clark, 2011). They convey status, exclusivity and wealth. According to Social Psychology research, there are two types of pride in consumption. There is a sense of contentment and success that motivates a person to desire luxury purchases and an attitude of snobbery that an individual feels while displaying the product (Wiedmann, 2009). This creates a paradox in that a purchase heightens the feeling of accomplishment while signals the perception of arrogance to others.
The irrationality of humans can be seen during these purchases. Most of the consumers make purchases that dont act to the best of their financial interest. They look at the positive elements of a purchase and ignoring their disadvantages (Turunen, 2017). A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, many people make these purchases to improve their social esteem and giving them a sense of belonging. Chinese men buy luxurious goods to showcase their status and flaunt their success (Sivanathan & Pettit, 2010). Most women purchase luxurious brands to give in to hedonistic tendencies. They view luxury goods as retail therapy.
Muslims are not any different. For years, Muslim women have been interested in fashion but only recently has the fashion industry understood their worth. According to the Global Islam Economy report, up to $230billion is used by a Muslim consumer to buy clothes. Fashion for Muslims is much more than wearing a hijab, but rather showcasing a modest form of dressing. This shows that Islamic women want to be included in the brand communication. We have had fashion shows of women in hijab (Dubois, 2005).
Research has shown that the luxury consumers of the west and the east have different reasons for making their purchases. For Indians, they make purchases influenced by how they are viewed by the society. They crave luxury items as they see them as a reflection of their status in the community. It is seen as a way of achieving societal acceptance. Luxury brands indicate wealth, prestige, social status and symbolize achievement. Their buying decision is based more on a group decision rather than an individual experience.
This is in contrast to people in Indonesia (Opoku, 2012), where they do purchase based on individual needs. They purchase luxury brands to enhance their personal needs rather than to fulfill the perception of the society (Kim, 2016). They view luxury items as an enjoyable experience and buy these brands to distract themselves from the problems in their lives.
The people who sell luxury goods are using this information to come up with marketing strategies that fit each consumer. UK and India make purchases to satisfy the community and change their social status. Due to this, they use messages of social acceptability of a product and how a product symbolizes wealth prestige and achievement (Park & Sook, 2008). For Indonesians, who buy for their self-comfort, they use marketing messages that showcase a product as it enhances the consumer's lives and making them feel better about their lives.
Individuals have a constant need to increase their self-esteem and feel more worthy. Most seek this thrill through purchasing of luxury items. While some go beyond their financial capabilities, most people prefer luxury brands as a show off to be able to make their mark in the community and gain status.
Clark, N. (2011). Luxury: because youre still worth it (how austerity in the UK is not deterring consumers from buying luxury goods). Strategic Direction, 27(8). doi:10.1108/sd.2011.05627haa.004
Dave, K., & Dhamija, G. (2012). Luxury Buying Behaviour and the Role of Culture: An Indian Context. Luxury Marketing, 157-168. doi:10.1007/978-3-8349-4399-6_9
Dubois, B., Czellar, S., & Laurent, G. (2005). Consumer Segments Based on Attitudes Toward Luxury: Empirical Evidence from Twenty Countries. Marketing Letters, 16(2), 115-128. doi:10.1007/s11002-005-2172-0
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Kim, S., Park, G., Lee, Y., & Choi, S. (2016). Customer emotions and their triggers in luxury retail: Understanding the effects of customer emotions before and after entering a luxury shop. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), 5809-5818. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2016.04.178
Opoku, R. (2012). Young Saudi adults and peer group purchase influence: a preliminary investigation. Young Consumers, 13(2), 176-187. doi:10.1108/17473611211233549
Park, H., Rabolt, N. J., & Sook Jeon, K. (2008). Purchasing global luxury brands among young Korean consumers. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 12(2), 244-259. doi:10.1108/13612020810874917
Sivanathan, N., & Pettit, N. C. (2010). Protecting the self through consumption: Status goods as affirmational commodities. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(3), 564-570. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.01.006
Turunen, L. L. (2017). Luxury Consumption and Consumption of Luxury Goods. Interpretations of Luxury, 61-81. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-60870-9_4
Wiedmann, K., Hennigs, N., & Siebels, A. (2009). Value-based segmentation of luxury consumption behavior. Psychology and Marketing, 26(7), 625-651. doi:10.1002/mar.20292
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