Why the Devil Wears Prada: Consumers’ Purchase Motives for Luxuries

Publication Date: Friday 2 March 2012
Author(s): Hudders L.
Appeared in: Journal of Brand Management, vol.: 6, issue: 4, 51-60


Many consumers spend large amounts of their income on luxury brands, even consumers who have a very low income. Although such premium priced luxury products do not offer any utilitarian benefi ts compared to their cheaper counterparts, they offer psychological benefi ts that cheaper brands may not. Expressive (for example, exclusivity) and impressive (for example, excellent quality) dimensions of luxury brands may motivate consumers to purchase these brands. However, previous studies rarely focus on both impressive and expressive motives simultaneously. The current chapter therefore integrates both motives and shows that impressive purchase motives (for example, hedonic experiences) for luxury brands are more important than expressive purchase motives (for example, status gains). Results also reveal that both individual differences (that is, materialism level and gender differences) and product characteristics (that is, product conspicuousness) have a moderating impact on the relative importance of these motives. These insights in consumers ’ purchase motives might help luxury marketers to develop effective marketing campaigns.

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