Unlocking the allure behind a preference for esteemed traditional luxury brands has been a subject of inquiry for researchers at Flinders University, shedding light on the intricate dynamics that drive individuals to covet iconic names such as Rolex and Chanel. The study reveals a fascinating facet of consumer behaviour – the desire for these opulent brands stems from a yearning to elevate one’s own identity.
Intriguingly, the research challenges previous notions, asserting that while the social status and elite market positioning of a traditional luxury brand play pivotal roles in fostering brand affection, consumers are increasingly attuned to how these brands serve as vehicles for self-expression and social validation.
Dr. Nasser Pourazad, a perceptive mind in the field of marketing and a lecturer at Flinders University, explicates, “The findings indicate that only hedonism drives brand prestige and symbolism… the development of love for luxury brands is primarily driven by symbolism rather than prestige brand attributes.”
The study, titled “What (really) drives consumer love for traditional luxury brands? The joint effects of brand qualities on brand love,” has been unveiled in the Journal of Strategic Marketing, unraveling the complex layers that underpin consumers’ affinity for traditional luxury.
Interestingly, the potency of luxury brands lies in their capacity to symbolise profound values, galvanising a deep connection between the brand and the consumer. This symbolism is not confined to mere social approval; it encompasses the individual’s personality, values, and self-identity.
Pourazad elaborates, “Brand uniqueness is a key driver of brand love for traditional luxury brands—which positively impacts the prestige of traditional luxury brands and enhances individuals’ identity.”
In dissecting the intricate web of relationships, the researchers delved into the interplay between brand uniqueness, hedonism, brand prestige, and symbolism. The ensuing insights reverberate throughout various facets, including brand love, purchase intention, positive word-of-mouth, and attitudinal brand loyalty.
The emotional resonance and hedonistic gratification associated with owning a luxury brand mould the consumer’s perception of the brand’s symbolic values, opulence, and exclusivity. Hedonism, in turn, kindles a positive influence on the perceived prestige and symbolism of the brand.
The study, although based on a sample that included 53% Australian students aspiring to acquire such luxury products, unveils universal truths about consumer desires. Brand love emerges as a potent predictor of repurchase intentions, positive word-of-mouth, brand advocacy, and brand forgiveness for traditional luxury brands. Intriguingly, it holds a stronger correlation with behavioural loyalty than brand attitude.
Ultimately, the research spotlights the resounding role of brand symbolism in cultivating a fervent love for traditional luxury brands. These symbolic emblems resonate deeply with consumers, addressing their inherent need for self-enhancement and social distinction, while also being chosen for their rich meaning within social and cultural contexts.