The desire to signal identity to others is a significant motivation for engaging in luxury consumption. This chapter examines how five distinct identity-signaling motives (compensatory consumption, communicating cultural capital, mating, self-expression and differentiation) influence luxury consumption and considers how these motives are associated with different aspects of identity. It is proposed that these different signaling motives are integrated into consumers’ mental representations of aspects of their identity. Thus, according to the identity salience principle, when factors increase the salience of a particular identity within a person’s self-concept, this increases the likelihood that consumers will engage in luxury consumption and influences the types of luxury products that they consume. The chapter concludes by discussing how the consumption of luxury products can make identity salient to subsequently influence behavior.
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