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Andrew T. Stephen

Social media is a place where billions of people around the world each day communicate, interact, create content, share information, seek entertainment (and entertain others), and consume and share news. For businesses, including the luxury industry, social media is now an important tool for advertising and communications, and offers opportunities for engaging consumers in various forms of digital social interactions. Despite the increased use of social media for strategic marketing, branding and consumer engagement purposes in luxury, however, the role of social media in luxury branding has been scantly addressed in extant literature. This chapter addresses this by (1) helping academics and practitioners understand how luxury and social media fit together, and (2) advancing a research agenda aimed at better understanding the luxury consumer in the social media age.

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Lauren Grewal and Andrew T. Stephen

Consumers frequently use digital and social media to express their identities. In this chapter, the authors begin to delve into the many implications that the digital world has on consumer identity creation and maintenance, expression, and subsequent behaviors. In a broad sense, they believe that expressing identity online is a multi-step process with several considerations and ramifications of each decision. These steps include the antecedents to, and consequences of, online identity expression, the online platform chosen to express identity, and possible audiences to digital identity expression. Critically, they believe that the considerations and consequences of online identity expression differ from offline identity expression as it has traditionally been studied. Throughout this chapter, the authors reflect on the different processes, questions and consequences a consumer may go through when expressing identities online. They also pose a number of future research questions within this domain.