Research Handbook on Luxury Branding
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Research Handbook on Luxury Branding

Edited by Felicitas Morhart, Keith Wilcox and Sandor Czellar

Unique and timely, this Research Handbook on Luxury Branding explores and takes stock of the current body of knowledge on luxury branding, as well as offering direction for future research and management in the field. Featuring contributions from an international team of top-level researchers, this Handbook offers analysis and discussion of the profound socioeconomic, psychological, technological and political changes that are affecting the luxury industry, and that will continue to shape its future.
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Chapter 5: Fulfilling social needs through luxury consumption

David Dubois


This chapter builds off the idea that luxury consumption is a joint function of the magnitude and nature of consumers’ need for status. We articulate how consumers employ three distinct strategies facilitating the use of luxury goods as instruments to secure and gain social status: (1) snob (distinguishing oneself though differentiation), (2) Veblen (distinguishing oneself through conspicuous consumption), and (3) bandwagon (assimilation through imitation). We further propose that two main motives are at work across all three strategies – assimilation versus differentiation – and offer a research panorama of past effort unpacking their dynamics. Finally, we distinguish between luxury consumption with a focus on one’s position and image (focus on spending on self) and with a focus on others (focus on spending on others; gift-giving) and review how consumers build social capital through luxury gift giving before closing with suggestions for future promising research opportunities in a digital age.

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