Understanding luxury consumption in China: Consumer perceptions of best-known brands
This study investigates the underlying motivations for luxury consumption among Chinese middle-class consumers by testing the relationships between psychological traits and attitudes toward the best-known luxury brands. The study examines three psychological traits that make Chinese consumers unique compared to their global peers: value consciousness (VC), susceptibility to normative influence (SNI), and the need for uniqueness (NFU). Results suggest that consumers evaluate the best-known brands more favorably as they become more value conscious, indicating that luxury products are not necessarily extravagant purchases in China. In addition, SNI positively relates to brand attitudes, which suggests that social influence is an important driver for luxury consumption. The relationship between NFU and brand attitudes depends on consumer knowledge. As consumers learn more about different luxury brands, they evaluate the best-known brands more negatively as uniqueness-seeking becomes a more important goal. These findings offer insight into consumer perceptions of luxury brands and provide managerial implications for marketers to build sustainable luxury businesses in China.
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