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Investigating brand visibility in luxury consumption


  • Shao, Wei
  • Grace, Debra
  • Ross, Mitchell


In this research, we propose a theoretical framework integrating functional theories of attitudes and consumer motivations in the context of luxury consumption. As such, this research offers a unique perspective into the investigation of brand visibility in luxury consumption. Three experimental studies were conducted involving advertisements for a luxury brand (i.e. Gucci). For each study, respondents were drawn from a Qualtrics opt-in survey panel. The findings highlight the fundamental issue as to why consumers acquire luxury brands. That is, to construct a desirable self-concept by communicating central beliefs, attitudes and values to others (self-expressive) or alternatively, to gain approval in social situations (social-adjustive). Furthermore, this research shows that when consumers are exposed to an advertisement that espouses a value-expressive versus a social-adjustive function of attitude, they tend to prefer subtle versus explicit visibility as determined by their intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. Some research has previously been undertaken investigating links between brand visibility and consumer motivation in the luxury context. This study contributes to this literature through the introduction and testing of moderating variables demonstrating that consumer preference for brand visibility is driven not only by consumer motivation but also by the perceived social function of luxury consumption. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Shao, Wei & Grace, Debra & Ross, Mitchell, 2019. "Investigating brand visibility in luxury consumption," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 357-370.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joreco:v:49:y:2019:i:c:p:357-370
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.04.017

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gentina, Elodie & Shrum, L.J. & Lowrey, Tina M., 2016. "Teen attitudes toward luxury fashion brands from a social identity perspective: A cross-cultural study of French and U.S. teenagers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 5785-5792.
    2. Nailya Ordabayeva & Pierre Chandon, 2011. "Getting Ahead of the Joneses: When Equality Increases Conspicuous Consumption among Bottom-Tier Consumers," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 27-41.
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    5. Chan, Wing Yin & To, Chester K.M. & Chu, Wai Ching, 2015. "Materialistic consumers who seek unique products: How does their need for status and their affective response facilitate the repurchase intention of luxury goods?," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-10.
    6. Truong, Yann & McColl, Rod, 2011. "Intrinsic motivations, self-esteem, and luxury goods consumption," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 555-561.
    7. Stokburger-Sauer, Nicola & Ratneshwar, S. & Sen, Sankar, 2012. "Drivers of consumer–brand identification," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 406-418.
    8. Jonah Berger & Morgan Ward, 2010. "Subtle Signals of Inconspicuous Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(4), pages 555-569, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arora, Anuja & Srivastava, Aman & Bansal, Shivam, 2020. "Business competitive analysis using promoted post detection on social media," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 54(C).
    2. Grigorescu Adriana & Ion Amalia Elena, 2020. "Innovation and product management – The direction of the 21st century luxury market," Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence, Sciendo, vol. 14(1), pages 1035-1045, July.


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