8.1. The Definition of Luxury Brands
The modern understanding of a brand is consumer and identity oriented. Accordingly,
brands are regarded as images in the minds of consumers and other target groups (Esch 2010,
p. 22), which are designed by companies to identify their products (Kotler et al. 2009, p. 425).
Luxury brands are highly associated with their core products (Kapferer 2008, p. 193). This is
re_ected by the larger part of the existing de_nitions of luxury brands, which refer to speci_c
associations about product characteristics (e.g. Me_ert and Lasslop 2003, p. 6; Büttner et al.
2006, p. 12; Valtin 2004, p. 30). The constitutive characteristics of luxury products therefore
correspond largely with those of luxury brands, which leads to the following de_nition:
Luxury brands are regarded as images in the minds of consumers that
comprise associations about a high level of price, quality, aesthetics,
rarity, extraordinariness and a high degree of non-functional
Any potential luxury brand should be evaluated by the constitutive characteristics of luxury,
which are described in detail in chapter 10. These explanations are summarized by the following
1.Price: The brand o_ers products which belong to the most expensive products of
2.Quality: The brand o_ers everlasting top-of-the-line products, which won't be
disposed of even after long utilization or defect, but rather repaired and which
often even gain in value over time.
3.Aesthetics: The brand behaves like a chic and vain dandy, who would never leave
the house in less than perfect style. Whenever and wherever the brand is seen, it
embodies a world of beauty and elegance.
4.Rarity: In contrast to mass-market brands, the brand needs to limit its production
and tries not to disclose its (high) sales numbers. The brand plays hard to get and
is not available at all times or places.
5.Extraordinariness: The brand has a mind and style of its own and its products
o_er a... [continues]
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