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International Journal of Market Research Vol . 52 Issue 5

Personal aspirations and the consumption of luxury goods
Yann Truong
ESC Rennes Business School

Past. research. has. rarely. included. both. intrinsic. and. extrinsic. aspirations. antecedents. in. predicting. luxury. consumption,. and. most. studies. have. assumed. that. conspicuous. antecedents. are. predominant. in. consumers’. motivations .. The. objective.of.this.study.is.to.build.and.test.a.model.of.the.effects.of.extrinsic.and. intrinsic.personal.aspirations.on.consumer.decision.making.in.the.luxury.goods. market .. The. findings. of. the. study,. conducted. in. France,. show. that. extrinsic. aspirations. are. more. strongly. related. to. conspicuous. consumption. than. to. quality. search. and. self-directed. pleasure,. suggesting. that. extrinsically. motivated. consumers. buy. luxury. brands. mainly,. but. not. wholly,. as. part. of. conspicuous. consumption. behaviour .. However,. intrinsic. aspirations. are. much. more. strongly. related. to. self-directed. pleasure. and. quality. search. than. are. extrinsically. aspirations,. suggesting. that. these. consumers. are. more. focused. on. their. own. pleasure. of. ownership. than. on. the. display. of. conspicuous. consumption .. The. findings. suggest. that. practitioners. should. take. into. consideration. both. types. of. consumer. motivation. in. the. design. of. their. marketing. campaigns,. in. order. to. increase. audience. reach. and. improve. brand. loyalty. in. the. long. run .. It. is. also. recommended. that. market. researchers. adapt. current. segmentation. and. brand. measurement.tools.to.include.intrinsic.motivations .

Introduction
The.market.for.luxury.goods.and.services.has.been.enlarging,.steadily.and. strongly,.since.the.early.1990s ..Commentators.have.estimated.its.total.worth. at.$840.billion.in.2004,.reaching.$1.trillion.by.2010.(Fiske.&.Silverstein. 2004;.Metha.2006;.Luxury.Institute.2007) ..The.economic.factors.driving. this. trend. include. increasing. disposable. income,. lower. unemployment,. reducing. production. costs. and. increasing. female. employment,. as. well. as. a.growing.wealthy.class.in.emerging.countries.(Silverstein.&.Fiske.2003,. Received.(in.revised.form):.3.March.2010

© 2010 The Market Research Society DOI: 10 .2501/S1470785310201521

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Personal aspirations and the consumption of luxury goods

2005;. Fiske. &. Silverstein. 2004;. Yeoman. &. McMahon-Beattie. 2006) .. Parallel.social.influences.on.the.predisposition.to.purchase.luxuries.might. be.the.desire.to.emulate.the.lifestyle.of.the.affluent.(O’Cass.&.Frost.2004;. Amaldoss. &. Jain. 2005),. the. superior. quality. of. products. and. services. (Sukhdial.et al..1995;.Vigneron.&.Johnson.2004),.or.a.hedonistic.drive.to. ‘treat’.oneself.(Silverstein.&.Fiske.2005) ..Consequently,.the.luxury.market. may.be.thought.of.as.a.developing.mass.market,.which.includes.not.only. members.of.the.richest.social.class.but.also.those.at.a.more.modest.socioeconomic. level. (Nueno. &. Quelch. 1998;. Yeoman. &. McMahon-Beattie. 2006) . The.growth.of.this.market.has.generated.significant.academic.research. interest. in. luxury. consumption. (Truong et al .. 2008) .. Studies. of. the. motivations. for. luxury. consumption. fall. into. two. broad. categories:. personal.orientation.and.social.orientation ..Personally.orientated.purchase. of. luxury. goods. is. internally. driven,. and. reflects. self-fulfilment. goals. (Tsai. 2005) .. Tsai. (2005). was. one. of. the. first. researchers. to. propose. and. test. a. model. to. assess. customers’. intention. to. re-purchase. luxury. brands. on. the. basis. of. personally. orientated. antecedents .. Socially. orientated. purchasing. behaviour. is. externally. driven,. reflecting. a. desire. to. impress. others ..Its.antecedents.have.been.proposed.in.much.previous.research,.but. often.in.fragmented.references.to.Veblen’s.classic.concept.of.conspicuous. consumption....
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