Do affluent customers care when luxury brands go mass? The role of product type and status seeking on luxury brand attitude

Wan Yang, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to examine the joint effects of product type (hospitality services vs goods) and consumers' need for status (low/Patricians vs high/Parvenus) on consumers' attitude change toward their favorite luxury brands. As an ever increasing number of customers can now afford luxury products, it is important to understand how affluent consumers react to the less affluent mimicking behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: In all, 265 luxury consumers with annual household income of more than $100,000 and experiences of luxury consumption in the past three months were recruited. A 2 (product type) × 2 (need for status) factorial design was used to test the hypotheses. Findings: This study demonstrates that when faced with mimicking behaviors by less affluent consumers, Parvenus exhibit more negative attitude toward their favorite luxury goods brands than luxury hospitality brands. Conversely, Patricians exhibit similar levels of attitude change across the two types of luxury brands. Practical implications: The findings suggest that luxury hospitality companies may find it easier to expand to less affluent markets than their luxury goods counterparts, in particular when the majority of target consumers are Parvenus. Originality/value: To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first to examine consumers' reactions to mimicking behaviors by the less affluent in the context of luxury hospitality services, and it adds to the knowledge on the joint effects of product type and status seeking on luxury consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-543
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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