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From pandemic to Prada: examining online luxury-brand self-narratives

Yukti Sharma (Marketing Area, Goa Institute of Management, Sanquelim, India)
Prakrit Silal (IT Systems and Analytics, Indian Institute of Management Jammu, Jammu, India)
Jitender Kumar (Department of Marketing, School of Business Studies, Sharda University, Greater Noida, India) (Indian Institute of Management Rohtak, Rohtak, India)
Ramendra Singh (Marketing Group, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India)

Marketing Intelligence & Planning

ISSN: 0263-4503

Article publication date: 5 April 2022

Issue publication date: 27 April 2022




Amidst the exponential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study aims to explore the evolving dynamics underlying consumers' narratives about luxury-brands over social media. While visualizing these Online Luxury-Brand Self-Narratives (OLBSNs) as a decision-making situation, the authors question the “rational-being” assumption of the Net Valence Model (NVM) during a pandemic situation. Specifically, the authors draw upon Terror Management Theory (TMT) to explicate the role of pandemic-induced mortality salience in rendering the idealistic assumptions of NVM unattainable. The authors uncover evidence of risk-taking behavior among luxury consumers while using OLBSNs as a potential meaning-providing structure during the pandemic.


This study employed a cross-sectional survey method. The authors conducted a structured Qualtrics survey to collect data from 588 respondents. The authors examined the hypothesized relationships using structural equation modeling.


In contrast to the conventional wisdom of NVM, the results suggest a positive influence of not only perceived benefits but also perceived risks on intention to engage in OLBSN and brand advocacy during the ongoing pandemic.

Research limitations/implications

This study explains the emerging dynamics of pandemic-induced mortality salience in OLBSN decision-making and has implications for luxury-brand marketers in designing brand communication strategies over social media.


This study makes an original endeavor to extend NVM beyond rational decision-making context by integrating the theoretical tenets of TMT within NVM while also delineating the decision-making mechanism of OLBSNs during the pandemic.



The authors thank the Editor and the two anonymous reviewers for their insightful feedback, which helped the authors improve the overall quality of the manuscript.

Funding details: The authors have received no research grant funding for completing this study.

Data availability statement: This study has drawn evidence from Indian consumers. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Research involving human participants: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest: All four authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Sharma, Y., Silal, P., Kumar, J. and Singh, R. (2022), "From pandemic to Prada: examining online luxury-brand self-narratives", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 527-541.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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