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Heritage luxury brands: insight into consumer motivations across different age groups

Lama Halwani (Department of Education, GEM, Grenoble, France)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 29 May 2020

Issue publication date: 22 March 2021

Abstract

Purpose

Despite growing attention to the heritage dimension of luxury brands, little research has been undertaken on how motivation may influence the consumption behavior of heritage luxury brand consumers. This study aims to provide insight into the complex interplay between consumers’ age and purchase motivations of heritage luxury brands.

Design/methodology/approach

Through the analysis of interview data with consumers of different age groups, this study takes a closer look at the consumer motivation underlying the consumption behavior of three different consumer age groups: late adolescents (16–25 years old), middle-aged adults (33–40 years) and older adults (67–74 years old).

Findings

This study delivered additional insights to the literature, especially in the areas of knowing how consumers are motivated when heritage is incorporated as a distinct dimension. The findings revealed that consumers themselves identify purchase drivers based on their perception of a brand’s investment values as “monetary appreciation,” “potential to become vintage” and “inheritance value.” Age differences also emerged in how participants discussed these themes and how they related to attitude functions, such as social-adjustive, utilitarian and hedonic.

Practical implications

Luxury brand managers should carefully consider age differences when planning their marketing initiatives. An awareness of consumers’ heritage luxury brand motivations of different ages will help practitioners better position their market offerings. The findings suggest that practitioners must recognize that there are likely to be differences in how different age group consumers respond to marketing initiatives and that consumer’s age is likely to play a key role in shaping the attitude of consumers. For older adult consumers, the optimal market offering would emphasize the inheritance value of heritage luxury brands. To that end, reinforcing attributes of nostalgia through the use of original logos, brand stories and classic designs is likely to be effective in targeting this age group. When targeting adolescents, heritage luxury brand managers need to take account of the changing consumption behavior of this age group, including their need to switch brands and adapt to their social surrounding. To provoke the purchase behavior of late-adolescent consumers, it seems that heritage luxury brand managers should draw on their image of social status enhancers.

Originality/value

In this study, a gap in the literature is addressed by focusing on an overlooked demographic variable as it relates to motivations toward heritage luxury. To the author’s best knowledge, this is the first study of its kind simultaneously considering heritage and luxury brand dimensions by exploring the motivations of consumers of different age groups.

Keywords

Citation

Halwani, L. (2021), "Heritage luxury brands: insight into consumer motivations across different age groups", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 161-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/QMR-07-2019-0092

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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