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Making sense of heritage luxury brands: consumer perceptions across different age groups

Lama Halwani (GEM education, Grenoble, France)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 10 June 2019




Scholars have repeatedly concluded that heritage is a significant value driver for luxury brands (Riley et al., 2004; Fionda and Moore, 2009; Wuestefeld et al., 2012; DeFanti et al., 2014; Ardelet et al., 2015; Dion and Borraz, 2015; Dion and Mazzalovo, 2016). However, little is known on how consumers of different age group make sense of heritage luxury. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how consumers of different age groups make sense of heritage luxury brands (HLBs).


To achieve this, semi-structured, one-on-one, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 21 consumers of HLBs who fell into one of three age groups: Emerging adults (18 to 25 years), middle-aged adults (33 to 40 years) and older adults (67 to 74 years old).


The findings of this paper explored the different perceptions of the dimension of heritage in relation to luxury among consumers of different age groups. This paper focuses on the pioneering contributions of Urde, Greyser and Balmer (2007) in defining the dimensions of heritage brands. Although the dimensions of heritage brands defined by Urde et al. (2007) were useful as a starting point, differing perceptions among consumers of different age groups emerged which need to be considered. Findings of this study showed that consumers of all three age groups revealed three characteristics of HLBs. These are timelessness, quality craftsmanship and prestige. The durability and lasting appeal of HLBs was attributed to their high-quality craftsmanship. Quality craftsmanship, recognizability and price contributed to the perceived prestige value of HLBs. It was apparent throughout this study that HLB items helped participants feel connected to others, including their mothers or more remote forebears, their contemporaries and their descendants.


The author aims to understand the interplay between heritage and luxury, to understand how luxury brand consumers of different age groups are influenced by the heritage dimension. The relation between luxury and heritage becomes particularly intriguing when we consider how it affects the perceptions of consumers of different age groups.



Halwani, L. (2019), "Making sense of heritage luxury brands: consumer perceptions across different age groups", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 301-324.



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