This study aims to examine the factors influencing Qatari youth’s attitude toward luxury brands and intentions to purchase luxury brands. The appetite for luxury spending in the Gulf region and specifically in Qatar is accelerating even with the fall in oil prices and faltering economic growth.
Both qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews and quantitative research in the form of survey were utilized in this study. Initially, eight in-depth interviews were conducted with luxury store owners and/or salespersons to identify the most important factors influencing attitude toward luxury brands. Furthermore, 330 Qatari respondents between the ages from 16 to 25 years were interviewed via a mall-interception method at two different malls with high-end/ luxury stores in Doha. Structural equation modeling using AMOS was run to analyze the hypothesized relationships between variables and test the model fit.
The findings indicated the overall fitness of the model. More specifically, the results indicated that fashion involvement, brand consciousness, social comparison and experiential needs have a significant impact on attitude toward luxury brands and consequently on their purchasing intentions.
This study has several limitations. A more comprehensive framework can be proposed including more variables that may also influence the attitude of youth toward purchasing luxury, for example, brand prominence, vanity and functional value. Comparative studies across demographics (e.g. male vs female and adult vs young luxury buyers) as well as across different cultures and countries can also provide interesting insights related to luxury purchasing behavior among youth. Developing a typology for Qatari luxury consumers can also be very insightful, specifically for supporting brand owners in fine-tuning their marketing and targeting strategies. Finally, other moderating variables like influence of social media or peer influence can also be considered in future studies.
The study sheds light on a significantly important and emerging phenomenon; the increasing consumption of luxury in the gulf region and specifically in Qatar in an attempt to understand the main drivers to their attitude toward luxury brands in general.
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