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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Lama Halwani

Despite growing attention to the heritage dimension of luxury brands, little research has been undertaken on how motivation may influence the consumption behavior of…

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.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Lama Halwani

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;…

Abstract

Purpose

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).

Design/methodology/approach

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).

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

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