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Purchase drivers for iconic products in the luxury sector


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research was carried out by a team of 4 researchers from INSEEC business school (see reference at the end of this article) and was entitled “Timeless luxury: what drives the purchase of iconic products“.

Presentation given by MAALEJ M., BENZI M., BEGUET M., SALVADOR M. of INSEEC Business School, France
Credits : courtesy authors

Published in: Marketing
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Purchase drivers for iconic products in the luxury sector

  1. 1. Timeless Luxury: What Drives the Purchase of Iconic Products? Mariem EL EUCH MAALEJ - Marielle SALVADOR - Monica BENZI - Margaux BEGUET
  2. 2. CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE (1) • Historically the privilege of a minority, luxury today to seduces a much larger population • Luxury today : multi-faceted and its boundaries are less easy to define and plunge into the masstige and prestige universes…(Kapferer & Laurent 2009; Chandon, Laurent, Valette Florence, 2016) • Luxury becomes accessible…  Mainstream brands use the codes of luxury (small series, top models)  Luxury designers partner with mainstreet brands…  Second hand luxury is loosing inhibitions
  3. 3. CONTEXT & OBJECTIVE (2) • Still certain products, which have marked the success of a luxury “maison”, show a regular consumption path, a sort of timelessness • These products seem to be ageing without getting out-dated • Turned into icons, they now create the dream • In an era of instant consumption, these myths are more than ever alive and keep on seducing consumers Research question : What motivations lie behind the purchase of such products?
  4. 4. WHY PURCHASING LUXURY ? • Originally, luxury was the visible result of hereditary social stratification, with which absolutely everyone had to fall in (metaphysical principles) • Veblen (1899) : conspicuous consumption (reproducing consumption styles of superior social classes) to publicly display economic power and attain/maintain a superior social status • Luxury recreates some degree of social stratification 1) Luxury as a social marker signalling status … such a need for brands !
  5. 5. WHY PURCHASING LUXURY ? • In addition to this key social function, luxury is an access to both self definition and differentiation from others • Iconic brands are for consumers a symbolic way to solve identity problems (Thomson, 2010)  Importance of choosing brands whose values are aligned with our own values (or a reference group’s values) => a new way of consuming luxury finds its expression less in belonging to a social class and more in self expression (tastes, emotions, identity) 2) The purchase of a luxury product has an impact on the process of self construction and on how we relate to others
  6. 6. ROLE OF ICONIC PRODUCTS • Iconic => the icon: the image as a sign  Mirror effect between the sign and the reality  Anything can be an icon: a symbol, an object, a person • A luxury brand builds iconic hints through its history, heritage and the values and symbols which it nurtures • Communication and other marketing stimuli are vehicles to diffuse iconic hints 3) Iconic products are powerful brand builders and strongly drive consumers’ perception of the brand essence
  7. 7. VISIBILITY & LEGITIMACY OF LUXURY BRANDS Visibility Legitimacy Brand Status 4) Brand status, deriving from visibility and/or legitimacy, is a strong motivation drive to purchase luxury brands • History • Authenticity • Innovation • Creativity
  8. 8. COMMITTMENT TOWARDS LUXURY BRANDS Emotional Norming Brand commitment (Allen & Meyer, 1990) Opportunistic 5) Another powerful motivation drive can derive from engaging consumers on personal themes linked to the brand Emotional aspects play an activating role in building a strong & long-term relationship with the brand =>importance of a brand storytelling which resonates with consumer’s personal real and dreamed experience (seduction, success, beauty, , originality…)
  9. 9. METHODOLOGY • An exploratory qualitative study with 15 consumers was conducted • During the interviews, we used a projective technique of three images of iconic products: Hermès Bags, Porsche 911 and chanel N°5 parfume • The study allowed us to better understand customers’ perceptions about the luxury sector and about iconic products in particular • This allowed us to deeply explore the idiosyncratic motivations of our respondents when buying these products
  10. 10. RESULTS (1) THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ICONIC PRODUCTS 1. Timelessness “The Kelly, the Birkin are bags that will always be there, it self explanatory, they will stay over the years, (…) these beautiful bags will last in time, compared to fashion. I would also add that they’ll live well beyond the trends” Linked to design and which maintains its aura thanks to a regular renewal of the product 2. The history of the brand “Look at Céline, Chloe ... They are young brands, they have no history, still their cuts are very trendy…” A story that even becomes familiar 3. The excellence, know-how and a home-made production of the product "These are products that are handmade, that you order, (...) compared to others luxury brands” 4. The innovative side of the luxury brand and the iconic product as the result “Porsche was the first car producer who used a diesel engine on sports cars and all the brands followed ... and it was also the first to install a system so that all four wheels rotate at the same time so to improve the driving sensation
  11. 11. RESULTS (2) THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ICONIC PRODUCTS The iconic product as a safe financial value The iconic product, an object that is transmitted in the same way as family jewels No matter the product as long as there is the brand ... but not just any • The iconic product is a product that we buy because it has a history that will be part of ours, thanks to its transmission • It is considered a work of art and is an investment that will not depreciate over time • It is bought because it represents a sure value in terms of style
  12. 12. CONCLUSION The evolution of the notion of luxury: • Consumers no longer search for a simple possession or demonstration of status : the experience they want to live with the product is more important and they expect a real ritual around their acquisition • Purchase of an iconic product is also accompanied by financial considerations and a desire to transmit it The importance of the brand for the consumer: • An undeniable role in mythical product that it embodies Next steps :  Notion of a timeless brand and study the links between the luxury brand and the iconic product  Role of iconic products in the management of luxury brand stores
  13. 13. ANY QUESTIONS ? @