Tracing the Characteristics and Consequences of Luxury Through a Review of Literature
Keywords:Luxury Definition, Luxury Characteristics, Consequences of Luxury Consumption
Purpose: The academic interest in ‘luxury’ as a concept may be traced to Veblen’s seminal work “Theory of the Leisure Class”, where he argues that wealthy individuals often consume luxury for purposes signalling status. This premise created numerous research work on answering questions such as – how does one identify a brand as luxury, what characteristics typify a luxury brand, how does a luxury marketer achieve these characteristics, what benefits do consumers seek from luxury, and finally, what are the consequences of luxury consumption for the consumer and to the society. This paper explores answers to these questions through an in-depth review of literature.
Theoretical Framework: The scoping for the review of literature was carried out by applying the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).
Design Methodology and Approach: Keywords like ‘luxury management’, ‘luxury consumer’, ‘luxury definition’ and ‘luxury brand’ were searched on prominent databases (EBSCO, Emerald, JSTOR, ProQuest and Google Scholar). The relevant papers were reviewed and cross referred to ensure comprehensiveness of the review of literature. The arguments and evidences from over 50 research papers (primarily between 1995-2023) have been stitched to create the conceptual model proposed in the paper. The literature reviewed and were categorized as a) research which discuss and propose the typifying characteristics of luxury, b) research which examined the consequences of luxury consumption to the society and to the consumer and c) research expounding the distinct approach required for managing luxury brands. By connecting the evidences from extant literature, this paper proposes a model that traces the characteristics of luxury (and the antecedent or source of the characteristic) with its corresponding benefits and consequences. Finally, the specificities of luxury management that arise from the characteristics and consequences have been explored and discussed.
Research, Practical and Social Implications: Elaborating on the features of luxury provides scholars and researchers with a basis for deriving operational definitions in future research. Moreover, by mapping the connection between the characteristics of luxury and their associated benefits and consequences, the research offers luxury marketers practical insights for effectively managing and cultivating robust luxury value.
Originality Value: The article consolidates existing literature to create a concise conceptual model, offering novel viewpoints on luxury and luxury marketing.
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