Buying Luxury Brands Is No Longer A Marker Of Wealth, Research Reveals

Buying Luxury Brands Is No Longer A Marker Of Wealth, Research Reveals
SHARE
THIS



Recent research into luxury consumption has revealed what many have long suspected – the purchase of luxury goods is motivated by a desire to be seen as wealthy. Ironically, however, luxury consumption has also been found to obscure our perception of wealth and class; potentially leading to a classless society.

The findings were presented in the research paper, Veblen Dual Forces and the Making of a Luxurised Society, by Olubayo (Bayo) Adekanmbi at the The Mystique of Luxury Brands Conference in Shanghai, China this year.

The research found that the upper class purchase expensive luxury items in order to set themselves apart; a theory known as invidious distinction. However, in a move that directly undermines their efforts, the lower classes also purchase luxury items as a way of emulating and positioning themselves as upper class, a theory known as pecuniary emulation.

Adekanmbi’s paper was unanimously voted by the conference panel for an award by virtue of its expansion of the knowledge frontier for the luxury industry and 21st century synthesis of multiple theories and literature to explain the unexplored area of “luxury brand as a sociological construct”.

Reflecting on the findings, Adekanmbi said, “There’s an interesting and dynamic interplay between the behaviour of the high-income segment and the commensurate reaction of the medium to low-income segment.

“Luxury products have transitioned from being a high-income social marker to a source of social pressure for the lower class.

“The inherent tension is that luxury products are seen by the upper classes as a way of maintaining exclusivity, and yet the lower classes are using the purchase of luxury items as a ticket to gain access to this club.

“As a result while luxury products may be seen as a marker of class, their consumption no longer provides an accurate picture of class. In fact the very notion of class seems to be breaking down.”

Adekanmbi is a combined PhD scholar at City University, London and TIAS Business School, the Netherlands. He is on a one-year sabbatical from his role as the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at MTN Telecommunication Nigeria.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

IsoWhey launches #YouGotThis Weight Management Campaign Via Indie Agency Urban

Australia’s leading health and wellbeing brand IsoWhey has launched its latest national campaign, ‘#YouGotThis’. Created by Urban, the campaign highlights the real-life struggles Australians face on their weight management journey. A journey made easier through perseverance, and a little help from IsoWhey. The #YouGotThis campaign is IsoWhey’s biggest marketing investment to date, with executions running […]

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Taking A stand? Just Do It…Maybe

In this guest post, creative and strategy director at WE Buchan, David Coupland (pictured below), takes a look at the fallout from Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign and says what it also does is show the importance brands now play in our lives… Nike’s decision to feature Colin Kaepernick as the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Optimise Branded Keywords
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How To Optimise Branded Keywords

In this guest post, CEO of Delacon, Michael Center (pictured below) talks the value of branded keywords for marketers and offer his tips on getting the best from yours… Branded keywords are an essential part of the digital marketing strategy for many large businesses. Trading on the recognition and equity of a brand’s name, some of the country’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Expertise First, Influence Second: When Influence Is A By-Product Of Expertise

In this guest post, Taryn Williams, CEO and founder of influencer and creative talent marketplace theright.fit, explains why influence should be a by-product of success, not the foundation for it… Like any form of advertising and promotion, influencer marketing is not without its controversies. Earlier this year Australia’s Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, ordered […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ford & Facebook Invite Aussies To Personalise 2018 Mustang With New In-App Experience

Ford Australia has unveiled a new innovation that showcases the iconic Ford Mustang through a collaboration Facebook and Instagram. The interactive campaign invites Facebook and Instagram communities to take part in a live poll to identify Australia’s ultimate Mustang design. Targeting performance car fans, along with design lovers and image-conscious consumers, Ford and its partner […]