Factors Affecting Luxury Consumption in the UK and India

The researchers define luxury consumption as the behavior by which consumers seek to purchase brands and services in order to attain their conferred status, regardless of the consumer’s target income or social class. Luxury consumption broadly involves high-end, high-priced luxury goods. Most people do not consume these products regularly. Many consumers use these brands to satisfy material and social needs.

To observe the similarities and differences in luxury consumption, I conducted a study focusing on the luxury consumption patterns of Indian and British consumers. These countries were chosen because of their historical links, the brand’s connection to luxury consumption, and the commonality of available brands.

The study focuses on 3 basic antecedents of status consumption: (a) psychosocial antecedents; (b) brand antecedents and (c) situational antecedents. The psychosocial roots were further divided into three distinct categories, namely: (a1) social gain; (a2) respect indication and (a3) ​​showing off. Brand roots are also divided into two categories, namely: (b1) management-controlled brand characteristics and (b2) market-controlled brand characteristics.

The findings suggest that UK consumers use status consumption for social gain, demonstrating respect and showing off behaviours. In India, however, consumers typically spend on luxury in a show-off manner. This demonstrates the difference between Eastern and Western consumers and the influence of culture and market. British individualistic consumers are concerned with their actual self-concept (how one sees oneself), while Indian consumers are concerned with others’ self-concept (how others see themselves).

With regard to brand antecedent factors, it is observed that both managerial control and market control brand characteristics have a significant impact on status consumption. However, British consumers are more influenced by brand precedent than Indian consumers. This can be attributed to the nature of national competition. The UK is a highly developed and mature luxury market where people have been exposed to established brands for a longer period of time compared to India. Longer exposure and greater accessibility to global brands, as well as greater competition among manufacturers, has made UK consumers increasingly aware of brands and their symbolic associations.

The results also show that Indian consumers’ luxury spending is highly conditioned on social occasions. The results show a huge difference between collectivist and individualistic consumers and their status consumption behaviour. Early explorations have shown that spending money on luxury goods during celebrations and important occasions brings many perceived and intangible returns in the Indian market, including enhanced social status of consumers. Thus, in a collectivist market like India, consumption of conspicuous products in specific social functions can enhance an individual’s sense of social identity and ubiquity within and between groups.

The findings will help managers market their luxury brands in multinational markets.

Source by Paurav Shukla

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