Luxury brands : a study of consumers' motivation to purchase luxury brands
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- Master Thesis 
The purpose of this study was to examine consumers’ motives for buying luxury brands. The underlying motivation for why consumers buy luxury branded products is a field that is still lacking former research. The main objective of my research in this thesis was thus to provide new, interesting discoveries to the phenomenon luxury and purchasing motives. The assigned problem was to identify the associations that consumers have with a luxury fashion, brand and compare them with their associations with a non-luxury fashion brand, to better understand their preferences towards luxury. I have looked into different factors that can influence the consumers’ behaviour, such as their explicit and implicit self-esteem, as well as the relationship between themselves and the brands. To present an overall understanding of the luxury phenomenon, I have provided literature review of definitions, and typologies for characteristics, categories, and dimensions used for luxury. Additionally, I have included theories regarding consumers’ self-esteem; (Gebauer et al., 2008, Park and John, 2011, Leonard et al., 1995, Truong and McColl, 2011, Bosson et al., 2000), as well as consumption practices (Holt, 1995). To further extend the theoretical basis for the task, I have been inspired to use well-established luxury theories, "Brand Luxury Index" (Vigneron and Johnson, 2004) and "Luxury Value Model" (Wiedmann et al., 2007). I have done a qualitative study, by conducting a survey to reveal the associations, attitudes, and relationships that the consumers have with luxury brands (and non-luxury brands), as well as the respondents’ level of self-esteem. The survey was conducted among students at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). The results reveal that consumers have stronger − and a larger number of − associations with luxury brands, than with non-luxury brands. Their attitudes towards the luxury brands are furthermore more positive than towards non-luxury brands. The respondents feel a stronger relationship with the non-luxury brands, however, than they do with luxury brands. Moreover, the results indicate that men and women possess some different types and amounts of associations with luxury brands. The respondents also show little discrepancies between their level of implicit and explicit self-esteem. The results of this study can be helpful to better understand the consumers’ motives for purchasing luxury.