Understanding the antecedents to luxury brand consumer behavior

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Purpose: This paper aims to investigate how consumers perceive the value of luxury brands and the antecedents to these perceptions, including consumer knowledge, reference group influence and accessibility. Prior studies focused less on the salience of consumer knowledge and sources of luxury information, in addition to their accessibility to luxury. Hence, a more nuanced luxury conceptualization is needed to reflect luxury’s conceptual fluidity, consumers’ different lived experiences, accessibility levels and persistent retail marketing changes. Design/methodology/approach: In a survey involving 475 US respondents, five hypotheses were tested and analyzed with structural equations modeling, examining the relationships among knowledge and accessibility of luxury brands, as well as reference group influence and its impact on consumer value perceptions of luxury brands and consumer behaviors. Findings: Significant relationships were found for all five hypotheses and demonstrated that knowledge, reference group influence and accessibility have strong relationships with consumers’ personal value perceptions of luxury brands and behavioral measures, including purchase intentions, willingness to recommend to a friend and willingness to pay a price premium. Originality/value: This conceptualization recognizes that consumers must have luxury brand awareness prior to reference group influence, developing individual luxury value perceptions and entering the buying process. This research contributes to the literature by highlighting consumers’ views of the luxury category, which induce perceptions and potential outcomes. It also expands the understanding of consumer’s accessibility to luxury products, which impacts purchase intentions. While it was conducted in the USA, it yields broader consumer perspectives.

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Journal of Product and Brand Management

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