Post #3: Final Update – Literature Review/Project Summary

Hi everyone,

I have just completed revising and editing my completed Literature Review/Monroe Freshman research project, and I’m so excited to be submitting this to my project advisor soon! I haven’t kept her as updated as I hoped (through my own fault, though she agreed to be a more hands-off advisor), but I hope she enjoys reading the product. Thank you again, Professor Lopresti!

My paper ended up being about 20 pages double-spaced, which was surprising to me! I ended up using 40 different sources for my paper, which is probably not even half the sources I read. Just as a note before I go into my summary, as required: I had a lot of fun researching the topics of luxury fashion brands and advertising, and I hope that anyone who reads my literature review develops a better understanding of how luxury advertising differs from our understanding of classical advertising.

 

Summary of Research:

Consumer behavior regarding luxury brands, particularly luxury fashion brands, poses an interesting contradiction to established economic norms: consumers are willing to purchase a product at a premium price over a similar good, even though they have similar functionality. While these goods, often produced by luxury brands, are known for exceptional quality, it is actually the intangible benefits that customers associate with the brands, such as prestige and higher social status linked to ability to purchase premium-priced goods, that inspires the aspirational purchase of luxury goods.

Brand loyalty is key in a luxury fashion brand’s success, as loyalty enables a brand to continue growth with secure profits. Through my research, I was able to formulate an idea of what helps luxury brands increase brand loyalty: advertising the brand’s identity, comprised of what the brand is known for and what its perceived image is, so that customers can reflect their own values in brands to reflect their own aspirations and goals. By appealing to the wants and values of luxury consumers through advertising, luxury fashion brands can create an emotional connection between consumer and brand that can lead to deep brand loyalty.

Luxury advertising is different from normal advertising in that the goal of luxury advertising is not to sell, but to portray a dream that aligns with consumer aspirations for being a part of society’s top class. Because luxury fashion brands are able to charge premium prices without losing demand, consumers tend to focus on attributes such as country of origin, materials, and reputation of brand when deciding to purchase, and luxury brands must maintain positive brand image in order to survive.

As the global luxury market continues to grow due to higher consumption in growth countries and increasing average wealth, globalization has impacted the way luxury brands develop their brand image. Especially through the internet and social media platforms, brands have had to sacrifice a sense of exclusivity and superiority to form more active relationships with followers of their brands. Research needs to continue in order to better understand the modern evolution of luxury advertising, especially with regards to social media and brand loyalty.

 

Thanks so much for reading about my project/this summary, and if you would like to read my full paper (which goes into so much more detail than the summary), come visit my poster presentation during family weekend! And of course, thank you to the Charles Center for funding my project!

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