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130 H.Y. Kim et al.

/ Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138

Personal Luxury Values Associated with Fashion Brand Consumption:


An Exploratory Analysis of Demographic Variations in the United States

Hye-Young Kim1)*, Jeong-Ju Yoo2), Dooyoung Choi3), Jieun Kim4), Kim K. P. Johnson5)

Abstract Wiedmann et al. (2009) confirmed that consumers’ perceived


congruity of a luxury brand with their self-image or intended
self-image is an important variable for segmenting luxury
Researchers have focused on the explanation that consumers
consumers. Building on this fact, consumers may use luxury
buy luxury brands ‘to impress others’ (Tsai, 2005; O’Cass &
brands to integrate symbolic meaning into their own identities
Frost, 2002; Wiedmann, Hennigs, & Siebels, 2009). Marketers
or they may use the brands to support and develop those iden-
have designed branding strategies that reflect the idea that con-
tities (e.g., self-completion). Finally, Wiedmann et al. (2009)
sumer purchasing is affected by an internal drive to create a
found that some consumers engaged in luxury brand con-
favorable social image (Tsai, 2005). However, researchers ex-
sumption as a form of self-actualization or life-enrichment.
ploring customer perceptions of and motives for purchasing
Data were collected using a web survey tool with the help
luxury brands have suggested that socially-oriented motives are
of a marketing research company. Participants were US con-
insufficient explanations for luxury brand consumption
sumers (n=316) who had purchased a luxury fashion brand in
(Wiedmann et al., 2009). These researchers stress that person-
the past three years. Factor analysis with varimax rotation was
ally-oriented motives have been overlooked in the marketing
conducted on 14 personal luxury value items. Items with factor
management of luxury brands. Additionally, empirical research
loadings greater than .60 were retained. Two cross-loaded
focusing on personal motives is comparatively scarce (Tsai,
items were dropped resulting in four factors that accounted for
2005; Wiedmann et al., 2009). Our study attempted to address
71.1% of the total variance. Item loadings ranged from .64 to
this research void by identifying personal luxury values U.S.
.90. Each of the factors had an eigenvalue greater than one.
consumers’ associated with their fashion brand consumption.
Factor 1 was labeled life enrichment (α=.81) and included
Specific research questions examined were:
four items (e.g., Self-actualization is an important motivator for
RQ1: What demographic characteristics are related to personal my luxury fashion brand consumption.). Factor 2 was labeled
luxury values? self-gifting (α=.80) and included three items (e.g., Reward for
RQ2: What personal luxury values are related to consumers’ hard work or that I feel I have earned or am entitled to is an
intentions to purchase luxury fashion brands? important motivator for my luxury fashion brand consumption.).
A range of motivators can underlie luxury brand Factor 3 was labeled self-identity (α=.73) and included three
consumption. First, some consumers may seek self-directed items (e.g., I never buy a luxury fashion brand inconsistent
pleasure from consuming luxury brands and thus their purchase with the characteristics with which I describe myself.). Factor
objective has little to do with pleasing peers or social groups 4 was labeled self-directed pleasure (α=.74) and included two
(Tsai, 2005). These consumers often buy luxury brands to ex- items (e.g., I can enjoy luxury fashion brands entirely on my
perience bliss or contentment. Second, self-gift giving could be own terms no matter what others may feel about them.).
an important motive that underlies luxury brand consumption. To answer RQ1, multivariate analysis of covariance
O’Cass and Frost (2002) found that some consumers purchase (MANCOVA) was employed using income as a covariate. Age
luxury products as gifts for themselves. Third, a consumer’s (Multivariate F=7.75, p<.001) had the most significant relation-
self-concept could affect luxury brand consumption. Recently, ship to self-gift giving and life enrichment luxury values.
Education (Multivariate F=3.07, p<.05) had a significant rela-
tionship with self-identity. Further univariate analysis of co-
1) * Corresponding author: Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Retail variance (ANCOVA) on age indicated that younger respondents
Merchandising Program, University of Minnesota, USA, Tel.: +1 612 (18-30 years old) showed higher levels of self-gifting (F=25.08,
624 4904, E-mail: hykim@umn.edu
2) Ph.D. Fashion Merchandising and Design Program, Department of
p<.001) and life enrichment (F=18.40, p<.001) values than old-
Family and Consumer Sciences, Baylor University, USA, Tel.: +1 254 er consumers (51 or older). ANCOVA analysis on education
710 3630, E-mail: Jay_Yoo@baylor.edu also revealed that those with a four-year college degree or
3) Graduate Student, Apparel Studies, University of Minnesota, USA, Tel.: higher had a higher level of the self-identity value than who
+1 612 626 5906, E-mail: choi0305@umn.edu
4) Graduate Student, Apparel Studies, University of Minnesota, USA,
did not have a four-year college degree (F=4.69, pp<.05). No
E-mail: kimx1890@umn.edu main effects were found for gender. However, an interaction
5) Ph.D., Professor, Retail Merchandising Program, University of effect between gender and education (F=2.76, p<.05) was
Minnesota, USA, Tel.: +1 612 624 3687, E-mail: kjohnson@umn.edu found for the self-identity value (F=4.29, p<.05). Male re-
Ⓒ 2011 KAMS. All rights reserved. spondents with a four-year college degree had a higher level
H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138 131

of the self-identity value than females and males who did not 。 , 4 。
have a four-year college degree and females who had at least 71.1% 。 .64 .90 。
a four year college degree. No other significant interaction ef- 1.
fects were found. 1 (α=.81),
Regarding RQ2, the results of hierarchical multiple re- ( :
gression analyses indicated that the following three personal )。 2 (α=.80),
luxury values were significantly related to respondents’ in- ( :
tention to purchase luxury fashion brands: self-directed pleasure )。 3
(β=.25, p<.001), self-gifting (β=.20, p<.001), and self-identity (α=.73), ( :
(β=.11, p<.05). )。 4 (α
By understanding what personal luxury values are sought by =.74) ( : ,
American consumers, global luxury fashion marketers could be )。
in a better position: (a) to formulate and implement effective , ,
advertising, publicity, special events and personal selling strat- (F=7.75, p<.001)

egies as well as mechanisms of consumer relationship manage- 。
ment, and (b) execute marketing programs and activities to (F=3.07, p<.05)。 ,
build brand images that appeal to and motivate American con- (18 30 )
sumers to purchase. (F=25.08, p<.001) (F=18.40, p<.001)
(51 )。
Keywords: Personal luxury values, Luxury brands, Fashion ,
marketing, American consumers, Demographic variables (F=4.69, p<.0
5)。 , 。 ,
(F=2.76,
p<.05)。

“ ” 2, ,
(Tsai, 2005; O’Cass & Frost, 2002; Wiedmann, Hennigs, &
Siebels, 2009)。 , 。 : (β=.25, p<.001),
, (β=.20, p<.001), (β=.11, p<.05)。
(Tsai, 2005)。 , ,
, :(a) 、 、
(Wiedmann et al., 2009)。 , ,(b)
。 , , 。
(Tsai, 2005; Wiedmann et al.,
2009). : , , ,
。 : ,
1: ?
2:
1. Introduction

。 , Researchers have focused on the explanation that consumers
, buy luxury brands ‘to impress others’ (Wiedmann, Hennigs, &
(Tsai, 2005)。 Siebels, 2009). Likewise, marketers have designed branding
。 , strategies that reflect the idea that consumer purchasing is af-
。 O’Cass and Frost (2002) fected by an internal drive to create a favorable social image
。 , (Tsai, 2005). However, researchers exploring customer percep-
。 , Wiedmann et al. (2009)
tions of and motives for purchasing luxury brands have sug-
gested that socially-oriented motives are insufficient ex-
。 ,
planations for luxury brand consumption (Wiedmann et al.,

2009). These researchers stress that personally-oriented motives
。 ,
have been overlooked in the marketing management of luxury
Wiedmann et al. (2009)
。 brands. Indeed, empirical research focusing on personal motives
is comparatively scarce (Tsai, 2005; Wiedmann et al., 2009).
。 (n=361), Our study attempted to address this research void by identify-
。 14 ing personal luxury values U.S. consumers’ associated with
。 .60
132 H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138

their fashion brand consumption. Specific research questions we That emotional value is a part of the personal values im-
examined were: pacting luxury consumption was noted prior to Vigneron and
Johnson (1999). For example, Dubois and Laurent (1996) ar-
RQ1: What demographic characteristics are related to personal
gued that luxury goods are purchased primarily for one’s
luxury values?
pleasure, which is a hedonic motive. Nueno and Quelch (1998)
RQ2: What personal luxury values are related to consumers’
also noted a hedonic motive emphasizing that marketing pro-
intentions to purchase luxury fashion brands?
grams of luxury brands should combine emotional appeals with
product excellence. In addition, personal or emotional values
2. Literature Review were clearly recognized in Kapferer’s (1997) definition of
luxury goods which outlined practical considerations of pres-
tige-brand management. The definition described luxury items
2.1. Personal Values in Luxury Consumption as providing “ extra pleasure and flatter all senses at once ...
Luxury is the appendage of the ruling classes” (Kapferer 1997,
Consistent with impression management theory, luxury con- p. 253).
sumption behaviors are explained by the intense internal drive Building on Wong and Ahuvia’s (1998) framework, Tsai
to create a favorable social image through purchasing (Sallot, (2005) studied the impact of personal orientation on luxury
2002). Consumption motivated by a desire to impress others is brand values. The researcher proposed four antecedents of per-
primarily aimed toward displaying ostentatious wealth (Dubois sonally oriented luxury values: self-directed pleasure, self-gift
& Duquesne, 1993). Thus, for individuals who seek high so- giving, congruity with internal self, and quality assurance.
cial representation and position, the association of certain Self-directed pleasure refers to individual’s own hedonic experi-
brands with high social status is an important motivating force ence a spontaneous and self-determined pleasure, unlike oth-
in their consumption (Vigneron & Johnson, 2004). However, as er-directed pleasures (Dube & Le Bel, 2001). Self-gift giving
several researchers have pointed out, luxury brand consumption refers to self-serving consumption value; consumers with
is a complex behavior, and socially-oriented motives alone do self-gift giving values are those people who purchase luxury
not entirely explain it. While many researchers have conducted brand products as gifts for themselves and not to impress
studies about consumer motivations behind the need to others. Congruity with internal self refers to perceived con-
“impress others” (Wiedmann et al. 2009), personally-oriented gruity between self-image and brands. This value is often ex-
motives should also be considered in understanding luxury plained by self-image congruity with luxury brands; consumers
brand consumption. are more likely to purchase products with images that are con-
Wong and Ahuvia (1998) are considered the first researchers gruent with their self-images (Belk, 1988). For the last person-
to systematically theorize a personal orientation towards luxury ally-oriented value, quality assurance was proposed. This value
brand consumption in contrast to a socially-oriented one. They is associated with the perception that the high price of luxury
explained luxury brand consumption in terms of three person- brands is an indication of high quality. For example, consum-
ally-oriented motives: (a) self-directed hedonic experience from ers who assign luxury brands high quality assurance value
the use of the product (personally affective benefits); (b) pur- would not purchase counterfeits because they are suspicious
suing private meanings in the products (personally symbolic about their quality.
benefits); and (c) judging the product against individual-based Subsequently, a model developed by Vickers and Renand
standards (personally utilitarian benefits). (2003) explaining luxury consumption also included personal
Personal factors such as emotions and feelings were also values. This model included three distinct values: functionalism,
identified in research by Vigneron and Johnson (1999) who experientialism, and symbolic interactionism. A consumer who
proposed a model of prestige-seeking consumer behavior sought experientialism value would purchase a luxury brand
(PSCB). This model included five prestige consumption values because it provides sensory pleasure, hedonic consumption, va-
that they proposed differentiated prestige from non-prestige riety and/or cognitive stimulation (Allen, 2002, Hirschmann &
brands. Their framework was built on the work of Leibenstein Holbrook, 1982). A consumer who sought functionalism value
(1950) who had identified three values underlying luxury con- would purchase a luxury brand because it solved a current
sumption: perceived conspicuous (veblen) value, perceived problem or satisfied a need (e.g., superior quality). A consum-
unique (snob) value, and perceived social (bandwagon) value. er who sought symbolic interactionism value would purchase a
Since Leibenstein (1950) identified only individuals’ desire to luxury brand because it communicated status, provided feelings
consume luxury products which were driven by others and of self enhancement , and signified group membership.
how individuals wanted to appear to those others and not by De Barnier, Rodina and Valette-Florence (2006) also empha-
personal desires, Vigneron and Johsnon (1999) added two addi- sized the importance of personal values to luxury consumption.
tional motivations - perceived functional value and perceived These authors explored how consumer perceptions of luxury
hedonic value suggesting that these values were also important goods changed across different cultures. Based on six facets of
attributes inducing luxury consumption. luxury (i.e., excellent quality, very high price, scarcity and
uniqueness, aesthetics and poly-sensuality, ancestral heritage
H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138 133

and personal history, and superfluousness) presented by Dubois, consumption context, self-directed pleasure can be provided
Laurent, and Czellar (2001), they conducted in-depth interviews with products that make life enjoyable (Heine & Trommsdorff,
with 10 participants in three countries (UK, Russia, France) 2010). Thus, self-directed pleasure has been identified as an
representing different cultures (Germany culture, East Slavonic essential attribute contributing to hedonic luxury value
culture, and culture of Romantic origin respectively). From the (Vigneron & Johnson 2004).
interviews, they found a new dimension “self-pleasure” was an Life enrichment (self actualization) has also been identified
important attribute of luxury goods noted from participants of as an important goal that current consumers are looking for
all three countries. “Self pleasure is associated with self-culti- and may be a personal value for luxury brand consumption.
vation or the intellectual aspect of luxury” (De Barnier et al., As the market has been saturated with goods, today’s consum-
2006, p. 12). This dimension indicated respondents’ belief that ers place more value on having experiences rather than prod-
consuming luxury allows them to feel comfortable, enjoy their ucts (Gilmore & Pine II, 2007). The life enrichment (self-actu-
life, and make their life interesting spiritually and intellectually. alization) value reflects a purchase objective that has nothing
Wiedmann, Hennigs, and Siebels (2007) also recognized per- to do with pleasing peers or social groups. The importance of
sonal value as a factor contributing to luxury value. They de- this value is evident in a 2008 World Wealth Report that de-
veloped a conceptual model including four value dimensions: tailed the spending habits of the world’s richest people. These
financial , functional, individual, and social. Financial value wealthy consumers purchased a luxury brand in order to truly
represented price value. Functional value focuses on functional enjoy themselves and enhance their lifestyle, not for its mone-
or physical utilities of luxury goods (i.e., usability, quality, tary value.
uniqueness). Individual value represented personal values such Self- gift giving has also been recognized as a value di-
as self-identity value, hedonic value, materialistic value, and mension for luxury consumption (Heine & Trommsdorff, 2010;
social value primarily focused on interpersonal factors such as Tsai, 2005; Wiedmann et al., 2009). Self-gift giving behavior
conspicuousness and prestige value. In this model, it was the is defined as “personally symbolic self-communication through
“values” provided by the luxury brand that explained why in- special indulgences that tend to be premeditated and highly
dividuals used luxury brands to reinforce or to develop their context-bound” (Mick, DeMoss, & Faber, 1992, p. 123).
own identity. Consumers also appreciated when luxury brands According to Mick and Demoss (1990), self-gifts are a mean
provided sensory pleasure, gratification, aesthetic beauty, or ex- of special communication, reflecting self-definition and elevat-
citement (Vigneron & Johnson 2004). ing or protecting the self-esteem of consumers. Self- gift giv-
Park, Rabolt, and Jeon (2008) combined individual values ing is used as a reward for an individual’s effortful and suc-
and social-related values under the label “personal values” in cessful achievement. This behavior is described as affective
their investigation of the purchase of global luxury brands with consumption reflecting four types of emotion – relief, recovery,
a Korean sample. Personal values included consumer ethno- sensation, and fulfillment. Self-gift giving also reflects the pur-
centrism, materialism, conformity, need for uniqueness, and chase of luxury products to remedy a negative mood or to
vanity. With the exception of vanity, all of these values were create or to increase a positive mood (Roth, 2001).
significantly correlated with luxury brand purchase intentions. Self-identity motive is concerning one’s internal (private) self
In subsequent research, Wiedmann et al. (2009) took an ap- instead of the external (social) self. It has been identified as a
proach similar to that of Vignerson and Johnson (1999) but critical factor influencing one’s purchase behavior and stems
they divided the “extended self” into two dimensions and re- from self congruity theory (Sirgy, 1982). Luxury product con-
named them as self-identity and materialistic value. In their sumption is motivated as an expression of one's personality
study, self-identity value was one’s internal facet in terms of and values (Belk, 1988), to fulfill desire for uniqueness, and
self-perception as opposed to the external (social) influence, to communicate, support, and develop identities (Vigneron &
which is similar to the concept of congruity with self-image in Johnson, 2004).
Tsai’s (2005) study. Consumers with high self-identity value
tended to integrate the symbolic meaning of luxury brands in
2.2. Demographic Differences in Luxury
the presentation and development of their identities (Wiedmann
et al., 2009). In addition, these researchers argued that materi- Consumption
alistic value influenced luxury brand consumption because ma-
Consumers in the marketplace are increasingly diverse. Since
terial possession and acquisition played important roles for ma-
consumers in different segments perceive luxury differently,
terialistic consumers, who tended to rely on external cues from
knowing demographic information can provide helpful in-
these products to signal their status and position.
formation in understanding consumers’ needs and purchasing
Subsequent researchers have commonly identified self-di-
habits so that luxury marketers may target different strategies
rected pleasure as a personal value for luxury brand
to different segments of their consumers (Blackwell et al.,
consumption. Self-directed pleasure , distinguished from oth-
2006). An article in American Demographics (Gardyn, 2002)
er-directed pleasure (i.e., relational qualities of caring, love,
addressing the meaning of luxury, noted there were differences
and interpersonal warmth) refers to emotional pleasure de-
in consumer’s definitions of luxury based on age, gender, and
termined by feelings of bliss, contentment, and ecstasy. In a
134 H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138

race. Consumers in the 35-54 age group choose “wasteful” or 3. Methods


“unnecessary,” to describe luxury while the 18 to 34 age
group identified “flashy” or “gaudy” more often than other age
groups. Men recognized luxury by the brand name of a prod- 3.1. Data Collection
uct more than did women and men desired a luxurious life-
style more than women. Caucasians defined luxury as Data were collected using a web survey tool with the help
“exclusive” or “prestigious” and were less likely choose terms of a marketing research company. First, a total of 3,000 panel
such as “trendy” or “fashionable” than Black and Hispanic members managed by the research firm were randomly
consumers. selected. Email cover letters were sent to them asking for their
Perhaps because the meaning of luxury is defined differently voluntary participation. The emails included the domain address
based on age, research findings related to age and luxury con- where they could find the questionnaire. A total of 356 mem-
sumption have been inconsistent. Age did not account for sig- bers visited our survey (a response rate of 11.9%).
nificant variance in luxury purchase intentions for some re- Questionnaires with incomplete answers were excluded, as were
searchers (Summers, Belleau, & Xu, 2006) but was significant questionnaires from respondents who indicated that they did
for others (Park et al., 2008). Regardless, age is expected to not participate in an apparel retailer’s loyalty program.
be influential in luxury purchasing behavior because consumers Excluding these questionnaires resulted in 316 completed ques-
can be divided into three generations (age groups) each with tionnaires that supplied the data for analysis. The click-through
distinct characteristics that are likely influences (Pooler, 2002): rate was 88.8%.
the baby boomer-generation, X-generation, and Y-generation. At the outset of the questionanaire, the instructions indicated
Each generation has experienced different historical events re- that the research was a study on luxury fashion brands con-
flecting different national economic circumstances making age ducted by a research team at a major university. Immediately
an important variable. after this introduction, “luxury fashion brands” were defined as
The baby boomer-generation is the largest generation in the the most prestigious brands in apparel/accessories, leather
United States. This generation was born between 1946 and goods, cosmetics/fragrance, or jewelry/watches (Wiedmann et
1961 and grew up in an era of abnormal economic growth al., 2009). The measurement items used were selected based
(Davis et al., 2006). They are characterized as well educated, on a review of the literature. Measurement items for individual
wealthy, competitive, and optimistic. Some researchers have in- luxury values were adapted from Wiedmann et al. (2009).
dicated that the baby boomer generation represents the majority Participants responded to measurement items using five-point
of luxury consumers (Vieregge et al., 2007) but others suggest scales (1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree). The ques-
younger generations are the major consumers of luxury brands tionnaire was designed to be completed within 10-15 minutes.
(Twitchell, 2002). To reduce measurement artifacts, dependent variables were as-
The X-generation was born between 1961 and 1981. sessed prior to their predictors. The data collection process
According to Michell et al. (2005), they are characterized as lasted two days. In return for their participation, respondents
having a variety of ideas, objectives, and desires. The Y-gen- were given e-currency that could be used to purchase prod-
eration was born between 1982 and 2005 and is sometimes re- ucts/services from the firm’s redemption partners.
ferred to as the Eco boomers, Millenials, or Internet
generation. They are idealistic and socially conscious
3.2. Participant Characteristics
(Holtzhausen & Strydom, 2006).
Market type is another descriptive variable that has been Participants were US consumers (n=316) who had purchased
examined relative to luxury consumption. Morris (2003) exam- a luxury fashion brand in the past three years. Participants’
ined differences in luxury consumption behavior between the ages ranged from 18 to 73 with 63.0% between 18 and 45
urban market and the traditional luxury market. Urban market years. Approximately half were female (50.9%) and a majority
was defined as “a racially diverse group of consumers whose (77.8%) were Caucasian. All income categories were repre-
purchasing decisions are either directly or indirectly influenced sented with $60,000-$69,999 as the median income and 25.3%
by inner city trends and hip-hop culture” (p. 147). Traditional reported earnings of more than $100,000. Participants had a
affluent consumers’ main motivation for luxury consumption four-year college degree (58.9%) and were married or lived
was the love of family, the satisfaction of achievement, and with a partner (63.6%).
the maintenance of healthy balanced lifestyle. In contrast, the
younger urban market was primarily motivated by materialism
and social influence. 3.3. Data Analysis
Factor analysis with varimax rotation was conducted on the
14 personal luxury value items. Items with factor loadings
greater than .60 were retained. Two cross-loaded items were
dropped resulting in four factors that accounted for 71.1% of
H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138 135

Table 1. Factor analysis

Factor/Items Factor loading Cronbach’s α Eigenvalue % of variance


Life enrichment .81 2.65 22.08
Self-actualization is an important motivator for my luxury fashion brand consumption. .85
Purchasing luxury fashion brands provides deeper meaning in my life. .82
Luxury fashion brand consumption enhances the quality of my life. .75
For me as a luxury fashion brand consumer, cultural development is an important motivator. .64
Self-gifting .80 2.14 17.80
When in a bad mood, I may buy luxury fashion brands as self-given gifts to alleviate the
.87
emotional burden.
To me, luxury fashion brand consumption is a way to reduce stress. .83
Reward for hard work or that I feel I have earned or am entitled to is an important motivator
.68
for my luxury fashion brand consumption.
Self-identity .73 2.04 16.98
The luxury fashion brands I buy must match what and who I really am. .83
I never buy a luxury fashion brand inconsistent with the characteristics with which I describe
.82
myself.
My choice of luxury fashion brands depends on whether they reflect how I see myself but not
.71
how others see me.
Self-directed pleasure .74 1.71 14.25
I can enjoy luxury fashion brands entirely on my own terms no matter what others may feel
.90
about them.
Luxury fashion brands are one of the sources for my own pleasure without regard to the
.74
feelings of others.

Table 2. Results: MANCOVA and ANCOVA

Meana
Demographic variable
Self-identity Self-gifting Self-directed pleasure Life enrichment Multivariate F
Gender 2.30
Female 3.73 2.65 3.67 2.45
Male 3.63 2.79 3.78 2.79
F-value .69 .83 .76 6.88
Education 3.07*
Non-4-year-college 3.55 2.66 3.78 2.66
4-year-college 3.80 2.77 3.67 2.58
F-value 4.69* .52 .81 .43
Age 7.75***
Younger (18-30) 3.62 3.18 3.82 2.94
Older (51+) 3.74 2.26 3.63 2.30
F-value .72 25.08*** 1.53 18.40***
Gender * Education
Female-non-college 3.72 2.54 3.71 2.58 2.76*
Female-4-year-college 3.73 2.76 3.63 2.32
Male-non-college 3.38 2.79 3.85 2.74
Male-4-year-college 3.87 2.79 3.71 2.83
F-value 4.29* .58 .06 2.08 .38
Gender * Age
Female-younger 3.66 3.12 3.77 2.72
Female-older 3.79 2.19 3.57 2.20
Male-younger 3.57 3.24 3.86 3.17
Male-older 3.68 2.34 3.70 2.41
F-value .00 .00 .03 .94
Education * Age .55
Non-college-younger 3.41 3.12 3.81 2.96
Non-college-older 3.68 2.21 3.76 2.36
4-year college-younger 3.82 3.23 3.83 2.92
4-year college-older 3.79 2.32 3.51 2.24
F-value 1.71 .00 1.22 .12
*p<.05, ***p<.001
a
Rated on 5-point scale (1=Strongly disagree, 5=Strongly agree)
136 H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138

the total variance. Item loadings ranging from .64 to .90. Each Table 3. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression
of the factors had an eigenvalue greater than one. Factor 1 Dependent variable: Purchase intention
was labeled life enrichment (α=.81) and included four items Beta (β) coefficienta
(e.g., Self-actualization is an important motivator for my luxury Model 1
fashion brand consumption.). Factor 2 was labeled self-gifting Gender .04
Age -.10
(α=.80) and included three items (e.g., Reward for hard work
Education .02
or that I feel I have earned or am entitled to is an important Income .14*
motivator for my luxury fashion brand consumption.). Factor 3 R2=.02, F(4,311)=1.64
was labeled self-identity (α=.73) and included three items Model 2
(e.g., I never buy a luxury fashion brand inconsistent with the Gender .06
Age -.05
characteristics with which I describe myself.). Factor 4 was la-
Education -.01
beled self-directed pleasure (α=.74) and included two items Income .09
(e.g., I can enjoy luxury fashion brands entirely on my own Self-identity .11*
terms no matter what others may feel about them.). Self-gifting .20**
Self-directed pleasure .25***
Life enrichment -.02
3.4. Results R2=.18, F(8,307)=8.55***
***p<.001
a
To answer RQ1, multivariate analysis of covariance Standardized estimate
(MANCOVA) was employed using income as a covariate be-
cause previous research implies that income may be highly 4. Discussion and Implications
correlated with personal luxury values. For example, Holbrook
and Hirschman (1982) recognized the possibility that income Traditionally, main drivers of luxury consumption identified
might contribute to explaining differences in (self-directed) he- included a desire for social recognition, status, and for im-
donic consumption. Also, Blanchflower and Oswald (2004) re- pression management purposes (Vickers & Renand, 2003;
ported that income influences one’s pursuit of happiness and Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). However, personal aspects of con-
fulfillment in life. sumers (personal gratification) has become increasingly im-
Age (Multivariate F=7.75, p<.001) had the most significant portant in luxury consumption (Tsai, 2005, Vigneron &
relationship to self-gift giving and life enrichment. Education Johnson, 1999, 2004). Researchers have demonstrated that
(Multivariate F=3.07, p<.05) had a significant relationship with luxury brands are purchased to satisfy one’s emotional feelings
self-identity. Further univariate analysis of covariance and emotional benefits or value are important attributes of
(ANCOVA) on age indicated that younger respondents (18-30 luxury brands (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Such personal val-
years old, N=96) showed higher levels of self-gifting (F=25.08, ues are distinguished from the ability of luxury brands to dis-
p<.001) and life enrichment (F=18.40, p<.001) values than old- play status or impress others and focus on the subjective and
er consumers (51 or older, N=87). ANCOVA analysis on edu- less intangible benefits from purchasing luxury brands
cation also revealed that those with a four-year college degree (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Our study focused on the notion
or higher had a higher level of the self-identity value than that people buy luxury brands because they seek to use brands
who did not have a four-year college degree (F=4.69, p<.05). that reflect their selves (self-identity) and provide self-directed
No main effects were found for gender. However, an inter- pleasure, life enrichment, and a means to reward themselves
action effect between gender and education (F=2.76, p<.05) (self-gift giving).
was found for the self-identity value (F=4.29, p<.05). Male re- Age differences existed in what values were sought through
spondents with a four-year college degree had a higher level luxury brand consumption. It was young consumers that saw
of the self-identity value than females and males who did not luxury brands as a means to reward themselves and to enrich
have a four-year college degree and males who had at least a their lives. These findings support Inglehart’s (2000) ideas that
four-year college degree. No other significant interaction effects young consumers place priority on brands that suggest a high
were found. quality of life and can be materialistic in their use of these
Regarding RQ2, the results of hierarchical multiple re- products. Fashion product marketers targeting these consumers
gression analyses indicated that the following three personal could focus on selling the high quality of life which consum-
luxury values were significantly related to respondents’ in- ing luxury products symbolize as well as link accomplishments
tention to purchase luxury fashion brands: self-directed pleasure in life to their brands. For example, Taglines used in advertis-
(β=.25, p<.001), self-gifting (β=.20, p<.001), and self-identity ing such as “It is time for you to step up to the best” tied to
(β=.11, p<.05). A higher level of self-directed pleasure, graduation and other critical life events and ceremonies would
self-gift giving or self-identity led to a higher level of future reinforce the reward value of luxury brands. In addition to of-
purchase intention. fering superior products, luxury retailers must continue to offer
superior service. This is part of the rewarding experience for
these young consumers and something they may not have had
H.Y. Kim et al. / Journal of Global Fashion Marketing 2-3 (2011) 130-138 137

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