Pets as Status Symbols
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
According to Onkvisit and Shaw (1987), many products and possessions can be perceived as extensions of consumers' self-identity. Some consumers might even try to enhance their image through conspicuous or status consumption. According to Mosteller (2008), possessing a pet is closely related to the theory of the extended self. Among other types of conspicuously consumed goods, rare or unusual animals may be purchased to satisfy the consumer's need for status (Hirschman, 1994).
In 2011, more than 70 million households in Europe kept a pet. The direct and indirect industry of pet breeders, veterinarians etc. creates more than half a million jobs throughout Europe. Although in recent years many studies have been conducted from psychological or medical point of view of companion animals' and their owners' interactions, the academic knowledge from consumer behaviour perspective is still scarce.
Authors of this thesis employed attitudes, various self and conspicious consumption theories in order to dig deeper into the topic of pets as status symbols, in particular rare and pure-bred cats and dogs. With the help of convenience sampling technique, internet survey was distributed. Authors questioned 165 students in Jönköping International Business School and created a data sample which was later used in statistical analysis.
By combining descriptive statistics, Principal component analysis and Cluster analysis, a research design for the topic at hand was developed, which allowed to squeeze out every bit of valuable information. According to the statistical analysis, four most important factors influencing pet-related conspicuous consumption are (in order of importance): Ostentation, Social Recognition, Conformity and Materialistic Indulgence. With regards to these factors, all participants were grouped in four clusters: Blue Blooded People, Indifferent Boasters, Status Candidates and Approval Seekers. This research design resulted in vast array of managerial implications and creation of academic knowledge in respective consumer behaviour field.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 71 p.
Pets, status, symbols, conspicuous, consumption, cats, dogs.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18306OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-18306DiVA: diva2:531243
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Berndt, AdeleMüllern, Tomas