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Getting Labeled: The Influence of Brand Prominence among Generation Y Consumers
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Since the early 1990s, the market for luxury goods has been growing at an unprecedented pace (Granot et al., 2013). Formerly exclusively targeting the richest of the rich, nowadays luxury products are aiming at a broader and considerably younger customer base, the Generation Y (Truong, 2010). Current studies suggest that luxury goods consumption is driven by a need to signal prestige (Grotts & Widner-Johnson, 2013; Nelissen & Meijers, 2011). However, this need can only be fulfilled when a signal is interpreted in the intended way. Nelissen & Meijers (2011) among others believe that a reliable signal can yield “fitness benefits”. Although researchers agree on the outcome of the signaling game, there appears to be no consensus on “what” a product should look like in order to serve as a reliable signal. Purpose: This thesis investigates the impact of brand prominence on perceived “fitness benefits” among Generation Y consumers in the context of luxury fashion clothing. Method: To meet the purpose of this thesis a quantitative study was conducted. The data was collected through a social experiment among students at Högskolan i Jönköping. The participants were randomly presented with one of three visual cues, capturing Brand Prominence by a person wearing t-shirts with differently sized brand logos. An oral survey was then conducted by which the attributed social "fitness" of the depicted person was assessed. Conclusion: The overall results of this study suggest that Brand Prominence has not as much impact on Generation Y consumers than suggested by previous research. Empirical evidence is provided that the signaling process is not as straight forward as proposed by Nelissen & Meijers (2011) or Veblen (1899). The signaling process among Generation Y consumers is (a) influenced by the recipient’s characteristics and (b) by the subtlety of the signal. Furthermore, current studies suggest in accordance with the obtained results a shift form Luxury Consumption to the phenomenon of Luxury Experience. This implies the necessity for luxury manufacturers to adapt to new levels of complexity created by a demographically and geographically heterogeneous consumer landscape, characterized by a new way of Costly Signaling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Brand Prominence, Conspicuous Consumption, Costly Signaling, Generation Y, Luxury Marketing
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-26517ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20150111OAI: diva2:811366
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2015-06-22 Created: 2015-05-11 Last updated: 2015-07-22Bibliographically approved

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