Luxury: identifying its dimensions

Luxury to me is a state of mind. It is about how you carry yourself and fulfill yours as well as societal pressures desires.

My thought focussed on the issue of luxury from the perspective of one’s own self and society. One does not consume luxury for just oneself but it is a lot socially minded consumption. For example, why do we wear the high-quality suit (dress) when going for an strategic meeting or interview? Why do we make particularly sure that we do not utilize a low-quality perfume when going on a date? The aspect of self-indulgence is laced with the socially adjusted motivations when it falls in the realm to luxury.

The construct of luxury has been there in distinct forms since the starting of civilization. Its role was just as important in past western and eastern empires as it is in todays marketplace. With the unmistakable differences between social classes in earlier civilisations, the consumption of luxury was unique to the selected classes. It also meant the definition of luxury was fairly clear. Whatever the not-so-well-off cannot have and the elite can was identified as luxury.

With accelerating democratisation, various new product categories were created within the luxury market which are aptly labeled  accessible luxury OR masstige luxury. This sort of luxury is specially directed at the middle class. As luxury penetrated into the masses, defining luxury has become nearly impossible.

In current marketing usage, Prof. Bernard Dubois defines luxury as a particular (i.e. high-price) grade of offering in almost any product or service class. However, despite the substantive knoweldge accumulated during the previous decades, analysts and researchers yet havent got on a general definition of luxury.

While the word luxury is used in everyday lives to mention to particular life style, the fundamental constructs definition is customer and situation specific. The word luxury arises from the Latin word luxus meaning, soft or extravagant living, indulgence, sumptuousness or opulence. However, luxury is quite tricky term to define because of the strong interest of human component and value identification from others.

Some different efforts have been made to define luxury employing the price-quality dimension positing high priced merchandises in any category is luxury. Similarly, academics have utilized the uniqueness aspects of luxury as well. Yet, with progressive quality orientation from lower end brands and democratisation of luxury, it is tricky to use either of the above dimensions to define luxury.

Kapferer and Bastian, uses an observational approach and specifies luxury as things which offer additional pleasure by flattering all sense at ones. Various other academics, focus on exclusivity attribute and reason that luxury evokes a feel of belonging to a certain selected group. Still, having an LVMH handbag in central districts of any cosmopolitan urban center across the globe, wont make you experience that way.

The discussion above highlights the highly subjective and multidimensional nature of the luxury concept. The endeavors greatly define a attribute of luxury such as high price, high quality, uniqueness, exclusivity etc.

However, it is still unclear What is Luxury.

Source: Paurav Shukla luxury marketing

John Perks luxury marketing

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