A case study on Daniel Wellington: Correlations between Price Fluctuations and Perceived Exclusivity

Line Sehested Laursen, Ida Marie le Roÿ Krogbeck Topholm & Ditte Christine Wind

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis in International Business Communication explores how frequent price fluctuations, be it through sales or promotional codes, may affect how exclusive consumers perceive brands to be. To investigate the topic of perceived exclusivity and how it is affected by price fluctuations in a practical manner, a case study approach has been chosen in which the case company Daniel Wellington is examined – a company which makes use of price fluctuations in the form of promotiational codes and describes its products as ‘affordable luxury’. The thesis thus sets out to explore how Daniel Wellington’s use of promotional codes and influencer marketing has affected how exclusive the company is perceived to be in the eyes of the consumers. To explore this, the thesis takes its point of departure in a sequential partially integrated mixed methods approach using both primary and secondary data. The primary data consists of a questionnaire with 347 responses, 14 email interviews, and an experiment consisting of six interviews centred around a fictitious brand, whereas the secondary data primarily consists of financial reports, previous collections of data, and data from social media platforms. The thesis is conducted from a social-constructivist point of view, which regards exclusivity as a socially constructed phenomenon. Based on this, a continuum of exclusivity is introduced, in which the definition of exclusivity encompasses factors such as socioeconomic standing, gender, and age group. The thesis finds that Daniel Wellington’s use of continuous price fluctuations through promotional codes has affected the company’s perceived exclusivity to a very large degree. Based on the findings, a number of strategic recommendations are proposed to potentially increase Daniel Wellington’s perceived exclusivity: 1) customer retention with the same product, 2) finding a new customer base, 3) changing the marketing approach, and 4) augmenting the product. Whilst the findings regarding Daniel Wellington’s decrease in perceived exclusivity cannot be applied directly to other companies, the experiment conducted showed direct correlations between a marketing approach centred around frequent price fluctuations and a decrease in perceived exclusivity. It can thus be argued that frequent price fluctuations, be it through sales or promotional codes, do have a negative effect on the perceived exclusivity of a brand.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages227