Luxury Brands and Millennials: Understanding Millennial Consumers in the Contezt of Luxury Brands

Sarah Andrea Wassum & Aida Andreu SolĂ 

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Recent and unconventional developments have taken place in the luxury industry in the branding context. A new generation is entering the luxury market and will soon become a consumer group spending more money than the other age groups. Given the subjectivity of the concept of luxury, it became key to understand the motivations and drivers of millennials in relation to luxury brands. By gathering an initial knowledge, it will be possible to obtain an overview of the context in which these brands operate. To obtain such knowledge, a conceptual framework was developed, identifying social status signaling, the need for uniqueness and hedonism as the main perceived luxury values.
In order to understand and get a deeper insight into those topics, this study proposes the following research question: How do millennials perceive and understand the luxury values?
The research is embedded in the perspective of social constructivism and interpretivism. Therefore, society as socially constructed was accepted and allowed the authors to become part of the study in order to provide an answer to the research question. The question is answered through the collected data of qualitative interviews and analyzed through meaning coding. Through the analysis, a positive perception towards the need for uniqueness and hedonism was observed, and a rather negative attitude towards status signaling in terms of wealth. Furthermore, new values emerged - sustainability, ethics and inclusivity - and their relationship towards the brands. However, it was found that millennials feel an attraction towards luxury brands as long as those values are perceived by
the millennials as authentic, meaningful and transparent. Therefore, luxury brands have to focus on transmitting those values to the millennials Reflecting on the brand mechanisms, managerial implications are given for luxury brands to reconnect with this specific target audience.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages95
SupervisorsTilde Heding