Purpose – Limited attention has been paid to the cultural influences on the formation of consumer attitudes toward luxury brands (LUX). The purpose of this paper is to investigate this relationship by developing a model that additionally employs the constructs of susceptibility to normative interpersonal influence (SNII) and brand consciousness (BCO). Design/methodology/approach – Sample data were gathered through surveys administered to 383 college students in the UK and Taiwan. The model of cultural influences on attitudes toward luxury brands was empirically tested using multi‐group structural equation modeling to evaluate its applicability across the two countries. Findings – Results are presented in two parts: first, the exogenous construct part of the model establishing the reliability and validity of the cultural dimension constructs (horizontal individualism, vertical individualism, horizontal collectivism, and vertical collectivism) that are antecedent to consumer SNII and 2) the endogenous part of the model in which consumer SNII affects LUX through the mediating role of BCO. Research limitations/implications – The findings in the current study are limited to a sample of college students in the UK and Taiwan, which, through representing western and Asian countries, each housing different cultures, do not span the greater number of cultures found across these countries, much less across the world. Furthermore it is assumed that there are a number of subcultures in both the UK and Taiwan that are not accounted for in this study. Practical implications – An individual level of cultural orientation (e.g. horizontalism and verticalism) rather than traditionally adopted regionally defined or nationally based (Hofstede, 1980) cultural criteria should be investigated to identify more accurate market demand patterns in order to best target consumers in these markets (Sharma, 2010). In addition, appealing, vertical ad messages would be more effective in stimulating consumer motivations for consumption of luxury brands. Conversely, horizontal ad messages would be effective in demarketing approaches. Originality/value – The current study is the first of its kind to explore the effect of cultural‐orientation on the formation of LUX cross‐nationally. As such it provides future cross‐cultural researchers with valid and reliable culturally based constructs that can be used to predict consumer SNII in developing LUX. In addition, establishing the mediating role of BCO in the relationship between SNII and LUX helps marketers better understand the equity of their luxury brands, particularly in Asian countries.
International Marketing Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 30, 2014
Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Cross‐cultural study; Cross‐national study; Luxury brand; Brand consciousness; Interpersonal influence
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