PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to address the following questions: how do consumers construct meaning around their inconspicuous luxury fashion experiences? What desires do inconspicuous consumers strive to fulfill? What sentiments do they associate with their inconspicuous luxury fashion consumption?Design/methodology/approachThis exploratory research begins with a netnographic study of 11 online luxury blogs followed by in-depth interviews and home observations of ten luxury consumers with inconspicuous preferences in Dubai.FindingsInconspicuous choices are not simply for associative or dissociative motivations but several symbolic consumption schemas come into play. A typology of inconspicuous luxury fashion consumers has emerged: fashion influencers, trendsetters, fashion followers, and luxe conservatives.Practical implicationsThe findings have potential to yield important managerial implications for fashion retailers and brand communications. The typology of inconspicuous consumers provides a basis for developing a more targeted relationship marketing program for luxury fashion brands.Originality/valueThis research advances luxury knowledge in fashion and consumer behavior research by unveiling how consumers construct meanings around their inconspicuous consumption. The typology developed in this study marks the starting point for further extensions to explore the complexities of inconspicuous luxury consumers, which are grounded in the roles they take on in society, how they plan their luxury consumption journey and how they eventually use these possessions for self-identification and communication to others.
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 12, 2018
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