Status (luxury) consumption in cross-national context: Managerial implications

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In my earlier post ‘Status (luxury) consumption among British and Indian customers’, I discussed the theoretical implications relating to one of my recently published study in the International Marketing Review. In this post, I am going to focus on the managerial implications.

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To briefly summarise the study, it focused on three antecedents to status consumption namely: (a) socio-psychological antecedents; (b) brand antecedents and (c) situational antecedents.

Customers buy and use status products/brands to assist them in achieving a particular goal and project a message about their self. The findings of the study show how and why customers engage with status products in different countries and cultures. The findings also demonstrate that several factors which were important predictors of status among the British customers were not significant predictors for the Indians, and vice versa. These findings have noteworthy implications for brand managers in developing a pertinent strategic action plan to engage customers with their brands in both developing markets and developed markets.

The findings suggest that creating an entirely standardized marketing strategy for status products/brands will prove ineffective due to the significant differences among customers between developed and developing markets. There is certainly a prospect to standardize some features of the marketing strategy across countries for status products/brands. However, the differences in consumption and the overall engagement also suggest the need for adaptation. For example, ostentation provides an opportunity to standardization strategic message across markets. However, adaptation is required when associating social gains, esteem indication, brand related features and the choice of situation for the strategic action plan.

Marketing status brands to British customers
For the British market, managers should focus on building a strategic campaign which demonstrates the brand as a way to ‘gain popularity’ and be ‘noticed by others’. Associating the brand with relevant celebrities who are seen as successful and high achievers could be of great help in the British market too. The brand should also focus strongly on developing a symbolism which is familiar and positively in congruence with the customers. To generate positive feelings towards the status brands, managers will have to be very creative in the British markets as the consumers are exposed to such brands for long and so are quite aware of their symbolic meaning. Several extrinsic cues in this regard can play an important role. For example, country of origin can play a substantial role in this regard. In their communication mix many status brands employ occasion specific consumption for the British market.  However, the results of this study suggest that such campaigns will have little effect in the British market. Therefore, managers should look for aforementioned suggestions to improve their standing in the market.

Marketing status brands to Indian customers
To market their status brands to Indian consumers, managers should position their brand solely on ostentation. Moreover, the strategic campaign should also focus on the occasion (situation) specificity. If managers can develop a brand message around occasions and ostentatious behaviour, they will have a higher chance of getting success in the Indian market. The branding efforts will not yield as effective a response in the Indian market in comparison to the British market. Therefore, managers will have to find ingenious ways to engage the Indian customers. For example, in the alcoholic beverage market, major international players such as Absolut and Brown-Forman are associating with vibrant art and music scene. On the other hand, big players like Diageo and United Breweries are focusing on the upwardly mobile population in the metros and mini metros of India by opening lounges. Diageo even plans to open Johnnie Walker Club & Lounge and Smirnoff Cafes in metros such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and wishes to expand to 10 other cities in near future.

Thus, challenge for managers lies in creating a glocalised strategic action plan which incorporates a balanced mix of standardized as well as customized response to the market reality. This study provides actionable results for managers involved in marketing status products in developing the strategic action plan.

If you wish to read more about it have a look at the original paper available at:

Status Consumption in Cross-national Context: Socio-psychological, Brand and Situational Antecedents

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18 Comments to “Status (luxury) consumption in cross-national context: Managerial implications”

  1. Andrew Marr says :

    I really think that this blog can help brand managers in marketing their status products across India. Well done 🙂

  2. Martin Forsyth says :

    I really think that this blog can help managers. The comparative studies help managers in understanding the differences and similarities and there are hardly any with regard to luxury brands. So, Well done 🙂

  3. Jeremy Maez says :

    This study is really helpful for young managers like me who are dealing with these massive cross-cultural issues. Our company has decided to explore the Indian market and your paper gave me a good start in defining the marketing strategy. Thanks!

  4. Grace Allen says :

    Came across your site via luxury society and really enjoyed reading your study results. The study clearly highlights the differences and similarities between both consumer groups. I believe instead of focusing on differences based marketing, managers should focus more on similarities.

  5. Mark Webb says :

    Hey! Thanks much for the specifics ! I found it helpful with some research I’m doing right now. I’m going to bookmark this blog and return. can you tell me where i can find more information on this? Keep posting!

  6. Natilie Wausori says :

    Excellent post. As always I enjoy reading your posts…

  7. Dr. Paurav Shukla says :

    Good to hear that the post has been helpful to practitioners and students. I am sure you will enjoy reading the full paper too. It is available on the international marketing review website. Enjoy…

  8. Francis says :

    I would appreciate more visual materials in your post, to make your blog more attractive, but your writing style really compensates it. I believe your discussion on luxury is really cutting edge. But there is always place for improvement.

  9. Krisha Chopra says :

    Dr. Shukla,

    How you find such lovely ideas for developing articles, I am always lack of new ideas for articles. Some tips would be great…

  10. Patrick Nanjin says :

    Status consumption is so unique. Moreover, getting emperical evidence of how it differs in different countries is very important to decision makers. Great effort you have put here. Good work.

  11. Gregory Thatcher says :

    Hi, Very interesting articles indeed. I actually run a couple of blogs on the topic of luxury and fashion, and since I have found some of your articles very informative I definatelty think that my members would enjoy reading them. Thanks for your help!

  12. Kyle Martin says :

    Hi, I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂 I really enjoy reading your posts however, am unsure how to get them to add into my rss feed.

  13. Dr. Paurav Shukla says :

    Hi Kyle, its fairly easy really to add my site to your RSS reader. You can go to the main page of the website and just click on the buttong ‘grab our RSS feed’ which is on the top-right of every page. Shouldn’t be very hard. If you are facing any other specific error let me know.

  14. Marak says :

    It would be interesting to separate the impact of social factors and psychological factors rather than lumping them together. It will provide a far better understanding of the consumer behaviour with regard to luxury goods/brands. The findings however are extremely relevant especially the impact of ostentation is really worthy of attention.

  15. Valerie says :

    This article is really relevant to managers and that too not just in luxury business. This is how consumers think and that means their perceptions will hardly change for other contexts.

  16. Tanvi Rastogi says :

    Dear Dr. Shukla,

    I am a masters student at Nottingham Trent University pursuing MA in Fashion Marketing and Communication. Your study is very helpful to me as I am doing a research project on luxury fashion brands. It is so pleasurable to find something so relevant for my project. Your study is analytical and very well observed, it would be super appreciated if I could get in touch with you as I am highly interested in taking your interview for my primary research. I would also love to discuss my project in detail with you. Would be of great help. Thanks.

    Best,
    Tanvi

  17. Oscar says :

    Incredible, good post.Thank you. Brilliant.

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