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Consumer preference for status symbolism of clothing: the case of the Czech Republic

Millan, E. and Mittal, B. (2017) Consumer preference for status symbolism of clothing: the case of the Czech Republic. Psychology & Marketing, 34 (3). pp. 309-322. ISSN 1520-6793

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/mar.20990


During the past three decades, consumer demand for luxury goods has been growing on a global scale. The luxury and status market base has expanded beyond the traditional affluent consumer segment to include an increasingly heterogeneous group of consumers. Despite the substantial size, greater reach, and significant growth of the luxury goods market, status consumption has been treated as an atypical and peripheral subject in consumer research. The authors develop a conceptual model of psychological determinants of status seeking through consumption. The model considers the effects of three general traits (namely, status concern, public self-consciousness, and self-esteem) and one consumption-related consumer trait (namely, susceptibility to normative social influence) on preference for status meaning, which in turn influences consumer interest in the product. The conceptual model is tested with data from a survey of 1,000+ respondents drawn from the Czech Republic, a country where the recent market liberalization has unleashed an inflow of luxury goods from marketers from the West. Face-to-face home-based structured interviews were conducted by an international market research agency. The hypothesized causal relationships are all supported. The effects of status concern, public self-consciousness, and self-esteem on susceptibility to normative social influence (SNSI) and preference for status meaning (PSM) are significant and in the expected direction. Additionally, SNSI is found to exert a significant positive influence on PSM, and these two constructs, in turn, have significant positive effects on consumer interest in clothing. The conceptual model and empirical evidence enhance the existing knowledge of the antecedents and outcomes of status consumption. The study advances a better understanding of the psychology of consumer adoption of status consumption; equally important, it also highlights the value of extending consumer theories from established to emerging market economies and back again from still-evolving to long-standing marketplaces.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:68938
Uncontrolled Keywords:Status concern; Public self-consciousness; Self-esteem; Susceptibility to normative social influence; Preference for status symbolism; Clothing


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