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The influence of value perceptions on luxury purchase intentions in developed and


emerging markets
Paurav Shukla

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Paurav Shukla, (2012),"The influence of value perceptions on luxury purchase intentions in developed and
emerging markets", International Marketing Review, Vol. 29 Iss 6 pp. 574 - 596
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Received 29 July 2011
Revised 9 January 2012
15 March 2012
Accepted 20 March 2012

The influence of value


perceptions on luxury purchase
intentions in developed and
emerging markets
Paurav Shukla
Brighton Business School, University of Brighton, Brighton, UK
Abstract
Purpose Despite the growing debate about differences in consumer attitudes and behavior in
emerging and developed markets, there is little research on the differences in consumer value
perceptions and their influence on purchase intentions. Focusing on the theory of impression
management, the purpose of this paper is to introduce a conceptual framework incorporating the
social (conspicuousness and status), personal (hedonism and materialism) and functional (uniqueness
and price-quality perceptions) value perceptions using the context of luxury goods.
Design/methodology/approach Data were collected through a structured questionnaire- based
study of consumers in four countries, representing two leading Western developed luxury markets (the
US and the UK) and two important Eastern emerging markets (India and Malaysia). Multiple-group
SEM analysis was used to analyze the data.
Findings The findings show several differences in the influence of value perceptions on consumer
purchase intentions in the Western developed and Eastern emerging markets. The study highlights
the importance of understanding the homogeneity and heterogeneity in consumer consumption
decisions and provides managers with a basis to adapt their strategic responses.
Originality/value The results offer needed empirical support and cross-cultural stability to the
much theorized construct of value perceptions by exploring their effects within and between Western
developed and Eastern emerging markets. Additionally, it unifies and complements the previous work
by integrating the theory of impression management and value perceptions framework, thus
providing a comprehensive theoretical framework with empirical support.
Keywords Value perceptions, Impression management, Emerging markets, Consumer behavior,
Structural equation modelling, Luxury brands, Brands, Consumer behaviour, United Kingdom,
United States of America, India, Malaysia
Paper type Research paper

1. Introduction
Zeithaml (1988) defines value as an overall assessment of subjective worth of a product
or service considering all relevant evaluative criteria. Extant research suggests that
there is currently little agreement about the dimensions of product value as perceived
by customers due to its subjective nature (Smith and Colgate, 2007; Wiedmann et al.,
2009). Recent research, however, highlights the emergence of several fundamental
dimensions of value including social, personal and functional value perceptions

International Marketing Review


Vol. 29 No. 6, 2012
pp. 574-596
r Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0265-1335
DOI 10.1108/02651331211277955

The author would like to thank Dr Michael Chattalas, Dr Ernest Cyril de Run and Dr Keyoor
Purani for their help in data collection as well as highlighting several important issues within the
paper. The author would also like to thank Professor Russell Belk, Professor Mike Hobday and
Professor John Cadogan for their insightful comments and inputs in shaping the paper. The
author would also like to thank Dr Keith Perks and Dr Steve Hogan at the University of Brighton
Business School and the three anonymous reviewers for their help in various stages of this paper.

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(Shukla and Purani, 2011; Tynan et al., 2010; Vigneron and Johnson, 2004; Wiedmann
et al., 2009). Researchers have long argued that attempts to explain the social behavior
of consumers in one culture based on another culture would be inadequate due to
differences in the psychology of consumption and value associations (Belk, 1999;
Sheth et al., 1991). As a consequence, the findings relating to the changing effects of
value perceptions on consumers in developed and emerging markets are inconclusive.
For example, many argue the case for accelerating the emergence of a homogenous
global consumption culture which leads to similarity among consumers value
perceptions and their influence on purchase decisions (Hofstede et al., 1999). On the
other hand, many researchers counterargue that local culture remains influential
on consumer value perceptions and consumption patterns differ significantly in
developed and emerging markets (De Mooij, 2004; Sharma, 2010; Shukla, 2010).
A further argument is that consumer consumption behavior is increasingly the product
of a transmutation of global and local cultural influences (Fu et al., 2004; Hung et al.,
2007). It is hence unclear whether the effects of value perceptions are the same for
consumers in both developed and emerging markets. Moreover, many researchers
have called for further investigation of the underlying value perceptions in todays
marketplace (Fu et al., 2004; Smith and Colgate, 2007; Wiedmann, et al., 2007, 2009).
The theory of impression management proposes that consumers are highly affected
by the internal drive to create a favorable social image using their purchase behavior
(Goffmann, 1959; Tsai, 2005). There are two notable aspects to it, namely instrumental
and expressive self-presentation. The instrumental aspect focusses on consumption
geared toward influencing others and gaining rewards while the expressive
aspect deals with building an image which reflects ones own personality. From
a value perceptions perspective, this role of instrumental and expressive
self-presentation is referred to as social and personal value perceptions in this study.
Earlier studies have segregated socially oriented motives into two sub-dimensions,
namely conspicuousness (OCass and McEwen, 2004; Shukla, 2008) and status
consumption (OCass and McEwen, 2004; Shukla, 2010). Arguing, however, from a
broader perspective in exploring consumer perceptions and motives behind
purchasing products, Tsai (2005) and Sharma (2010) suggest that socially oriented
motives are not sufficient in explaining luxury purchase decisions and highlight the
need for studying personally oriented motives which reflect self-image building. This
study proposes that the simultaneous examination of personally oriented motives
such as materialism and hedonism (Hung et al., 2007; Vigneron and Johnson, 2004)
with socially oriented motives may help us better understand the effects of value
perceptions. For example, in a recent cross-cultural study with respondents from the
USA, Turkey and Denmark, Belk et al. (2003) found evidence that materialistic values
are spreading globally. Sharma (2010), however, observes that, while materialism
seems to be growing in eastern emerging markets, it is slowing down in western
developed markets. This study posits that such differing trends may explain some of
the disparity in the effects of value perceptions in developed and emerging markets.
Researchers also highlight the specific functional dimensions of uniqueness and
price-quality perceptions as motives behind consumer purchases (Sheth et al., 1991;
Smith and Colgate, 2007; Tynan et al., 2010). Earlier studies have predominantly
focussed on functional value perceptions in isolation. By measuring the influence
of functional value perceptions simultaneously with social and personal value
perceptions between developed and emerging markets, this study provides interesting
theoretical and contextual contributions. Luxury goods provide a useful context in this

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regards due to the significant socio-psychological and functional motives involved in


purchase and consumption (Wiedmann et al., 2009). By analyzing the value perceptions
that are grounded in American and European consumption research in other emerging
markets, this study will help build a more accurate and precise theoretical framework.
To summarize, focussing specifically on luxury goods context this paper addresses the
following gaps in the extant literature:
(1)

Identifies the simultaneous influence of:


.
.

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social value perceptions (i.e. status and conspicuousness);


personal value perceptions (i.e. materialism and hedonism); and
functional value perceptions (i.e. of uniqueness and price-quality
perceptions) in affecting consumer luxury purchase intentions.

(2)

Explores the issue of value perceptions within and between western developed
and eastern emerging markets context and thereby provides evidence to
support the global/glocal debate associated with value perceptions.

(2)

By unifying multiple standards of comparison into a single framework,


it extends the previous work which has examined value perceptions in
isolation and provides a comprehensive framework, with empirical support
across developed and emerging markets.

To address the above-mentioned gaps, this study develops a conceptual framework


(Figure 1) incorporating social, personal and functional value perceptions and
hypothesizes several differences in the influence of these variables on the luxury
purchase intentions of consumers in developed and emerging markets. The framework
is empirically tested using a sample of 1004 luxury goods consumers in four countries
two western developed markets (the USA and the UK) and two significant eastern
emerging markets (India and Malaysia). The next section discusses the aptness of
luxury goods as a context and builds the conceptual framework and hypotheses. This
is followed by the methodology and results with a concluding section focussing on
discussion, implications and future directions.
2. Conceptual framework and hypotheses
2.1 Luxury consumption in developed and emerging markets
Luxury goods enable consumers to satisfy their material as well as socio-psychological
needs to a greater degree than regular goods (Vigneron and Johnson, 2004; Wiedmann
et al., 2009). Luxury brands are one of the most profitable and fastest-growing brand
segments, yet at the same time, the social influences associated with luxury brands are
poorly understood and underinvestigated (Shukla, 2010; Wiedmann et al., 2009; Tynan
et al., 2010). Increasing exposure to global media and the depiction of western lifestyles
in local media seem to have increased the desire for high-quality goods and services
among consumers in emerging markets (Belk, 1999). With regards to luxury products
and services, studying the consumption patterns in emerging markets is particularly
important due to the phenomenal growth of luxury consumption among consumers in
these markets. For example, according to Bain and Company estimates (Krauss, 2009),
85 percent of all luxury stores will be opening in emerging markets over the coming
decade. The report also predicts that while overall luxury sales will be down 16 percent
in America, 10 percent in Japan and 8 percent in Europe, due to recessionary trends,
consumption will grow by more than 10 percent in large emerging markets such as

Developed markets

Emerging markets

Social value perceptions

Social value perceptions

Conspicuous
value

Conspicuous
value

Status value

Status value

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of value
perceptions
577

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++

++
Personal value perceptions

Personal value perceptions

Hedonism value

Hedonism value
++

Materialism
value

Functional value perceptions

Uniqueness
value

+
Purchase
intentions

Materialism
value

++

++

++

Functional value perceptions

Price-quality
perceptions

Uniqueness
value

Price-quality
perceptions

Notes: +, strength of relationship; ++, stronger relationship than +

China, India, Russia and Brazil as well as in smaller emerging markets such as Malaysia,
Egypt, Thailand and Turkey. Understanding the differing patterns of consumption
among the emerging markets is not only important because of their market size and
growth, but also because the growth is fuelling the aspirations of an emergent global class
with discretionary purchasing power approaching western levels. Researchers observe
that these nouveau riche consumers in emerging markets are one of the most important
target markets for luxury firms across the world (Shukla, 2011). Therefore, the sample
countries used for this study include two western developed markets (the USA and the
UK) and two eastern emerging markets (India and Malaysia).
2.2 Value perceptions
There have been numerous attempts to define value by a wide range of philosophers
and researchers (for a review see Zeithaml, 1988). Babin et al. (1994) note that earlier
research on consumer value perceptions largely focusses on quality and price issues
and there is no agreement among academics regarding a single conceptualization and
operationalization of the consumer value construct. Moving beyond the transaction,
exchange and acquisition utility, Zeithaml (1988) defines value as the overall

Figure 1.
Conceptual framework

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assessment of subjective worth of a product or service considering all relevant


evaluative criteria. This definition fits well in the case of luxury goods where
consumption is significantly focussed on the social and personal outcomes (Shukla,
2010). Moreover, it also reflects the instrumental and expressive dimensions of the
theory of impression management and provides a coherent picture.
Focussing on earlier work carried out in the domain of luxury goods, Vigneron and
Johnson (2004) propose a brand luxury index by classifying two major dimensions of
luxury value perceptions namely, personal perceptions (which entail perceived hedonic
value and perceived extended self), and non-personal perceptions (which entail
perceived conspicuousness, perceived uniqueness and perceived quality). Following
Karl Poppers philosophy, Berthon et al. (2009) conceptualize that luxury brands have
three distinct value-based dimensions: objective (material), subjective (individual) and
collective (social). Wiedmann et al. (2007) extend these conceptual frameworks by using
four latent dimensions: social value (i.e. conspicuous value, prestige value); individual
value (i.e. self-identity value, hedonic value and materialistic value); functional value
(i.e. usability value, quality value, uniqueness value); and financial value (price value).
The preceding evidence suggests that the debate on luxury value perceptions is well
developed on theoretical dimensions. Tynan et al. (2010), however, significantly stress
the need for empirical testing of the value perceptions framework to extend the validity
and reliability of the theoretical foundations.
2.2.1 Social value perceptions. Social value represents the perceived utility of an
alternative resulting from its image and symbolism in association, or disassociation,
with demographic, socio-economic and cultural-ethnic reference groups (Sheth et al.,
1991). In other words, social value perceptions are largely outer-directed consumption
preferences relating to the instrumental aspect of impression management. Consumer
luxury purchase behavior is subject to the pressures of social norms and the
expectations of social institutional rules such as those arising from family and other
reference groups (Shukla, 2011). Tsai (2005) suggests two primary motives behind
luxury consumption, namely social salience and social identification. This notion
could also be traced back to the theory of impression management (Goffmann, 1959),
which emphasizes that consumers are highly affected by the internal drive to create a
favorable social image from the outcome of their purchase behavior. Belk (1988) argues
that one of the important motivating forces that influence a wide range of consumer
behavior is the aspiration to gain status or social prestige from the acquisition
and consumption of goods. On the basis of earlier work carried out in the area, this
study identifies two specific sub-dimensions of social value perceptions: conspicuous
value and status value.
Conspicuous value is derived from the consumption process which is solely
focussed on the display of wealth (Mason, 1993). Extant research suggests that
conspicuous consumption plays a significant part in shaping consumer preferences for
many products that are purchased or consumed in the public context (Vigneron and
Johnson, 2004; Wiedmann et al., 2009). Luxury goods have been one of the preferred
medium for many consumers in building social presence (Belk, 1985, 1999; Shukla,
2011). Thus, a luxury brand associated with conspicuous signaling may be highly
preferred by consumers. Shukla (2010) observes that consumers in eastern emerging
markets are significantly driven by ostentation when consuming luxury products. This
reflects the largely interdependent nature of society wherein consumers highly
associate with others self-concept (Belk, 1985, 1999). Wong and Ahuvia (1998) posit
that when super-achievers emphasize their conspicuous consumption in societies

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which have significantly higher interdependent self such as in India and Malaysia,
its effects cascade down very quickly to middle income consumers who are also
pressurized to follow this consumption trend. As a result, consumers in emerging
markets may have a stronger affinity toward conspicuous consumption than their
developed market counterparts. Hence:

The influence
of value
perceptions

H1. The influence of conspicuous value on luxury purchase intentions will be


significantly higher among consumers in eastern emerging markets than
consumers in western developed markets.

579

While conspicuousness is related to external displays of wealth, OCass and McEwen


(2004) suggest that luxury brands may be purchased for status-laden reasons also.
They distinguish between conspicuous and status dimensions of luxury and suggest
that status value is associated with consumers desire to gain prestige from the
acquisition of status-laden products. In their study, using real consumers, perceptual
mapping and 26 brands across three luxury product categories, Truong et al. (2008)
support the distinction between status value and conspicuous value. Focussing on the
validity and reliability concerns, however, they identify the need for further empirical
testing. Wong and Ahuvia (1998) and Shukla (2010) assert that consumers belonging to
western developed markets have a much higher focus on their actual self-concept. This
is also reflected by Markus and Kitayama (1991) who posit that the independent
construal of the self is more dominant in western cultures. For these consumers, their
inner self is more significant in regulating their consumption behavior (Wong and
Ahuvia, 1998). As status value relates strongly toward acquisition of status-laden
goods, this study posits that consumers in western developed markets will show
higher levels of status value than consumers in eastern developing markets. Thus:
H2. The influence of status value on luxury purchase intentions will be significantly
higher among consumers in western developed markets than consumers in
eastern emerging markets.
2.2.2 Personal value perceptions. One of the emerging thoughts in the area of luxury
marketing is the importance of consumption directed toward satisfying the self
(Tsai, 2005) which relates to the expressive dimension of impression management. It is
observed that an increasing number of consumers are purchasing luxury brands to
derive self-directed hedonic experience and symbolic benefits (Wong and Ahuvia,
1998). Researchers such as Tsai (2005) and Wiedmann et al. (2009) argue that
consumption directed toward the self has been understudied and requires further
attention. Personal motive oriented consumers are concerned with being able to
identify their internal self with the product, gain an enjoyable experience from the
product and match their individual tastes to the products image (Wong and Ahuvia,
1998). These consumers seek to gain self-directed pleasure from consumption by
focussing on the achievement of hedonistic gratification and self-awareness rather
than pleasing others expectations (Tsai, 2005). In such a context, the internal
(hedonism) and external (materialism) facets of the self (Hirschman and Holbrook,
1982) may become more pronounced. Therefore, this study focusses on two
sub-dimensions of personal value perceptions, namely hedonism and materialism.
Hirschman and Holbrook (1982) define hedonic consumption as the consumer
behavior that relates to the multi-sensory, fantasy and emotive aspects of product use.

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This behavior is strongly correlated to the symbolic attributes of the product and
luxury products provide an ideal environment for this consumption concept (Vigneron
and Johnson, 2004). Hedonistic value primarily gratifies the expression of the internal,
private self which reflects the expressive aspect of impression management.
Consumers focussing on hedonism may consider the value aspects of self-directed
pleasure and life enrichment to be the most important perceptions (Wiedmann et al.,
2009). Wong and Ahuvia (1998) propose that people with an independent self-construal
emphasize the importance of the internal self and also hedonistic experience as a
motivation for luxury consumption. Research relating to hedonism reveals that
consumers who are exposed to western developed markets seek more hedonistic
experience than those in eastern emerging markets (Tse et al., 1989). Therefore, it is
proposed that:
H3. The influence of hedonism on luxury purchase intentions will be significantly
higher among consumers in western developed markets than consumers in
eastern emerging markets.
While hedonism focusses on emotional fulfillment (Hirschman and Holbrook, 1982),
acquisition and possessions also play a central role in driving consumption
experiences (Belk, 1999). It is observed that highly materialistic individuals rely
heavily on external cues, preferring those possessions that are displayed in public
places (OCass and McEwen, 2004). Furthermore, materialistic consumers use
possessions as a method of communication to others to show and project who they
think they are (Belk, 1985). Researchers observe that materialism is a common trait
among consumers around the world (Belk et al., 2003). Differences, however, in
socio-economic and cultural environment, may affect its magnitude across cultures.
More specifically, Sharma (2010) suggests that materialism seems to be growing in the
eastern emerging markets, but slowing down in the developed markets. He also
suggests that materialistic consumers in emerging markets may attach a higher
premium to luxury goods because they may help them attain a greater social status
than their developed market counterparts. This shift in behavior is also noted by
Burroughs and Rindfleisch (2002) who show that many consumers in western developed
markets are moving toward more abstract and less materialistic consumption pattern.
Moreover, recent studies highlight the significantly strong influence of the materialism
trait with luxury consumption in emerging markets (Lertwannawit and Mandhachitara,
2011; Podoshen et al., 2011; Sharma, 2010). Therefore, it is hypothesized that:
H4. The influence of materialism on luxury purchase intentions will be
significantly higher among consumers in eastern emerging markets than
consumers in western developed markets.
2.2.3 Functional value perceptions. Functional value represents the perceived utility of
an alternative resulting from its inherent attributes or characteristic-based ability to
perform its functional, utilitarian or physical purposes (Sheth et al., 1991; Smith and
Colgate, 2007). Apart from their social and personal value perceptions, consumers
expect a luxury product to be usable, of good quality and unique enough to satisfy
their urge to differentiate (Wiedmann et al., 2009). Consumers associate luxury
products with superior brand quality and reassurance and in turn perceive more value
from it. Researchers observe that consumers use the price of product more frequently

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when evaluating the associated prestige (Brucks et al., 2000). With regard to luxury,
Beverland (2005) notes that price and quality go hand in hand as luxury brands have
inherent characteristics of high price and excellent quality. Therefore, instead of
separating the price dimension from quality (see Wiedmann et al., 2007), this study
posits that measuring price-quality perceptions simultaneously as a single dimension
may reveal interesting insights. Tian et al. (2001) propose that an individuals need for
uniqueness plays a fundamental role in consumption of luxury products. They argue
that a products perceived uniqueness increases the value of the product, leading to
an improvement in an individuals standing in the societal hierarchy. Based on the
preceding evidence this study focusses on two sub-dimensions of functional value
perceptions: uniqueness and price-quality perceptions.
Consumer consumption is based on two countervailing needs: a need for conformity
and a need for uniqueness. Ruvio et al. (2008) and Tian et al. (2001) observe that
consumers acquire and display material possessions for the purpose of feeling
differentiated from others. Luxury goods since inception have primarily targeted the
uniqueness trait among consumers. For example, Christian Louboutin is highly
associated with unique shoe designs and the House of Hermes with unique silk scarves.
This uniqueness aspect is so dominant in the luxury goods market, and especially in
the fashion industry, that organizations are forced to develop new designs on a
minimum bi-annual basis. The need for uniqueness is strongly associated with the
independent and interdependent self-construal. In eastern emerging markets, the
consumers view of self is defined by the center of their relationships (Markus and
Kitayama, 1991) which includes not only ones achievements, but also the position of
ones group, usually family, relatives and kinship clan. Moreover, researchers have
observed a significant need for conformity signaling among consumers in eastern
emerging markets (Commuri, 2009). This suggests that consumers in eastern emerging
markets are willing to purchase luxury goods if such goods are highly recognizable
among their peers. Hence, these consumers will be less interested in a product which is
highly unique and less recognizable. On the other hand, in western developed markets,
a consumers view of self is defined by ones own opinion and tastes and not being
swayed by social pressure to conform as is the case in eastern markets (Wong and
Ahuvia, 1998). Thus, it is proposed that:
H5. The influence of uniqueness on luxury purchase intentions will be significantly
higher among consumers in western developed markets than consumers in
eastern emerging markets.
In their meta-analysis of the relationship between price and quality, Rao and Monroe
(1989), found a significantly positive relationship between price and quality. This
phenomenon is important for most luxury brands as they generally charge higher
prices in comparison to regularly purchased brands. For example, an entry level
handbag at most retailers will cost in the range of 40-100 USD while, an entry
level Hermes handbag could cost higher than 600 USD. With this price premium luxury
brands have always focussed on quality. For example, the luxury watch brand, Patek
Phillippe, is advertised as an intergenerational investment to be, merely looked after
for the next generation. Likewise, Hermes focusses on marketing unique but timeless
products with exceptional functional quality that will last a lifetime. Researchers have
observed that when a brand is perceived as expensive in comparison to normal
standards, it becomes more valuable in the consumer psyche (Brucks et al., 2000).

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Additionally, recent research on status signaling using luxury brands (Han et al., 2010)
suggests that consumers regularly use price and quality-related signals in building and
communicating their image. Extant research on information processing suggests that
consumers use both heuristic and systematic cognitive processing to evaluate
relevant information. It is believed that consumers will employ heuristic processing
for low-involvement products and systematic processing for high-involvement
products (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986). This is mainly due to the stronger relevance of
high-involvement products to the consumers self-concept and decision processes
(Ratneshwar and Chaiken, 1991). As luxury goods are high-involvement products for
most consumers, and a systematic processing will be dominant. However, researchers
state that systematic processing requires a well-established and vivid existing schema
to support decision making. In this regards, Shukla (2011) opines that due to their
longevity of exposure to global luxury brands, consumers in western developed
markets may give higher emphasis to a brands price-quality dimensions due to an
elaborate existing schema. Hence, it is proposed that:
H6. The influence of price-quality perceptions on luxury purchase intentions will be
significantly higher among consumers in western developed markets than
consumers in eastern emerging markets.
3. Methodology
3.1 Sample
Data for this study were obtained via separate mall intercept surveys carried out with
real luxury consumers in two developed markets (i.e. the USA and the UK) and two
rapidly emerging luxury markets (i.e. India and Malaysia). Both the USA and the UK
are highly developed, leading markets for luxury products and represent 17 and
5 percent of the global luxury market, respectively (Datamonitor, 2009). Additionally,
cities such as New York and London are seen as global hubs and leading markets for
the evolution of luxury trends. India is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent
luxury goods markets and Malaysia is an important luxury market in the South East
Asian region. Moreover, the selection of Malaysia provides an interesting comparative
outlook between a large emerging market (i.e. India) and a smaller emerging market
(i.e. Malaysia).
As stated earlier, the debate regarding value perceptions is mostly theoretical and
largely based on the western developed markets (Smith and Colgate, 2007; Tynan et al.,
2010). The cross-cultural empirical comparison therefore provides an appropriate
setting to test all the hypotheses in this research related to the differences in value
perceptions between consumers in developed and emerging markets. Table I shows
the sample composition for each country.
3.2 Procedure
To test the hypotheses, a structured questionnaire in English was designed focussing
on proposed value perceptions and their influence on luxury consumption purchase
intentions. The initial sets of items were derived from established existing
measurement scales. Questions relating to social value perceptions (i.e. conspicuous
and status value) were derived from Truong et al. (2008). An additional item was
added in the scale depicting luxury brands make me feel acceptable in my work
circle following expert panel suggestions. The scale items relating personal value
perceptions (i.e. materialism and hedonism) were derived from Babin et al. (1994) and

Total

Malaysia

India

UK

USA

Country

Male
96
(47.53%)
127
(40.71%)
82
(43.1%)
148
(49.33%)
453
(45.12%)

Overall

202
(20.12%)
312
(31.08%)
190
(18.92%)
300
(29.88%)
1,004
(100%)

106
(52.47%)
185
(59.29%)
108
(56.84%)
152
(51.67%)
551
(54.88%)

Female

Gender

123
(60.89%)
150
(48.08%)
103
(54.21%)
138
(46.00%)
514
(51.19%)

o30 years

Age

79
(39.11%)
162
(51.92%)
87
(45.7%)
152
(54.00%)
480
(47.81%)

X30 years
92
(45.54%)
114
(36.54%)
71
(37.36%)
133
(44.30%)
410
(40.83%)

oUG
110
(54.45%)
198
(63.46%)
119
(62.6%)
167
(55.70%)
594
(59.17%)

XUG

Education

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69
(34.16%)
121
(38.78%)
140
(73.68%)
171
(57.00%)
501
(49.90%)

133
(65.84%)
191
(61.22%)
50
(26.32%)
129
(43.00%)
503
(50.10%)

Marital status
Married/living
with partner
Others

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Table I.
Sample composition

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Richins and Dawson (1992). The functional scale items (i.e. uniqueness and pricequality perceptions) were derived from Ruvio et al. (2008), Tian et al. (2001) and Tsai
(2005). Following extant literature, the luxury purchase intentions construct was
measured using a self-reported item by asking respondents how likely is it that
you will buy a luxury accessory within six months from now? All measures used a
five-point Likert-type response format, with strongly disagree and strongly agree
as anchors.
The conceptual and functional equivalence for all constructs was assessed
subjectively by the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-national and multi-institutional
research team members. These scales were evaluated by a panel of expert judges for
content and face validity. The expert panel included two executives each working
in the field of luxury marketing in the USA, the UK and India. The questionnaire
was then submitted to two academics who were asked to assess each item for
representativeness, specificity and clarity. A pilot test was carried out (n 20 for each
city) to identify any impolite, unclear or difficult to understand questions. The
questionnaire was distributed in Greater London and Sussex, UK; New York, USA;
Mumbai, India and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. London and New York were chosen
because they are the leading cities across the world in terms of luxury fashion trends.
Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur are, respectively, major centers for Indian and Malaysian
luxury consumers. Further, these two cities are among the most dynamic in the region,
where particularly over the last decade they have experienced a significant rise in the
consumption of western luxury brands.
Respondents were contacted on major shopping streets in each city where
numerous luxury brand stores are located such as Bond Street and Sloan Street in
London, Madison Avenue in New York, the Phoenix and Atria Millennium malls in
Mumbai and the Bukit Bintang district of Kuala Lumpur. Respondents who were
not nationals of the particular countries were not included in the study. To avoid
respondent and response bias, data were collected over a five-week period with the
survey team rotating the location of interviews, the times of the day and the days of
the week to make the final sample representative of the population of shoppers. To
capture the views of real luxury consumers a similar procedure of filtering the
consumers was followed to that suggested in extant literature (Christodoulides et al.,
2009; Han et al., 2010; Shukla, 2010, 2011). The respondents were asked if they had
bought any luxury accessories or luxury products in the past six months. They were
asked to recall the brands they bought, thus creating an appropriate environment for
the study. In total, 1,004 fully completed questionnaires were used for the analysis. The
composition of respondents for each nationality is: American (n 202; response rate:
43.03 percent), British (n 312; response rate: 57.33 percent), Indian (n 190; response
rate: 41.44 percent) and Malaysian (n 300; response rate: 53.94 percent).
To avoid interviewer bias, each interviewer was trained with a similar brief and
debriefing sessions were held at the end of each day to standardize the process as much
as possible.
To minimize and estimate the effect of common method variance, several
recommended procedural and statistical remedies were used as suggested by
Podsakoff et al. (2003). Order bias was controlled by counterbalancing the order of the
measurement of the variables. The scale items order as well as the position of
the predictor and criterion variable were changed. To avoid response format bias, the
participants completed a series of filler tasks unrelated to the study in between.
To reduce method bias, the respondents were guaranteed anonymity and were also

assured that there are no wrong or right answers and that they should answer
questions as honestly as possible.

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4. Data analysis and findings


Since this study uses data collected from four different countries, it is important to assess
cross-cultural measurement invariance for all the scales. Steenkamp and Baumgartner
(1998) suggest using a structural equation modeling approach for this, with a multi-step
process putting increasingly restrictive constraints on a multiple-group measurement
model and testing the significance of changes in model fit. A maximum likelihood
estimation procedure with LISREL 8.8 was used for this purpose.
4.1 Measure validity and reliability
Based on a participants country, four country groups were defined first. The
configural invariance of the scales was examined by testing the fit indices for an
unconstrained model across these four groups. The measurement model shows a good
fit ( w2 1,236.63, df 707, w2/df 1.75, RMSEA 0.053, NNFI 0.96, CFI 0.97)
with all indices better than the recommended cut-off values (RMSEAo0.06, NNFIo
0.09, CFIo0.09). The w2 difference was also o3 as recommended by Kline (1998).
Table II shows the factor loadings of all the scales.
As seen in Table II, the average variance extracted for the measures was 0.50 and
above for all constructs, which is greater than the level recommended by Dillon
and Goldstein (1984). Discriminant validity was assessed using the test suggested by
Fornell and Larcker (1981). According to this test, a scale possesses discriminant
validity if the average variance extracted by the underlying latent variable is greater
than the shared variance (i.e. the squared correlation) of a latent variable with other
latent variable. As Table III shows, this criterion was met by all the variables in the
study as no correlation exceeds the square root of the average variance extracted.
In a further stringent test of discriminant validity, a procedure suggested by Bagozzi
et al. (1991) was followed. In this procedure, each pair of constructs is analyzed through
a pair of measurement models with and without the correlation between the constructs
fixed to unity. Changes in w2 were far greater than the critical value in each case,
supporting discriminant validity in each model. The composite reliability was above
0.70 across the constructs, exceeding the recommended threshold value, which also
provides strong evidence of discriminant validity.
4.2 Invariance measurement
As seen in Table II, all the factor loadings are 40.5 and significant (po0.01) across the
four samples. This suggests that the scales exhibit configural invariance, indicating a
similar pattern of factor loadings across the four samples (Steenkamp and
Baumgartner, 1998). To assess the similarity of response patterns among consumers
across countries, metric invariance testing was employed. Scalar invariance was used
to test cross-national differences in the means of the observed items. Table IV provides
the results of the stepwise process used for testing the difference measurement
invariance levels as suggested by Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1998).
After achieving the configural invariance (M1), the next step involved testing the
data for full metric invariance (M2). This was carried out by constraining the factor
loadings to be equal across the four groups and comparing the fit statistics with the
unconstrained model. The difference between M2 and M1 was Dw2 (41) 155.85
( po0.05). Moreover, some notable deterioration in fit measures such as RMSEA was

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Table II.
Scale summary

Scale items
Social value perceptions
Conspicuous value
Owning luxury goods indicates a symbol of achievement
Owning luxury goods indicates a symbol of wealth
Owning luxury goods indicates a symbol of prestige
Owning luxury goods attracts attention
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability
Status value
I buy luxury goods just because it has status
Luxury goods are important to me because they make me
feel that acceptable in my work circle
I purchase luxury goods to gain/increase social status
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability
Personal value perceptions
Materialism
Purchasing luxury goods increases my happiness
It is important to me to own really nice luxury goods
It sometimes bothers me quite a bit that I cant afford to
buy all the luxury goods I want
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability
Hedonism
While shopping for luxury goods, I feel the excitement of the hunt
When shopping for luxury goods, I am able to forget my problems
When in a bad mood, shopping for luxury goods enhances
my mood
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability
Functional value perceptions
Uniqueness
I often buy luxury goods in such a way that I create a personal
image that cannot be duplicated.
I like to own new luxury goods before others do
When a luxury product becomes popular among others, I avoid
buying or using it.
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability
Price-quality perceptions
I believe luxury goods are of superior quality
In my mind, the higher price charged by luxury goods indicate
higher quality
You always have to pay a bit more for the best
Average variance extracted
Composite reliability

USA UK India Malaysia

0.78
0.72
0.77
0.52
0.66
0.79

0.80
0.69
0.84
0.67
0.75
0.84

0.67
0.70
0.83
0.51
0.63
0.78

0.52
0.83
0.88
0.81
0.78
0.85

0.83 0.81

0.64

0.67

0.57
0.72
0.62
0.75

0.81
0.91
0.84
0.88

0.64
0.93
0.68
0.79

0.67
0.77
0.60
0.75

0.75 0.84
0.75 0.62

0.75
0.70

0.71
0.60

0.56 0.50
0.57 0.52
0.73 0.70

0.56
0.53
0.71

0.77
0.52
0.70

0.69 0.74
0.78 0.75

0.64
0.80

0.67
0.62

0.70 0.70
0.63 0.65
0.77 0.77

0.52
0.51
0.70

0.70
0.51
0.70

0.82 0.84
0.56 0.69

0.78
0.68

0.83
0.60

0.59 0.79
0.52 0.73
0.70 0.82

0.71
0.64
0.77

0.76
0.61
0.75

0.53 0.50

0.55

0.64

0.75
0.70
0.52
0.70

0.77
0.87
0.67
0.78

0.59
0.79
0.54
0.72

0.64
0.92
0.60
0.74

observed. Hence, the probability level of the equality constraints was examined using
the Lagrange multiplier (LM) test to identify the parameters that would significantly
decrease the w2-value if they were freely estimated subsequently (Byrne, 1994).
A look at the LM w2-value shows four constraints to be untenable. Releasing the

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USA
Conspicuous (CO)
Status (ST)
Materialism (MT)
Hedonism (HD)
Uniqueness (UN)
Price-quality perceptions
UK
Conspicuous (CO)
Status (ST)
Materialism (MT)
Hedonism (HD)
Uniqueness (UN)
Price-quality perceptions
India
Conspicuous (CO)
Status (ST)
Materialism (MT)
Hedonism (HD)
Uniqueness (UN)
Price-quality perceptions
Malaysia
Conspicuous (CO)
Status (ST)
Materialism (MT)
Hedonism (HD)
Uniqueness (UN)
Price-quality perceptions

CO

ST

MT

HD

(PQ)

0.46
0.57
0.56
0.52
0.45

0.49
0.45
0.25
0.28

0.37
0.26
0.21

0.41
0.43

0.50

(PQ)

0.50
0.64
0.49
0.57
0.54

0.57
0.39
0.40
0.43

0.40
0.48
0.48

0.37
0.38

0.48

(PQ)

0.37
0.44
0.38
0.35
0.38

0.63
0.33
0.30
0.37

0.37
0.37
0.46

0.46
0.54

0.42

(PQ)

0.26
0.42
0.36
0.46
0.26

0.38
0.28
0.32
0.31

0.44
0.36
0.31

0.37
0.25

0.28

Model
comparison
Full configural invariance (M1)
Full metric invariance (M2)
Partial metric invariance (M3)
Partial metric invariance (M3)
Full scalar invariance (M4)
Partial scalar invariance (M5)
Partial scalar invariance (M5)

M2-M1
M3-M2
M3-M1
M4-M3
M5-M4
M5-M1

w2
1,236.63
1,392.48
1,266.28
1,266.28
1,979.26
1,323.76
1,323.76

df w2/df
707
748
744
744
809
791
791

1.75
1.86
1.70
1.70
2.45
1.67
1.67

Dw2

155.85
126.2
29.65
712.98
655.50
87.13

UN

PQ

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Table III.
Correlation matrix

Ddf RMSEA NNFI CFI

41
4
37
65
23
79

0.053
0.060
0.054
0.054
0.078
0.054
0.054

0.96
0.95
0.96
0.96
0.93
0.96
0.96

0.97
0.96
0.97
0.97
0.93
0.97
0.97

equality constraints for these four items provided a w2-value of (1,266.28, df 744)
which is higher than the unconstrained model but the difference between the w2-values
is not significant (Dw2 29.65, D df 37). Furthermore, the other fit indices are better
than the recommended cut-off points (RMSEA 0.054, w2/df 1.70, NNFI 0.96 and
CFI 0.97). Thus, support for partial metric invariance is observed.
The full scalar invariance was then tested. This constrained model shows the
w2-value of 1,979.26 (df 809). The difference between the w2 of full scalar variance
(M4) and the partial metric variance (M3) is significant (Dw2 712.98, D df 65,

Table IV.
Measurement invariance

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po0.001) and the other fit indices deteriorated (RMSEA 0.078, NNFI 0.93,
CFI 0.93). This suggests that full scalar variance was not achieved. As noted by
Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1998), however, full scalar invariance is extremely rare
in cross-national studies. Next, a partial scalar invariance model was tested by freeing
the invariance constraints on several intercepts. Three w2-difference tests were
conducted to access the fit of the partial scalar invariance model (M5). The first test
compared M5 to M4 which suggests a significant improvement in model fit. The other
fit indices also improved. The second test compared M5 to M1 which suggested that
the partial scalar invariance model was not significantly worse than the full configural
invariance model (Dw2 (84) 87.13, p40.05). Moreover, the other fit indices showed
significant improvement from the full scalar invariance model (RMSEA 0.054,
w2/df 1.67, NNFI 0.96, CFI 0.97). Therefore, it can be concluded that partial scalar
variance has been achieved across the samples.
4.3 Path coefficients
After conducting the invariance tests, all the hypotheses of the study were tested by
comparing the difference between developed and emerging markets. To conduct
this analysis, the data were pooled to create two groups to represent developed and
emerging markets. Table V presents the pooled data as well as individual countrybased parameter estimates and respective t-values.
As shown in Table V, the fit indices for both pooled data based models provide a
good fit for the data. To test whether significant mean differences existed among the
developed and emerging market-based consumers, a series of comparisons between the
unconstrained base model and models in which one structural path at a time was
constrained to be equal between country groups was carried out. Addressing the social
value perceptions, with regards to H1, no support was observed among both western
developed and eastern emerging markets and therefore no mean difference analysis
was conducted. With regards to H2, status value had a significant positive effect
on consumer luxury purchase intentions in both the western developed (b 0.41,
po0.001) and the eastern emerging (b 0.31, po0.001) markets. The mean difference
analysis showed that the w2 was significant (Dw2 (1) 7.10, po0.01) suggesting that
consumers in western developed markets demonstrate higher levels of status value
consideration in their purchase decisions. This was also observed at individual country
level too wherein, both American and British consumers showed more significant
influence of status value than Indian and Malaysian consumers.
Focussing on personal value perceptions, partial support was observed for H3 as
the relationship between hedonism and purchase intentions was found to be significant
across the pooled data and individual western developed countries (b 0.41, po0.001).
The relationship was found to be non-significant for the eastern emerging markets.
However, in case of individual emerging countries, the relationship was significant in
the case of Malaysia (b 0.13, po0.001). H4 was not supported with a significantly
stronger relationship between materialism and purchase intentions among consumers
in the western developed markets (b 0.21, po0.001) than their eastern emerging
market counterparts (b 0.18, po0.001). The mean difference analysis also suggested
the difference to be significant (Dw2 (1) 4.96, po0.05).
With regards to H5, it was hypothesized that consumers in western developed
markets will demonstrate higher levels of uniqueness preferences than consumers in
eastern emerging markets. Partial support was found for this hypothesis as consumers
in western developed markets demonstrate significant levels of purchase association

0.04
12.53*
4.91*
5.12*
3.20*
8.36*

393.46 (183)
0.049
0.98
0.99

0.01
0.41
0.17
0.21
0.11
0.27

0.17
5.69*
0.60
3.38*
1.17
3.60*

403.92 (183)
0.051
0.94
0.95

0.02
0.31
0.03
0.18
0.06
0.21

Notes: *,**Significant at po0.001 and po0.01, respectively

Conspicuousness4PI
Status4PI
Hedonism4PI
Materialism4PI
Uniqueness4PI
Price quality perception4PI
Fit indices
w2 (df)
RMSEA
NNFI
CFI

Pooled data
Developed
Emerging
Estimate t-value Estimate t-value
0.43
5.29*
3.22*
4.66*
0.93
6.57*

242.16 (183)
0.041
0.97
0.97

0.02
0.23
0.14
0.19
0.04
0.28

USA
Estimate t-value
0.32
5.17*
4.10*
4.48*
1.97**
3.65*

231.29 (183)
0.03
0.99
0.99

0.02
0.27
0.23
0.25
0.11
0.20

1.35
2.01**
1.29
1.06
0.66
3.69*
290.48 (183)
0.058
0.96
0.96

0.14
0.19
0.14
0.10
0.07
0.35

Individual country analysis


UK
India
Estimate t-value Estimate t-value

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0.30
3.70*
2.22**
5.51*
0.98
0.71
264.83 (183)
0.039
0.94
0.96

0.02
0.20
0.13
0.28
0.05
0.04

Malaysia
Estimate t-value

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Table V.
Path coefficients

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with uniqueness (b 0.11, po0.001). The mean difference was highly significant (Dw2
(1) 8.82, po0.01) suggesting the higher emphasize put on uniqueness of the luxury
products by western developed market based consumers. It was interesting to note that
at the country level the relationship was only significant among the UK consumers
(b 0.11, po0.01). For price-quality perceptions (H6), support was found among the
consumers in western developed markets (b 0.27, po0.001) and among the eastern
emerging market consumers (b 0.21, po0.001). The mean difference was highly
significant (Dw2 (1) 16.11, po0.001).
5. Discussion and conceptual contribution
The debate regarding value perceptions, especially in the area of luxury consumption
is fairly recent and is mostly theoretical in nature (Berthon et al., 2009; Smith and
Colgate, 2007; Wiedmann et al., 2007). With the increasing importance of emerging
markets for luxury goods companies, researchers have highlighted the pressing
need for cross-cultural examination of value perceptions (Tynan et al., 2010;
Wiedmann et al., 2009). This paper empirically examines the differences in luxury
value perceptions between consumers in both developed and emerging markets,
using a common conceptual framework (Figure 1) based on the theory of impression
management, encompassing three key constructs namely social, personal and
functional value perceptions. In doing so, the study explores the simultaneity of
influence of multiple constructs. Congruity theory suggests that consumers rarely take
purchase decisions in isolation but rather consider multiple stimuli. This study
therefore provides multiple standards of comparison in a single framework leading to a
better understanding of value perceptions across markets.
While four of the six proposed hypotheses were fully or partially supported, the
findings show interesting similarities and differences between and within consumers
in western developed and eastern emerging markets. The results in turn contribute and
expand the theory of impression management by examining the theory at large in a
cross-national context and demonstrating how each sub-component of instrumental
and expressive dimensions affect consumer decision making. With regards to overall
impression management, compared with consumers in emerging markets, those in
developed markets use a more elaborate value perceptions schema for their purchase
decisions. The findings suggest that while impression management maybe a common
trait among all cultures and countries, the influence of each micro component may
differ substantially. Earlier studies demonstrate high correlation between
conspicuousness and luxury consumption (OCass and McEwan, 2004; Shukla, 2008).
This study, however, contradicts this, showing that the conspicuousness dimension is
not a significant predictor of luxury consumption across developed and emerging
markets. This is believed to be a reflection of present times as many consumers across
the world are avoiding conspicuous displays of wealth and abandoning luxury goods
that prominently display their brand names and logos for more subtle and subdued
designs. Similar observations based on anecdotal evidence have been made by the
news media including The New York Times (Williams, 2008) and The Financial Times
(Daneshkhu, 2010).
The results also reflect that preference for status value, associated with consumers
desire to gain prestige from the acquisition of status-laden products, is much stronger
for consumers in western developed markets. The difference is significant at both
pooled and country data levels. The differing effects of conspicuous and status value
also provides cross-cultural stability to the argument put forward by OCass and

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McEwan (2004) and Truong et al. (2008) regarding distinguishing the conspicuous and
status dimensions of luxury. The results demonstrate how each sub-component
relating to the instrumental dimensions of impression management theory influences
consumption decisions.
Researchers have proposed that personal value perceptions reflecting the expressive
dimension of impression management (i.e. hedonism and materialism) play a nonnegligible role in consumers purchase decisions for luxury goods (Tsai, 2005; Wiedmann
et al., 2007). This study provides empirical evidence that personal pleasure seeking and
the symbolic benefits relating to hedonism are important to consumers in western
developed markets, but not in eastern emerging markets. The finding relating to
materialism contradicts the observations from Sharma (2010) who suggested an
increasing role played by materialism in emerging markets. It was observed that
materialism is a significant predictor of luxury purchase intentions in both developing
and emerging markets at the pooled data level. However, the role was increasingly
significant among western developed markets. At country data level, the non-significant
effect of hedonism and materialism among Indian consumers may be due to the higher
interdependent self-construal and collectivist psyche. Douglas and Isherwood (1996) note
that collectivist societies frequently stress modesty and humility in consumption to
control the potentially negative consequences of envy. This seems to be the reason for the
non-significance of materialism in India when purchasing luxury goods. The differing
consumption influences of social and personal value perceptions highlight the need to
examine the micro sub-components of impression management theory.
The results show that functional value perceptions are significantly important
to consumers in developed markets who are increasingly seeking to purchase
unique products which have high price quality perceptions. The findings fit with the
independent self-construal observed among consumers in western developed markets
(Wong and Ahuvia 1998).The results when considered at the country level show
interesting differences. For example, at the individual country level, uniqueness value
is significant for the British but not for the American consumers although, the pricequality perceptions are strongly reflected in both markets. The UK and the USA share
many cultural traits, but when it comes to individual level consumption decisions, the
findings suggest that they differ significantly. The results help expand the theory of
impression management toward functional value associations demonstrating how
consumers use functional values such as uniqueness and price-quality perceptions
to manage their identity. This paper thus connects the functional identity signaling
aspect (Berger and Heath, 2007; Han et al., 2010) with the theory of impression
management and in turn builds a more comprehensive picture.
5.1 Managerial implications
Besides its conceptual contributions, this study offers important managerial
implications for international marketers by identifying the role played by different
value perceptions in developed and emerging markets as well as at individual
country level contexts. A key managerial implication of this study relates to how the
simultaneous examination of value perceptions can enhance strategic decision making.
The results, when seen at the pooled data level and individual country level, provide
managers with an avenue to globalize as well as localize their responses when
developing their strategic plans for a country or region.
The study indicates that managers should avoid associating their luxury brands
with conspicuous signaling as it is a non-significant predictor of purchase intentions.

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Instead, managers should associate strongly with the status value laden messages
which highlight consumers desire to gain prestige in acquisition rather than display.
The significant influence of status value across both developed and emerging markets
provides managers with an opportunity to standardize their campaigns. At the same
time, hedonism-related personal value perceptions are increasingly influential in
driving luxury purchase in western developed markets, thus providing an opportunity
to localize strategy. The effect of materialism across markets at pooled data level
suggests that combining status value and materialism in their campaigns will provide
significant benefits.
The increasing influence of functional value perceptions offers empirical support
to Sharmas (2010) assertion that international marketers need to identify other
important consumer influences besides materialism, such as product differentiation,
customization and superior service. It is found that uniqueness and price-quality
perceptions play a significant role in influencing consumers in western developed
markets. Price-quality perceptions are also significantly important for consumers in
emerging markets At the country level the results relating to functional value
perceptions provide an opportunity to customize strategic campaigns. For example, a
strategic campaign in the USA should highlight price-quality perceptions, while the
campaign targeting British consumers should highlight uniqueness.
In conclusion, all the aforementioned implications may help international marketers
in approaching developed and emerging markets based on important consumer value
perceptions. A strategic campaign which standardizes status value and customizes the
other important value perceptions based on the specific market will help marketers
retain existing customers as well as gain new customers.
6. Limitations and future directions
Despite the interesting theoretical and managerial implications, this research has
limitations which provide a way forward for further research. First, the studies were
conducted in four different markets. They were, however, conducted in major cities and
therefore the findings may not represent the overall population. With regard to the
theory of impression management, the results highlight the importance of measuring
the micro sub-components for both instrument and expressive dimensions. Future
studies should re-examine these micro sub-components in various product categories
and in other countries and cultures. Future studies could also explore potential
interactions among the sub-components, such as the one between personal and social
value perceptions. The findings relating to conspicuousness also needs further
verification especially in the context of emerging markets where luxury consumption
among middle class consumers is rapidly increasing. While this study captures views
of real luxury consumers by filtering them on their past luxury purchases, future
researches may include a broad sample of those who have not purchased luxury goods
in recent past or are not intending to purchase them in the near future. This study did
not focus on consumer expertise or knowledge of luxury products which may act as a
moderator. Future studies could look at other moderators including consumer sociodemographics and situational influences. One of the interesting findings of this study
relates to the differences within developed and emerging markets. There is a need to
study further the differences between markets with perceived similar cultural traits
such as the USA and the UK to evaluate how consumer consumption decisions differ.
Comparative studies involving accessible and classical luxury will provide further
opportunities for international marketers to segment the market and match their

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product offering with an appropriate campaign. Using the value perceptions examined
in this study, future researchers could also explore the differential effects of each
dimension while controlling the other using experimentation as a methodology.
In conclusion, this study contributes to the study of luxury consumption
conceptually, substantively and managerially. Conceptually, the findings extend
our understanding relating to the theory of impression management by looking
at it through the lens of value perceptions. The study also provides cross-cultural
stability to value perceptions construct. Substantively, the findings demonstrate how
consumers engage in luxury consumption using subtle signals relating to impression
management and value perceptions. It highlights the differences in consumption
motivations among consumers in western developed and eastern emerging markets.
Managerially, this study shows the importance of understanding the homogeneity and
heterogeneity in consumer consumption decisions and offers managers a basis to adapt
their strategic responses.
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Corresponding author
Paurav Shukla can be contacted at: p.shukla@brighton.ac.uk

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