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Making Sense of Heritage Luxury Brands: Consumer Perceptions across Different Age Groups

Making Sense of Heritage Luxury Brands: Consumer Perceptions across Different Age Groups
Published on
22 February 2018

Lama Halwani started the DBA journey in 2015 at GEM. Her article about heritage luxury brands has recently been accepted in its current form for publication in Qualitative Market Research.

Scholars have repeatedly concluded that heritage is a significant value driver for luxury brands (e.g., Riley et al., 2004, Fionda and Moore, 2009; Wuestefeld et al., 2012; DeFanti et al., 2014; Ardelet et al., 2015; Dion and Borraz, 2015; Dion and Mazzalovo, 2016), but  the perceptions of consumers of different age groups regarding heritage luxury brands (HLBs) have been understudied.

This qualitative, multiple-case study investigates this using semi-structured, one-on-one, face-to-face interviews with 21 consumers of HLBs in three age groups: emerging adults (18 to 25 years old), middle-aged adults (33 to 40 years old), and older adults (67 to 74 years old). This paper initially focuses on the pioneering contributions of Urde, Greyser, and Balmer (2007) in defining the dimensions of heritage brands, and then considers the various perceptions among consumers of different age groups.

The study’s findings showed consumers of all three age groups revealed three characteristics of HLBs: timelessness, quality craftsmanship, and prestige. Their timelessness was attributed to their high-quality craftsmanship, and quality craftsmanship, recognizability, and price contributed to their perceived prestige value. The study revealed HLB items helped participants feel connected to others, including their mothers or more remote forebears, their contemporaries, and their descendants.

Lama Halwani, third-year DBA student at Grenoble Ecole de Management

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