WHY WE LOVE LUXURY

Luxury items; they're purchased for a variety of reasons. Because the consumer likes the look, prefers high quality, enjoys escapism, wants to signal their status, or even as an investment item (Hermès bags are more stable than gold, it's a fact). But in recent times, the marketing of luxury goods have diversified - no longer are they solely purchased through elite, exclusive retail stores with a security guard at the door and a glass of champagne for anyone who makes a purchase. The internet has opened up access to luxury, and has resulted in more complex purchasing behaviour due according to a researcher from University of Auckland.

Dr Yuri Seo believes that the rise of social media and influencers has brought a level of ubiquitousness to luxury goods. Along with this, has come a malleability on the part of the consumer - meaning marketers can influence to a larger degree how a consumer experiences and thinks about the product. At the heart of this is consumer's ideas about themselves, which shape how they act as consumers. Consumers who are 'entity theorists' believe that their personality and traits are fixed and cannot be changed. Conversely, 'incremental theorists' believe that their personalities can be changed, although people can hold both beliefs - applying them in differing situations.

This applies to luxury goods as it relates to the branding and personality. For entity theorists, a brand with a positive image allows them to buy into the improvement they do not believe they can change in themselves. Most traditional luxury marketing caters to entity theorists, which is about signalling status and value. Incremental theorists are more interested in design, durability and innovation.

These beliefs don't just apply to the heritage brands who hundreds of years of history. Smaller New Zealand brands should take note too, in order to correctly target their consumers and increase sales.