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Symbolic consumption of luxury: An Example of luxury fashion goods in Russia
Despite all changes and crises Russia has developed to one of the most important market for luxury
goods in the world. Economic developments in the course of the last decade, rapidly growing high-middle class
consumer segments and increasing consumer sophistication changed consumption behavior of luxury services and
goods in Russia within a short time. Russian consumer behavior patterns of luxury items can be explained by the
theory of conspicuous or symbolic consumption. The motivation for buying symbolic goods usally is highly
sensitive to social appreciation and the most visible ones include luxury clothing and accessories, automobiles,
stereos and furniture goods. The aim of this study is to determine the factors influencing Russian consumers?
intentions to purchase luxury fashion goods. We focus the growing high-middle and middle class consumer
behavior patterns. This study attempts to contend practitioners? knowledge and folklore in research hypotheses
and to evaluate these in a rigourous quantitative proceeding.We investigate the factors influencing Russian
consumers? intensions to purchase goods of luxury fashion brands based on two different models. The ?Attitude
toward Luxury Brands? (social-adjustive function) quantifies the extent to which luxury brands are facilitating
self-expression of the owner and the projection of a particular image in social settings. Additionally, we use the
?Attitude toward Luxury Brands? (value-expressive function) in order to quantify the degree to which luxury
brands are expressing the buyers?s self (beliefs, attitudes, values). Complementing these, we assess consumers?
luxury motivation factors. The results of our analysis confirm practitioners? prior beliefs that Russian consumer
behavior patterns in the luxury markets predominantly correspond to characteristics of symbolic consumption.
Consumers emphazise their individual image and and cherish how they look in the eyes of others while consuming
luxury brands. Moreover, Russian consumers can be described as perfectionists because they desire the best
quality as one of the most salient attributes of luxury products. On the other hand, they consider price of the items
while fonding of quality in luxury items and they do not want to exaggerate amounts paid for their shopping. The
results exert existence of a highly significant negative relation between the influence of price and frequency of
luxury fashion goods purchase in Russia.
Prof. Dr. Ralf Wagner
Anna Peshkova; Taylan Ürkmez
Fashion Marketing, Luxury, Russia, consumer behavior, symbolic consumption