Cesare Amatulli, Matteo De Angelis, Veronica Spataro

Luxury and Sustainability: How Consumer-related Characteristics May Influence the Effectiveness of Different Sustainability Dimensions

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Environmental sustainability, social sustainability, luxury consumption, externalised luxury, internalised luxury.

Sustainability represents an important challenge for all companies, in all sectors and all round the world (White et al., 2019). Importantly, sustainability has become a central issue also in the luxury industry (Athwal et al., 2019). In the academic literature some studies have already demonstrated that, under specific conditions, leveraging on sustainability may lead luxury brands to successful marketing results. In addition, some scholars have advanced the idea that luxury is, in the end, inherently sustainable, proposing that a luxury brand typically generates positive effects in terms of both environmental and social sustainability. In this research, we present empirical evidence in support of this conceptual framework by considering the luxury customers’ point of view. Specifically, through a survey conducted in Italy, in the field and with real luxury consumers, we demonstrate that when a luxury brand is perceived as generating benefits for customers, for the community or for the employees, consumers’ willingness to buy the products marketed by that same brand increases. More importantly, this positive effect is not constant for all luxury consumers but differs on the basis of the kind of luxury consumption approach that mainly characterizes them. In particular, it is magnified when consumers are characterized by a relatively «internalised» rather than «externalised» approach to luxury.

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