Do product features actually add value for consumers? A laddering analysis on new luxury products

  • Elisa Villani
  • Alberto Mattiacci
Keywords: new luxury; means-end theory; consumer behavior; crystal tableware; product attributes; masstige; HVM


Purpose of the paper: This paper aims at analyzing product perception, product preferences and purchase motives for obtaining a better understanding of consumer purchasing behavior with regard to new luxury goods. Our objective is to comprehend which attributes drive consumers to purchase new luxury products, and what are the values pushing them to their choices.

Methodology: We applied laddering interviewing, which is a technique referring to the means-end theory. By finding linkages between product attributes, user consequences, and final values, this methodology allowed for identifying how consumers perceive self-relevant consequences of new luxury products. The results of the 26 interviews are reported in the Hierarchical Value Map.

Findings: We found that people are mostly driven by values of happiness, self-image, self-fulfillment, and social recognition in crystal tableware choice. In particular, the values elicited by respondents fall into two main categories: a) values that are centered around the self (e.g., self-image); b) values connected to or dependent on third parties (e.g., give prominence to my family/guests; social recognition; high status). Those values are sought by respondents in particular attributes of crystal tableware, such as design, brightness, high quality, and brand.

Research limits: A limitation of this study is that it analyzes only one market sector.

Practical implications: By understanding better the relationship between product attributes and consumers’ choices in new luxury goods consumption, managers can improve product design and advertising campaigns.

Originality of the paper: Our analysis allows shedding lights on the means-end chain characterizing consumer behaviors for the purchase of new luxury goods, which is still an overlooked phenomenon from an empirical point of view.


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