Hedonism drives luxury brand loyalty, not quality or brand love

By our News Team | 2023

Consumers are more attuned to how they see the brand as a vehicle for their self-expression and social approval.

What drives a person’s preference towards traditional luxury brands? Researchers at Flinders University in Australia have found it’s all about inflating the image of the purchaser, who desires expensive luxury brands such as Rolex and Chanel to enhance their own identity.


“The findings indicate that only hedonism drives brand prestige and symbolism,” says Dr Nasser Pourazad, marketing researcher and lecturer.

Brand Loyalty

Photo by Jay Pizzle from Pexels

“It shows that the development of love for luxury brands is primarily driven by symbolism rather than prestige brand attributes.”


The study, entitled ‘What (really) drives consumer love for traditional luxury brands? The joint effects of brand qualities on brand love’, has been published by the peer-reviewed Journal of Strategic Marketing.


These new findings – which contrast to previous studies – suggest that while a traditional luxury brand’s social status and upscale position in the market are important to trigger love for a brand, consumers are more attuned to how they see the brand as a vehicle for their self-expression and social approval.


Consumers perceive these brands as serving a higher purpose 


“Therefore, the prestige of traditional high-end luxury brands is less powerful in driving strong pro-brand connections – because consumers view these brands to be serving a higher purpose, such as symbolising and reinforcing their personalities, values and self-identity,” explains Dr Pourazad.


Researchers found that luxury brands’ power to symbolise meaningful values acts as the strongest trigger of brand love. This is a finding that expands an understanding of the symbolism attached to brands – including social approval, self-personality, personal status and image driving.


“Brand uniqueness is a key driver of brand love for traditional luxury brands, which positively impacts the prestige of traditional luxury brands and enhances individuals’ identity,” says Pourazad.


“Brand prestige and symbolism then jointly shape brand love for traditional luxury, ultimately impacting all response variables.” 


The research team found that the emotional experiences and hedonic benefits associated with owning a luxury brand shape the consumer’s perception of the brand’s symbolic values, luxuriousness and exclusivity. 


Hedonism, therefore, positively impacts the perceived prestige and symbolism of the brand.


This highlights the importance of brand symbolism in driving consumer love for traditional luxury brands. Symbolic brands address consumers’ needs to enhance their self-image and social image, and are chosen for their desirable meaning in social and cultural contexts.


You can find out more about the research here.

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.