Free Essay: Importance of Emotions in Consumer Behavior of Luxury Goods

Published: 2023-09-26
 Free Essay: Importance of Emotions in Consumer Behavior of Luxury Goods
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Marketing Human behavior Emotional intelligence Customer service
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1784 words
15 min read

The global market for luxury goods has grown over the last few years. Different media tools have showcased the life and accessories associated with wealth, making the masses crave for some of these luxury products. There are different types of luxury goods, including fashion, cosmetics, perfumes, watches, and wines and spirits. Recently there have been additions to products such as luxury cars, tourism, private banking, airlines, and home furnishing. Fashion luxury items include accessories, handbags, and shoes. These products offer prestige to the owner while the functional utility is a side issue (Cesare, 2011, 201)

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Luxury as a concept is challenging to define since it is a representation of a social context that accompanies cultural evolutions. This makes it extraordinarily subjective and changeable. However, there are two types of explanations behind the consumption of luxury products. On the one hand, there are external motivations that are interpersonal and social and internal motivations that are reserved and subjective (Cesare, 2011, 201). External motivations are comprised of cases where the primary goal of purchasing the luxury product is to establish the customers' status. Internal motivations are those related to the state of mind, emotions, and the subjective emotions associated with a person's self-perception (Cesare, 2011, p. 201).

The personal luxury product market is estimated to be worth more than 830 billion (De Barnier, 2020, p. 70). There is importance in establishing why people spend so much on luxury products from an emotional psych point. Different experts have suggested that the appeal of luxury products lies in portraying value to others and the users (De Barnier, 2020, p. 70). Although there has been significant progress on the issue, it largely remains under-investigated and poorly understood. Similarly, in times that businesses are competing for a growing part of customers' incomes, it is becoming essential to comprehend these customers and their behaviors. This is important to attract customers and also retain them after the initial purchase. The likelihood of a satisfied customer coming back is high, so understanding their emotions is essential (Espinoza, 2012, p. 23).

Consumption of luxury products can be described as a quick fix in regulating an individual's emotions (Elyria & Steven, 2011, p.12). Alternative methods of controlling feelings like physical activities and media are also known to help someone attain a desirable emotional state. It is thus necessary to determine whether customers are trying to regulate emotions through the consumption of luxury goods. Finally, the pace that technologies in the world are growing encourages businesses to involve their customers emotionally in their services(Elyria & Steven, 2011, p.12).

This paper seeks to establish whether a consumer in either a positive affective state and one with an adverse effect and who of the two would likely indulge in buying designer products. Since people always vary in characteristics, some consumers may be motivated to engage in retail therapy when they are in a bad state. At the same time, others may commence on a shopping spree, the moment they feel good. This paper seeks to examine different literature that examines how diverse emotions of separate valance can produce different behaviors and judgments relying on different underlying appraisals. A study by Lerner and Keltner 2001, determined that fear, which is categorized as a negative emotion, can cause risk aversion.

Similarly, anger, which is a negative emotion accompanied by appraisals of certainty, promotes risk-seeking. Sadness and anxiety have also been determined to influence behaviors in diverse ways. Anxiety has been associated with uncertainty reduction, while sadness has been associated with the objective of reward replacement. It implies that anxious individuals tend to be more risk-averse compared to sad people. These studies establish that emotion is a significant factor in valence and other cognitive dimensions comprising an emotional event (Espinoza, 2012, p. 23).

Studies have also determined that there is a pervasive tendency of emotions to jump from one situation to another, mirroring behaviors in unrelated tasks (Kovacs et al., 2015, p. 10). Emotions have been shown to influence different aspects of decision-making and jud9gment. An example of this is sadness and consumption. Sadness can trigger favorable valuations of different products as a willingness to pay. Another novel aspect of consumption and sorrow is that this carryover effect can drive consumer behavior in diverse domains. From the perspective of eating, sadness leads to increased consumption of junk food like candies and buttered popcorn. In consumer transactions, sadness increases the amount of money spent on items (Kovacs et al., 2015, p. 10). A phenomenon labeled as the misery is not a misery effect. The effect of sadness on consumption can be comprehended by exploring the critical relation concept of helplessness and loss. The combination of helplessness and loss with sadness can lead to compensatory tendencies as opposed to experiences of low control bad emotions like fear (Nitika).

Different studies have determined that people in harmful conditions tend to indulge while hoping to improve their moods. For instance, sad people like consuming comfort foods like chocolates instead of healthier alternatives and are more likely to indulge in eating rewarding foods instead of happy people. However, this occurs when the negative emotions can change, meaning if indulgence of those behaviors can improve feelings. Rucker & Petty, 2004 determined that negative moods accelerate indulgence only when individuals are motivated to shut out unpleasant states. Truong & McColl, 2011 explained that people are prone to indulge when they think that an action is necessary to improve their moods. However, people in a positive affect are more inclined to hesitate in indulgence to maintain their good moods.

The current study is different from other studies on customer emotions on various grounds, including that this study focuses entirely on customer emotions regarding luxury goods. The emotions displayed by customers before buying a luxury product are analyzed. These emotions are also analyzed at a specific level of emotion. There is an assessment of the impact of emotions from customers prior and after purchase and on the consumer perceptive on service quality and the attitude displayed towards the brand. The research establishes the role of different emotions in consumption by examining how people utilize consumption to manage or regulate emotions. There is an introduction of a new construct called emotion regulation consumption (ERC) (Elyria & Steven, 2011, p. 7). This is the purchase of a product to eliminate, repair an emotion on a short-term basis (Elyria & Steven, 2011, p. 7).

ERC is different from other theories that have attempted to investigate the relationship existing between mood and general affect in response to a circumstance like self-gifting (Elyria & Steven, 2011, p. 7) Affect is a broad term as well as a superordinate category for diverse affective states. In contrast, the mood is slightly different from affect but not as intense as emotions. Unlike moods, emotions are more fleeting and intense and are responses towards a stimulus. Therefore, ERC is different from their frameworks in that it examines short term subjective states and how they affect consumer behaviors (Elyria & Steven, 2011, p. 7).

Avoiding pain and seeking pleasure are critical principles in people’s behaviors. Zillman's theory on the management of mood, therefore, determines that an event related to mood or relief should be preferred, primarily when a person is motivated to eliminate negative emotion (Kim et al, 2016, p. 120). However, the study's focus was on selecting different media genres and did not rule the possibility of advertising as a mood enhancer. Advertisement is known for its entertainment aspect, and some consumers can unconsciously or consciously utilize it to alter the mood. Content in media can sometimes be unwelcoming, and people can read news articles or watch Tv programs to get information on the nation and the world (Kim et al, 2016, p. 120). Still, when this information is diluted with adverse events, this exposure can be depressing. The exposure to harmful things automatically activates memories and info of similar emotional valance (Kim et al, 2016, p. 120).

Emotion regulation is another useful framework useful in analyzing the role of emotion in consumer behaviors. According to Rucker and Petty 2014, emotional regulation can modify and manage an individual’s emotional responses to achieve a goal. People use diverse ways to regulate the emotions they possess. People can regulate individual responses by alteration of a stimulus or through the alternation of the response to the stimulant. The former is a reference to what people do in response to the activation of tendencies. Report focused strategies are actions that a person does as soon after being emotionally aroused, and responses tendencies have been triggered. Antecedent focused emotion regulation is grouped into four groups: attention deployment, situation selection, and cognitive changes (Rucker & Petty, 2014, p. 12). Attention deployment is turning attention on something so that one can affect one's emotions. Cognitive change is known as the reevaluation of one's capacity or situation in the management of a situation to alter an individual's emotion. Situation selection is the avoidance of certain situations and people based on the emotional impact they have. Finally, situation modification is changing an environment to modify the accompanying psychological effects (Rucker & Petty, 2014, p. 12).

Luxury markets are experiencing fast transitions that are changing customer habits and preferences and are forcing this industry which values traditions to try and catch up with trends for the first time because of the need to meet customers’ expectations (Makkar & Yap, 2018, p.154). Economic downturns and world events and technological advancements have led to turmoil in different retail sectors, and the global luxury industry is not as immune to these market forces. However, the luxury market is offered hope by millennial customers. Millennial consumers are more urban and younger than other consumers and have highly disposable incomes and thus have the ability to spend money on high priced products. This, combined with the younger generation, there is a probable chance that the industry will grow tremendously in the years to come (Makkar & Yap, 2018, p.154).

Customer Emotions before Entering a Luxury Shop

Luxury brands are known to create a sharp customer image. Visitors of luxury stores tend to be emotionally stimulated by a brand before entering a luxury shop. The emotions evoked by a specific experience become part of a person's knowledge and influence their responses. People take part in evaluative judgment based on their moods (). When stimulated by a familiar stimulus or novel, individuals’ resort to mood-congruent elements of the situation to maintain their spirits. This means that when consumers are positive, they evaluate services better than those in a bad or neutral state. Accordingly, customers in a positive mood evaluate services more positively than those in a bad or indifferent mood (Hudders & Pandelaere, 2012, p. 58).

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