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Consumers often spend lavishly to communicate wealth and status to those around them. Explicit branding through recognizable and obvious logos aids this goal. The idea of conspicuous consumption refers to consumers spending on products that display visible markers of status. Since consumers are motivated to express social status, it follows that higher priced items should have more explicit branding and low-end products should have fewer explicit markers. Right? Not exactly. In new research, Marketing Professor Morgan Ward of SMU Cox and co-author Jonah Berger reveal a new twist in the conventional wisdom surrounding the product iconography and branding.
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