||Wong and Ahuvia (1998) point out that East Asia will soon become the largest luxury goods market in the world. Chinese luxury consumption has already increased to 33.7 billion dollars and jumped up to No.3 in the world in 2010 (Chen and Kim, 2012). The worldwide luxury goods market is growing fast. According to Bain and Company (D’Arpizio, Levato, Kamel, and Montgolfier, 2017), the luxury goods market worldwide increased by 5% in 2017, and sales were in excess of about 1.39 trillion dollars. Consequently, major markets for luxury brands have expanded to “new rich” markets in the East, and a comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence Eastern consumers to purchase luxury brands and how consumers’ underlying motivations to purchase luxury brands is important (Bian and Forsythe, 2012).
For understanding “prestige-seeking consumer behavior,” this study combines the social-function attitudes (push motivations) and the Brand Luxury Index (BLI) framework (pull motivations) into the conceptual framework of push and pull motivations to investigate the effects of consumers’ underlying motivations on luxury brand purchase intention (Parguel, Delécolle, and Valette-Florence, 2016; Schade, Hegner, Horstmann, and Brinkmann, 2016). The concept behind the integrated model is that people are driven by push motivations (internal motivations) and attracted to pull motivations (external motivations) when making their purchase decisions (Sangpikul, 2008). These motivations guide people’s propensity to consume luxury products. Specifically, this study draws on value-expressive attitude (self-expression) and social-adjustive attitude (self-presentation) of the social-function attitudes as push motivations, by which the consumption of luxury brands is largely determined (Schade et al., 2016) as well as the non-personal-oriented luxury perceptions (perceived quality, perceived uniqueness, and perceived conspicuousness) of the BLI as pull motivations (Parguel et al., 2016).
Based on a thorough review of the previous literature, the measures for the constructs used in the conceptual framework were adapted and validated. 349 copies of questionnaires were collected via online survey. Through the application of SmartPLS 3.2.7, Partial least square (PLS) path modeling was used with two-step approach to assess the measurement and structural models fit and test the hypotheses proposed in this research (Hair Jr., Hult, Ringle, and Sarstedt, 2017). This study uses non-personal-oriented luxury perceptions (perceived quality, perceived uniqueness, and perceived conspicuousness) as independent variables and purchase intention as a dependent variable. In addition, the social-function attitudes (social-adjustive attitude and value-expressive attitude) are used as mediating variables.
The findings indicate that perceived quality has significantly positive direct effects on purchase intention and social-function attitudes. Both perceived uniqueness and perceived conspicuousness have significantly negative direct effects on purchase intention, while perceived uniqueness has a significantly positive effect on value-expressive attitude and perceived conspicuousness has a significantly positive effects on social-function attitudes. Furthermore, social-adjustive attitude mediates the effects of perceived quality and perceived conspicuousness on purchase intention, while value-expressive attitude mediates the effects of perceived quality on purchase intention. Finally, all non-personal-oriented luxury perceptions (perceived quality, perceived uniqueness, and perceived conspicuousness) have significantly direct effects on purchase intention. Meanwhile, this study finds significant indirect effects showing that the social-adjustive attitude mediates the relationships between quality and purchase intention, and between conspicuousness and purchase intention. Value-expressive attitude mediates the relationships between quality and purchase intention.
This study combines the social-function attitudes (push motivations) and the BLI framework (pull motivations) into the conceptual framework of push and pull motivations to investigate the effects of consumers’ underlying motivations on luxury brand purchase intention. Study findings will help luxury researchers and practitioners understand the roles of both internal and external motivations in customer behavioral intention in the luxury industry.