Limited-Quantity Scarcity Messages for Luxury Brands: Consider Customers in Cognitive and Emotional Consumption: An Abstract
The global personal luxury goods industry is facing a “new normal” of lower growth over the long term (Bain & Company 2016). To compete in the strained market environment, many luxury brands try to launch limited-quantity (LQ) products to enhance the attraction of some items. Although scholars and practitioners paid a lot attention to the concept of LQ products, there is little theoretical investigation in the effects of limited-quantity scarcity (LQS) messages on luxury brands. Therefore, as more and more luxury brands try to adopt the strategy of scarcity, a systematic investigation in the effects of LQS messages on luxury brands is required. To clarify the effect of LQS messages on luxury brands in different consumption contexts (i.e., cognitive and emotional consumption), the current study aims to examine the moderating effects of emotional/cognitive consumption contexts and product visibility on the relationship between the LQS messages and some luxury consumers’ important behavioral variables, such as purchase intention (PI) and willingness to pay (WTP).
This study employed a 2 (scarcity messages: LQS vs. control) × 2 (consumption contexts: emotional vs. cognitive) × 2 (visibility: visible vs. invisible) between-subjects experiment design and used a fictitious luxury brand in all conditions of this experiment. Participants were 460 eligible college students in Taiwan and were randomly assigned to the conditions. The result shows that LQS messages are not equally effective in all consumption contexts of luxury brands. Specifically, LQS messages can raise luxury customers’ purchase intention and willingness to pay only in the emotional consumption context. If the luxury product is visible, the effectiveness of LQS messages can even be much more obvious (in comparison to the invisible product) to stimulate consumers’ purchase intention. In practice, the study suggests marketers in the luxury brand industry to apply LQS messages on visible luxury products for customers in emotional but not in cognitive consumption.
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