Self-Gift, Luxury Consumption, and Materialism: The Way to Happiness! An Abstract
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As an “object of desire,” luxury brands provide their own “prominence” to signal conspicuousness and status (Han et al. 2010). Lipovetsky (2007) has described postmodern luxury as “emotional luxury,” which suggests that, besides the traditional desire of social distinction, postmodern luxury consumption also involves significant personal and experiential elements and self-directed motives such as materialistic motive and self-gifting intention (Wiedmann et al. 2007). Materialism is considered to be associated with luxury consumption and has been identified as an individual driver of luxury consumption in previous research (Wiedmann et al. 2009).
Self-gift giving is regarded as a means of personal self-communication and indulgence (Mick and Demoss 1990). Consumers can buy luxury goods as a gift to themselves for self-serving purpose; therefore, self-gift giving is conceptualized as an antecedent of personal orientation toward luxury brand consumption (Tsai 2005) and has been empirically identified as an individual motive of luxury consumption (Wiedmann et al. 2009). This research suggests testing a model that allows understanding links between materialism, self-gift, and luxury consumption.
A quantitative study has been conducted among 303 French volunteers. The macro process (Hayes 2012) has been used in order to test the mediation role of self-gift giving on the effect of materialism on luxury product purchase intention.
Results show that materialistic “success” has a direct significant positive effect on luxury purchase intention and an indirect positive one through self-gift mood reinforcement and through self-gift reward (p < 0.05). Success related to materialistic goods is a determinant of luxury purchase intention mainly because it arouses a self-gift motivation oriented to the enhancement of positive emotions. Moreover, centrality has a direct significant positive effect on luxury purchase intention and an indirect positive one through self-gift mood reinforcement and through self-gift reward (p < 0.05). The more materialistic goods are central for an individual, the more luxury purchase intention is high, mainly because it arouses a self-gift motivation oriented toward the enhancement of positive emotions. Hence, happiness is a determinant of luxury purchase intention only when it arouses a self-gift motivation oriented toward the enhancement of positive emotions. These results may help advertiser to better communicate on luxury products, mainly when putting these products in a self-gift context.