Scientific article
Open access

When symbolism overtakes quality: Materialists consumers disregard product quality when faced with luxury brands

Published inJournal of Economic Psychology, vol. 61, p. 115-123
Publication date2017

Consumers use extrinsic and intrinsic cues to set preferences and make purchase decisions. However, the extent to which luxury-related extrinsic cues determine consumer preferences and whether the relative weighting of extrinsic vs. intrinsic cues depends on consumers' values is still unclear. We investigated how luxury vs. non-luxury brands affect consumer preferences, and how this impact is moderated by consumers' materialistic values. Results from Experiment 1 showed that materialistic and non-materialistic participants similarly appreciated products with luxurious brands. However, compared with non-materialistic participants, materialistic participants devaluated products that were tagged as non-luxurious brands. In Experiment 2, we investigated how product quality interacts with brands and whether materialistic values moderated this interaction. Materialistic participants paid more attention to brand-related cues than to qualityrelated cues, whereas non-materialistic participants considered these cues similarly. Taken together, the results of these two studies suggest that materialism influences the way extrinsic (i.e., brand) and intrinsic (i.e., quality) information is combined during product evaluation. These results highlight the importance of materialism in consumer decision-making, especially in the context of luxury consumption.

  • Consumer psychology
  • Materialism
  • Luxury
  • Brand
  • Quality
Citation (ISO format)
AUDRIN, Catherine et al. When symbolism overtakes quality: Materialists consumers disregard product quality when faced with luxury brands. In: Journal of Economic Psychology, 2017, vol. 61, p. 115–123. doi: 10.1016/j.joep.2017.04.001
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0167-4870

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