Conference proceedings article
Green luxury: new divide in positioning strategies needed?

Publication Details
Aliyev, F.; Wagner, R.
Pînzaru, F.; Zbuchea, A.; Brătianu, C.; Vătămănescu, E.M.; Mitan, A.
Strategica SNSPA
Publishing status:
Accepted for publication
Book title:
Proceedings of the Strategica Conference 2017: Shift! Major challenges of today’s economy.


A basic and commonly shared implicit definition of luxury is “something superfluous.” Consuming such products and services contradicts the modern paradigm of sustainable consumption. However, luxury vendors are frequently introducing new technologies and better working conditions on a large scale, including natural colors and fair treatment of labor in the fashion industry, as well as fully electric-fueled cars, which Tesla has been producing. Previous research suggests that luxury and sustainability are incompatible. The values underlying sustainability are altruism, restraint, and moderation, whereas the main components of luxury are hedonism, aestheticism, uniqueness, affluence, and surplus.

The motives of luxury consumers are likely to vary with their cultural framing. Compared with individualists, members of collectivistic cultures have been known to behave more prosocially. However, they are also more prone to buying luxury goods to enhance their status. This study examines whether the motives of dominance or prestige status encourage individuals from collectivistic societies to choose more luxurious or sustainable products, respectively. This study provides evidence from more than 200 experiments with collectivists and individualists, and it introduces distinctiveness between dominance- and prestige-seeking behaviors via underlying status motives in prosocial or luxury-product choices that previous research has not differentiated. Our results underline the association of status motives with individualistic and collectivistic cultures. Previous research shows that ethical issues are not considered in luxury-buying decisions, even though many luxury companies have developed corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and offer new sustainable luxury products. Additionally, they increasingly inform the public about their prosocial activities. This is most likely the result of the positioning of conspicuousness that negatively influences purchase intentions of sustainable luxury products. Therefore, avoiding conspicuous strategies in marketing is one of the managerial implications of this study.


Last updated on 2019-25-07 at 19:36