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What is luxury? It is one of those big questions which has been put forward many times however never answered holistically. My reply to that was luxury is a state of mind. It is about how you carry yourself and fulfil yours as well as others desires. My thought focussed on the issue of luxury from the position of self and society. One does not consume luxury for just self but it is very much socially tailored use. For example, why do we wear the high-quality suit (dress) when going for an strategic meeting or interview? Why do we make a point that we do not utilize a low-quality fragrance when going on a date? The aspect of selfindulgence is laced with the socially targeted motives when it gets to luxury. The concept of luxury has been present in divergent shapes since the starting of civilization. Its purpose was just as key in older western and eastern empires as it is in present day marketplace. With the unmistakable differences between social classes in earliest civilizations, the uptake of luxury was specific to the elite classes. It also signified the definition of luxury was pretty clear. Whatever the poor cannot have and the elite can was placed as luxury. With accelerating democratization, different new product classes were created within the luxury market place which were aptly labeled accessible luxury OR masstige luxury. This form of luxury is specifically aimed at the bourgeoisie. As luxury pervaded into the masses, defining luxury has become ever so difficult. In contemporary marketing usage, Prof. Bernard Dubois defines luxury as a unique (i.e. higherpriced) grade of offer in almost any product or service category. However, despite the significant body of knowledge gathered during the past decades, analysts still haven't arrived on a standard definition of luxury. While the word luxury is used in everyday lives to allude to certain life style, the underlying concepts definition is customer and situation specific. The word luxury arises from the Latin term luxus meaning, soft or extravagant living, indulgence, sumptuousness or opulence. However, luxury is quite a tricky term to specify because of the noticeable involvement of human element and value recognition from society. Numerous other endeavors have been made to define luxury using the price-quality dimension positing higher priced products in any category is luxury. Similarly, academics have utilized the uniqueness aspects of luxury as well. Yet, with progressive quality preference from accessible


brands and democratization of luxury, it is tricky to use either of the above dimensions to create an accurate definition of luxury. Kapferer and Bastian, uses an experiential approach and specifies luxury as things which provide additional joy by flattering all sense at the same time. Several other academics, centre on exclusivity property and debate that luxury evokes a sensation of belonging to a certain selected group. Yet, having an LVMH handbag in central zones of any large metropolis across the world, would not make you feel that way. The debate above highlights the extremely subjective and multidimensional nature of the luxury concept. The attempts greatly define a dimension of luxury such as high price, high quality, uniqueness, exclusivity etc. However, as the article demonstrates, it is unclear to us all as to what can be clearly idenfitied as luxury? So, I ask, what do you identify as luxury? Source: Paurav Shukla on luxury marketing

Dr. Paurav Shukla ( http://www.pauravshukla.com ) is a global academic, researcher and management consultant in the field of marketing, international marketing and entrepreneurship. He is well-known for his research on consumer decision-making and consumption experiences.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paurav_Shukla

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What Is Luxury?