January is a month of reflection and resolution, a time to reexamine our relationship to food, money, family, social status and, well, just about everything. While you’re mulling over weight loss and income gain goals, take a few moments to get your relationship with luxury brands in healthy shape for 2015.
And, while there is an impressive amount of research on luxury brands, this is a just-for-fun quiz to evaluate your understanding of luxury brand psychology:
1. If you are soliciting funds for a charity, you will likely get the most donations if you
a) Dress down and meet potential donors in a soup kitchen.
b) Dress in luxury brands with logos displayed and meet potential donors in a palatial home.
c) Wear high-end clothes without logos and meet potential donors in a modest restaurant.
d) Wear anything; meet anywhere. People will donate if they believe in your cause.
2. If you never look for sales and routinely overpay for luxury brands, this may indicate you
a) Are too busy to comparison shop.
b) Are spending someone else’s money.
c) Are uncertain of your social status and want to “buy in” to an elevated class.
d) Don’t put a price tag on your exquisite taste.
3. If you’re a man and want to impress a woman, you should
a) Drive a Porsche and take her to a 5-star restaurant.
b) Drive a Honda and take her to the Olive Garden.
c) Drive a Prius and take her to your home to cook a meal for her on your Viking range.
d) Drive a 1957 Chevy convertible and take her to a diner.
4. If you’re a woman and want to hold onto a wealthy man, you should
a) Insist he buy you expensive jewelry and show it off to your female friends.
b) Insist he buy you expensive clothing and show it off to your female friends.
c) Ask him to remodel your bathroom so the two of you can take romantic baths in a new marble soaking tub.
d) Never talk about money with him.
If you want the best of everything, but are more concerned about true (not perceived) value, this likely means
a) You come from wealth – your status would be defined as “old money.”
b) You have never experienced discrimination based on your ethnicity.
c) You’ve been reading the Revuu blog.
d) All of the above.
Jumping on the Pogo Logo
Conspicuous wealth is sometimes practical. If you are soliciting money, especially for a charitable cause, more people will open their pockets if your lapel is affixed with a luxury brand logo, according to a 2011 study published in Evolution and Human Behavior. So the best answer to the first question in the quiz is B. Outfit yourself and your surroundings with obvious signs of wealth, and you will more easily attract money, suggests the research by Rob M.A. Nelissen and Marijn H.C. Meijers. In their study, it was the Ralph Lauren polo logo that made a difference. Adding a piece of RL furniture to your home might yield a similar financial benefit (and look pretty no matter what.)
Overpaying Cheapens You
Paying too much for anything, including luxury brand products, signals a lack of self-confidence. If you almost always pay top-dollar for personal and home goods, you are sending the message that you are C “uncertain of your social status,” according to research by Derek Rucker and Adam Galinsky published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
It was fear or sense of powerlessness, the authors said, that prompted consumers to overspend during the economic downturn in the early millennium, spending $1,500 for a 24-carat gold Dualit toaster when it would have been more practical to buy a $30 toaster from Target.
It’s healthy to pay premium prices for a luxury brand when it offers something an ordinary brand does not. There are good reasons, for example, why professional and hobby chefs prefer Wolf, Thermador and La Cornue ranges over Kenmore and Ikea stoves. But it also makes sense to comparison shop and make certain that the premium brands are worth their high price tags.
Impress for Less
A man looking for a casual hookup with a beautiful woman could have better luck if he drives a Porsche than a Honda, according to research published in the April 2011 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. But, if he’s looking for a committed relationship or life partner, he should choose option C, the Prius and a home-cooked meal.
If a woman can envision herself living in a man’s home – even if she’s mentally upgrading his countertops to Caesarstone and his refrigerator to a Sub-Zero – she’ll be more impressed by a man’s intentions than if she’s only thinking about his bedroom (even if she loves his Mitchell Gold bed.)
Laws of Un-Attraction
A woman who dresses in luxury brands – particularly extravagant gifts from a suitor – is more likely to fend off female competitors than a woman who dresses modestly, say researchers at the University of Minnesota. Draping yourself in expensive handbags and jewelry tells other women not to poach your man.
But, if you’re secure in your relationship, opt for D – avoid talking about money.
Luxury Brand Junkie or Luxury Brand Aficionado?
If you enjoy the finer things in life but expect value from luxury brands, then it is more likely that you come from an affluent background and didn’t suffer discrimination because of your race or ethnicity, according to articles in the Journal of Marketing and The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
I hope it also means that you’ve been reading the Revuu blog, which aims to make you an informed consumer of luxury brands, someone who believes a brand’s reputation should be earned.
If you chose D, “all of the above,” congratulations on being an informed consumer and reader of the Revuu blog.
Our aim is to keep you apprised of the value of luxury products before you invest in them, to sway you with facts and expert opinion, not marketing tactics.
Did you pass the test? Are you a discerning consumer or a logo-holic? Please share your best – and worst – purchasing decisions in the comments section below.
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