Consumers would utilize products/brands image to reflect themselves such as personality, or to express their tastes, wealth, social status and so forth which are observed by others. Similarly, luxury consumers usually purchase products and brands to match their styles, their personality, and social status so that others can easily perceive them through their consuming products and brands. For example, a luxury consumer would purchase a Rolex watch to express his style, but he also desire people to support and agree his choice for purchasing a Rolex watch and he would also hopes that others think the watch is suit for him.
In others words, products and brands images should match luxury consumers’ self concept so that they would have a motivation to purchase products and brands.
Onkvisit and Shaw (1987) propose that the self-concept is significant and relevant to the consumer behavior research because many purchase behaviors made by consumers and directly influenced by the image an individual has of himself. Self-concept denotes the totality of the individual’s thoughts and feelings that have reference to himself as an object (Sirgy, 1982) and involves actual self-concept, ideal self-concept, social self-concept, and ideal social self-concept (Sirgy 1982; Johar and Sirgy, 1991).
Therefore, brands and products should provide images to match consumers’ self-concept.
Luxury consumers are multiple definitions of whom they are and have different inherent profiles and external attitudes. Besides, luxury consumers can be analyzed by occupation including entrepreneurs, business professionals, arrivistes, and someone else who have ability to pay. Different types of consumers may have different consumer behaviors. Entrepreneurs would choose specific products or brands to show their authority and status.
Therefore, luxury consumers’ purchase motivation is influenced by their ideal social self-congruity affected by the reference group.