The major theme of this research is the manner in which luxury good companies enter
an emerging market economy, such as South Africa. The study thoroughly analyses
how the emerging middle class of the country perceive luxury brands in term of being
either status-giving or conspicuous.
The study used a scale to measure luxury brands’ status and conspicuousness by
analysing well-established international luxury brands that have a large footprint in
South Africa as a reference point.
The dimensions of luxury brand perception were measured when the scale between
status and conspicuousness was utilised.
This study employed a Factor Analysis as well as Perceptual Mapping in order to
determine the relationship between conspicuous- and status consumption in the South
African emerging market. The data was collected from 120 consumers who were
owners of luxury products, but were deemed to be part of the upper middle class.
Status and conspicuousness were revealed as two separate but related constructs, yet
the South African emerging consumer does not discern between these two aspects.
Strategic marketing implications for marketing managers were identified and discussed
within the five brands that were selected, and their relevant product categories.