Purpose - It is generally agreed that marketing campaigns developed for western markets may not be appropriate for consumers living in eastern cultures, particularly with respect to strategies for promoting luxury brands. While consultancy reports and media commentaries show that rising levels of disposable income are driving increasing demand for luxury goods in China and Taiwan, for example, the academic literature offers very few consumer research findings clearly elucidating the different luxury purchasing behaviour of eastern and western consumers. The purpose of this paper is to compare the consumption of luxury products and luxury fashion purchasing habits in Taiwan and the UK, with particular reference to the fashion sector, focusing on a strategically important emerging market segment: young consumers of luxury brands.
Design/methodology/approach - To achieve the study's objectives, questionnaires were administered online in each of the two countries to females aged 18-26 years, who had made more than two luxury purchases in the year preceding the survey. Employing a two-wave survey, respondents were selected via social media and personal contacts in the UK and by means of snowball sampling in Taiwan.
Findings - The study found one major point of difference among many similarities: the Taiwanese buyers scored significantly higher on indicators that they were treating luxury brands as a means of developing their self-identity and communicating their social standing: an important part of maintaining face in Asian cultures. These findings contain important strategic implications for luxury fashion brand managers developing marketing campaigns for the promotion of their brands in the distinctive cultures of Taiwan, Mainland China and their neighbours.
Originality/value - The study reported in this paper compares the consumption of luxury products in Taiwan and the UK, with particular reference to the fashion sector. The study contributes to existing knowledge by evaluating differences and similarities in: first, the luxury fashion purchasing behaviour of young women in Taiwan and the UK; and second, the ways in which the two sets of consumers use luxury fashion products as an extension of their selves.