Nowadays, marketers are more concerned with individual consumer behaviour. It helps companies yield information about how consumers think, feel, and choose their products. The expanded view of the consumer embraces much more than the study of why and what consumers buy but also focuses on how marketers influence consumers and how consumers use the products and services. This paper aims to understand the brand portfolio strategies available to be successfully adapted by mothers who prefer keeping pace with their kids in terms of fashion. This includes following the same brand and style, their purposes and motives, whether they are affected by intrinsic or extrinsic factors, and how this can influence their children. It will also investigate how society influences the decision to match luxury brands for the mother and her baby.
The matchy-matchy look flourishes in "periods when there is more cultural emphasis on the family and the mother-daughter relationship," said the fashion historian Jennifer Farley Gordon, who researches children's clothing. Family fashions have surged recently as many moms and dads have become more hands-on. Often focused on holiday dressing, vacation clothes, or sleepwear, these collections—diversified enough to accommodate a broad range of ages and genders—offer a less literal interpretation of twinning, one intended for special occasions (or perhaps professional family portraits).
A study by Prendergast and Wong shows that the first motive for parents to buy luxury brands for their infants is the good quality design offered by luxury brands. These parents tend to be materialistic people who value luxurious items and find that purchasing luxury brands is a way of happiness and life satisfaction (Prendergast and Wong,2003)
Another study by Paula Rodrigues and Paula Costa investigated the behaviour of luxury brand-buying consumers, considering that luxury brands involve strong consumer emotions. It showed that a product today goes beyond the specifications, and features are sought for experiences, sensations, and pleasures. It is an emotional consumption which alters the notion of luxury. It is considered a luxury brand that consumers are willing to buy if the brands show coherence, prestige, distinctiveness, and attractiveness.
Currently, most people think to opt for luxury brands when they want to purchase an item. The perception is that anything purchased from a luxury brand will be of high quality and reflect the individual's status. Kapferer (2017) states that the term "brand luxury" is described as the consumer thinking that only those products are considered "branded", which are expensive, of superior quality, pleasing to the eyes, and unique. Simply put, a product purchase from a luxury brand shows that the buyer not only has good taste but can also purchase expensive products. For a consumer looking to understand different degrees of luxury brands, the framework of BLI can be implemented.
Vigneron and Johnson created Brand Luxury Index (BLI) scale to measure brands' diverse degrees of luxury (Christodoulides, Michaelidou, and Li, 2009). The BLI scale was created through two dimensions to understand the difference between high and low-luxury brands. The dimension of communication personally oriented comprises pleasure-seeking and apparent extended-self aspects. On the other hand, the non-personal dimension comprises conspicuousness, uniqueness, and quality (Conejo, Cunningham, and Young, 2020). Kim (2019) believes that based on the two dimensions, the consumers assess which brand is the high-luxury brand and which is of lower value in the market.
Kapferer et al. (2017) assert that the BLI scale is implemented for all types of luxury brands, irrespective of whether the brand caters to adults' clothing, other products, kids' clothing, or other products. Conejo and Cunningham (2016) believe that recently a trend has been witnessed in kids' fashion: numerous brands have started to cater specifically to kids' clothing and their other needs. Multiple brands believe there has been a significant rise in the birth rate recently, which only means there would be an increased need for baby clothes and other baby products. Therefore, focusing on becoming a kids' brand is the prime approach to attain a profit.
The BLI scale comes into play in this aspect as well. New mothers usually focus on having the best quality products for their kids. Kapferer (2017) states that many new mothers are usually young, so they prefer to purchase kids' products from a high-luxury brand per the BLI scale. For many of these specific target consumers, low-luxury brands are not an option to even consider purchasing products for their kids.
Mothers are vital influencers in luxury retailing contexts. Studying and investigating the motives behind mothers' behaviour when shopping for luxury brands for their children is a critical factor in this study (Christel de Lassus and Virginie Silhouette-Dercourt). In this case, mothers were trying to manage the contradictions between their "real" and "idealized" personalities and the pushes and pulls of being a mother and a woman. These findings lead the author to question how luxury stores and retailers can adapt to satisfy mothers' identity quest.
In this research paper, both secondary and primary data will be utilized. Secondary data will be obtained from relevant literature, online journals, articles, blogs, and other electronic sources. The primary data will be collected using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Qualitative data will be collected through interviews with luxury consumers (worker mothers & household mothers) and people working in a luxury fashion environment. On the contrary, quantitative data will be collected through an online survey designed on the platform provided by surveymonkey.com.
Some significant perceptions associated with mothers that could be highlighted as a hypothesis for this study are as follows:
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Christodoulides, G., Michaelidou, N. and Li, C.H., 2009. Measuring perceived brand luxury: An evaluation of the BLI scale. Journal of Brand Management, 16(5-6), pp.395-405.
Conejo, F.J. and Cunningham, L.F., 2016. Current issues in luxury brand research. Journal of International Marketing Strategy, 4(1), pp.66-77.
Conejo, F.J., Cunningham, L.F. and Young, C.E., 2020. Revisiting the Brand Luxury Index: new empirical evidence and future directions. Journal of Brand Management, 27(1), pp.108-122.
Kapferer, J.N., 2017. Managing luxury brands. In Advances in Luxury Brand Management (pp. 235-249). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Kapferer, J.N., Kernstock, J., Brexendorf, T.O. and Powell, S.M. eds., 2017. Advances in luxury brand management. Springer.
Kim, J.H., 2019. Imperative challenge for luxury brands. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management.