Uniqueness, The Self and Luxury Fashion Brand Congruence

  • Kendra Furey

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The purpose of this research was four-fold: to investigate the importance of uniqueness for consumers when seeking congruence between the self and luxury fashion brands; to articulate a contemporary definition of luxury fashion from a consumer perspective; to investigate consumers’ desire for self and brand congruity; and to examine consumer need for uniqueness both in themselves and in luxury fashion products, to provide an in-depth understanding of the consumer.

It builds upon previous research which has identified consumers have a greater likelihood of purchasing luxury fashion products which they view as congruent with the self. However, there has been little research into the importance of uniqueness within this relationship. By demonstrating that uniqueness is a key characteristic individuals’ attributes to both luxury fashion brands and themselves. This thesis makes a significant and timely intervention in the field, as the luxury market continues to grow and there is limited research on the subject area.

The research is based on a two-stage methodology utilising mixed methods. Stage one used a quantitative approach, examining the perceptions and behaviours of 200 luxury fashion consumers via a survey. This was analysed and the results validated through a chi-squared probability test. The second stage of the research took a qualitative approach, interviewing 18 generation Y and Z luxury fashion consumers; this stage of the methodology was shaped by previous literature examined and the findings from the survey. The interviews were analysed via code, identifying the thematic patterns and anomalies providing a unique insight.

The research demonstrates that luxury fashion consumers seek self and brand congruence because they view the brands and/or products as extensions of the self. Individuals who view themselves’ as unique have a greater desire to purchase unique products. This research has shown that consumers desire luxury fashion brand congruence from the viewpoint that both the self and brand and/or product in question is perceived as being unique. The research results demonstrate that there is a clear relationship between generational groups and need for uniqueness. It is statistically shown that there is a relationship between generations Y and Z perceiving themselves as unique versus participants outside of the generational categorisation, which was identified in the survey.

The results contribute to an understanding of this area which can be used by scholars and industry members to better understand their consumers, for consumers to better understand themselves and to understand what has informed their behaviour. The results can be utilised in a managerial capacity when implementing marketing strategies within the luxury market. Additionally, the focus on generation Y and Z provides information that brands can use when targeting specific consumer groups. A full discussion of theoretical and practical implications, along with the recommendations for further research can be seen at the end of this thesis.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJade Halbert (Co-Supervisor) & Tracy Cassidy (Co-Supervisor)

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