Luxury brands contribute more to the consumer experience than the product itself. We use these brands to build a self-identity, to express this identity to others and to feel good. The luxury brand is the mechanism that allows us to recognise these messages in an instant and that allows the meanings to endure over time. Therefore luxury branding is a valuable asset for any organisation that can be used to achieve a variety of positive outcomes for the organisation.
It is important for luxury brands to ensure that their branding continues to clearly establish the prestige, exclusivity and excellence in workmanship of their products. Achieving this is more and more important as brands proliferate in global markets, markets fragment and people have a lot more choice. Despite increasing recognition of the importance of understanding how luxury brands work, there is a lot left to be understood, including consumer reactions to luxury branding, co-creation of luxury brand experiences and strategies for managing luxury brands.
Key areas of interest within the area of luxury branding include Brand Charisma, Brand Authenticity, Consumers Desire for Luxury and Brand Mimicry & Counterfeiting, all of which have been endorsed by the industry. Studies from this research program have led to collaborations with universities including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai Ocean University, Yonsei University and Emlyon Business School, facilitating the start of a global initiative to build a network of researchers who aim to address current issues in luxury branding. This research program also continues to maintain a strong industry focused approach. Researchers are collaborating with domestic and international partners such as Shiseido, Bonia, Alliancz, Nash Pearls and A.S.Louken Brand Consulting Group.
Researchers within this area are making use of leading innovative techniques such as psychophysiological equipment allowing researchers to measure a consumer’s physical responses to stimuli. Not only does such equipment provide a strong advantage compared to conventional methods such as self-report measures, but it also allows for Curtin University to take part in leading research within this sector. Curtin University has made clear strides in the facilitation of collaborations between industry and academia within the luxury sphere, and looks forward to continuing the pursuit of this endeavour. In doing so, the University will maintain its reputation as an international leader in luxury research.
Higher degree by research students wishing to study in this area have broad scope for working in a research topic of interest and access to academic supervisors with international qualifications and experience.