Brand Management
Quantifying Luxuriousness: A Q-Sort Approach

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Brand Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJBRM010623
Author Name : Sangeeta Devanathan and Suparna Ghosal
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 16



Subjectivity overarches our conceptualizing of luxury, rendering it difficult to differentiate it from the ordinary. The perception of what is (or not) a luxury brand is thus context-driven and people-dependent, making it hard to categorize products or brands as luxury or non-luxury. Even within the broad categorization of 'luxury' are perceived levels of luxuriousness, where not all luxury brands are deemed equally luxurious. The Q-Sort Technique (QST) is a modified rank-ordering procedure, where stimuli are placed in an order that is significant from the standpoint of a person operating under specified conditions. QST is a powerful method for determining attitudes and measuring people's opinions. In this paper, we have created a Q-Sort concourse (sample set) for car and watch brands and applied QST to identify brands that are considered most luxurious, while polarizing those that are perceptibly least luxurious. The paper makes two significant contributions to academic research. First, it establishes the utility of QST in a hitherto unexplored application. Secondly, the brands established as luxury (and non-luxury) provide inputs for researchers by enabling them to shift from working with the nebulous 'concept of luxury' to a more tangible 'brand' perspective.


The desire to be viewed as someone who has attained a certain stature in life and in society is inherent to the ambitious Indian youth who are fuelled by their zeal to achieve their aspirational lifestyle. The current social fabric pegs success to material possession and luxury consumption as a route to create and communicate this stratification (Kapferer, 1998; and Kapferer and Bastien, 2009).

The future of luxury consumption is dependent on the aspirations created among future consumers of luxury-the youth. Understanding the aspirations and views of the youth is thus significant in this context. With a burgeoning young and vibrant market, India's luxury goods market grew by 42% to $8.5 bn in 2022, up from $6 bn in 2021 (Sharma, 2022).

However, the high degree of subjectivity in defining luxury makes it difficult for academic research and luxury marketers to understand the aspired 'luxury quotient' (Phau and Prendergast, 2000; Truong, 2010; and Royo-Vela and Sanchez, 2022). To delve deeper into the attitudes and aspirations of the youth towards luxury, researchers and practitioners require to establish a common ground-brand(s) that could be considered as luxury across the youth segment.