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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Luxury Brands in The Digital Age : Sharon Wu Seminar

Sharon Wu
16:00 - 17:30
25 November 2015
Harvard Suite (Room Number 3032), WSA

Event details

Luxury brand marketing has been suggested as one of the fastest growing industries with several research institutions routinely reporting on the market emphasising its considerable value. In a Verdict report, it is predicted that the global market for luxury branded goods will be worth £225bn by 2012. Until recently luxury brands were the preserve of affluent people from privileged backgrounds but with rising incomes and availability of credit, luxury brands have become more affordable to a wider range of consumers than previously. Luxury brands offer the purchaser a high-quality product coupled with the emotional benefits of prestige and exclusivity. However, when it comes to the purchase situation not all luxury brands are delivering the total product and service experience as there remains a gap between expectations and reality of service encounters for luxury purchases with salespeople being described as “unhelpful, intimidating and rude”. Many young luxury brand purchasers have recently turned their back on the retail malls preferring to purchase via the Internet. Somewhat belatedly, luxury brands are now acknowledging the benefits of the Internet as a communication media and as a means to increase sale volumes. The importance of incorporating an e-business into the luxury brand’s strategy as this medium is likely to be more effective for the younger upwardly mobile generation. With the global Internet population nearing two billion, having an online presence is one area that cannot be dismissed by retailers including those from the luxury sector. Developing an online presence for any company, but especially with high value luxury products requires the brand manager to ensure there is a focus on establishing trust. Furthermore, for the luxury brand there is the additional complication of the abundance of luxury counterfeit products that could lead to consumers‘ suspicion of the authenticity of a website and its products. The question is how can trust be established in the online market- place, especially for the luxury branded product with its high price tag? What strategies do luxury brands have to implement to gain trust from online browsers to turn them into purchasers?

Speaker information

Dr Meng-Shan Sharon Wu,Sharon Wu is a Teaching Fellow of Winchester School of Art at University of Southampton. She has a PhD in marketing from Royal Holloway, University of London, a MBA in Marketing and International Business from Willamette University, and a BA in Economics from University of Oregon, USA. Her research interests include luxury consumer behavior, e-Luxury consumption in the digital era, Self-Concept and conspicuous consumption. Her works have appeared in Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing, The Academy of Marketing, and Collougue Luxe et Contrefacon, Monaco Symposium on Luxury.

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