2.3 Luxury car brands
The definition of the luxury brands varies from country to country. It bases on the culture of the country. One definition is that luxury is the highest brand level achievable and that which would help in the satisfaction of the customers physical and psychological needs (Vigneron and Johnson, 1999 p.486). Dubois and Laurent (1994) defines luxury as those products of the various kind available in the market but of the higher tier regarding cost, quality, and features. According to Phau and Prendergast (2001), the four characteristics that are necessary for a product to be classified under the luxury includes high awareness of the brand, great brand identity, high exclusivity of the product, and the ability to retain customers.
Most of the people believe that expensive products are expensive. Even though most of the researchers focus on the cost of the product, some concentrate on the uniqueness and exclusivity of the products. Additionally, luxury products are those that would satisfy all senses of a customer at the same instance or time. The other researchers focusing on the uniqueness of the product mentions about the pride the individuals attain by owning the high products impresses them. These products are not unique and costly, but there are also of superior quality, technology or design and performance overall. O’Cass and Frost (2002) is one of the many researchers over the years who has focused on the importance and impact of the quality of the products and how that affects the people in making the purchase decision and how important it is for the elite customers. The author also explored the research in a different angle, and this was to understand the satisfaction levels the people gained by purchasing these products, and from this research, it was seen that the reason for the acquisition was to show off their financial abilities or capacity in front of others.
Wiedmann K. P (2013) defined a model to describe the relationship between the value of the product and the luxury products. The four factors include functional, financial, social, and individual value. Functional Value refers to the idea that the higher cost of a product would mean higher quality and sophistication or uniqueness of the product. The performance as per these individuals of these products would be higher and better than the regular products. Many researchers support this view of the people as the luxury products as per them have better quality and functionality in comparison to the regular brands (Quelch, 1987 p.38). The customers also believe that the product is unique and of high craftsmanship, hence, cannot be duplicated. Furthermore, the uniqueness factor as the sole or important factor as this helps in the differentiation and identification of the brand mainly from their aesthetics. According to Wiedmann K. P (2013), financial value is related to the cost of purchase of the product and the ability of individuals to spend much money to buy products which show their success and pride of owning expensive products. Individual value relates to the amount that the customer feels that this product would add to his life (Danziger, 2005). These values of people can be linked to or identified with factors like materialistic value, hedonism, and self-identity. Social value can be divided into snob value and prestige value. The purchase of products by people just for the reason that others cannot afford to make the same purchase is snob value. Prestige value is for people who buy these products to fit in with an elite group of individuals and match the prestige levels of these elite groups.
2.3.1 Factors resulting in the;luxury goods consumption
The factors that lead to the usage of luxury products includes the customers choose luxury products as they feel the quality of the product is high and because of perceived brand image and the satisfaction of owning one of that brand. Another reason is the features of the product regarding functional features as men in general looks more at the usability and quality features of the product rather than aesthetics. The way the people are treated or pampered in a luxury store can lead to customer satisfaction growth and loyalty towards the brand. Furthermore, the trend set in the society and following this trend is one another factor. The status of the person within the community also plays a significant role in the consumption of these luxury products. Gender plays a significant role in the purchase of the products, and it is said that women in overall gain more hedonic values with the acquisition of the luxury products in comparison to men. Some sectors that are highly focused on men and the men are the primary customers for the automobile industry.
2.4 The consumer behavior towards luxury products
According to Dubois (1993), the luxury market in 1992 was just a $60 billion while by 2006 this has increased to be a $150 billion. The market has grown steadily at 12% over the years. McKinsey Quarterly (2012) mentions that in 2012 the market was valued at $135, which increased as compared to the previous years and during the recession. The six features that are associated with luxury include high levels of Quality, personal story, high price, aesthetics, uniqueness, and use of the product. According to Dubois et. al. (2005), the attitude towards these luxury products includes democratic, distant, and elitist attitude. Democratic attitude involves people who believe that the luxury products should be available to everyone and not just people of a particular class of the society. Distant attitude is the individuals who feel the products are unnecessary and that they do not add any value to their life and would be a total waste of money to buy these products. Additionally, elitist attitude refers to people who feel that only the person who is privileged or belongs to an elite group should be able to make this purchase. These people believe that to enjoy the luxury the individual should have a certain level of education and should belong to a particularly elite group. These people also think that if the luxury is available to all, then the product will lose its uniqueness and value.
2.5 Content theories
Some of the approaches that are related to e-marketing include game theory, network theory, collective intelligence, and generational theory.
2.5.1 What is game theory
It refers to a mathematical concept that analyses the strategic interactions among individuals and agents to produce outcome basing on the choices of the agents. In this case, the agents might have conflicting priorities (Fudenberg ; Tirole, 1991). Therefore, companies have used game theory in studying the sale of luxury cars in Qatar to help them acquire a significant market share in the enterprise. The approach attempts to evaluate how the consumers can react to different factors regarding the purchase of various products.
2.5.2 Relationship Marketing
In the theory of relationship marketing, customer loyalty is built. Personalized and interactive communications in the e-marketing help in making healthy relationships in the commercialization efforts (Buttle, 1996). Additionally, frequent communications play a significant role in improving the loyalty of the clients. For example, online sale of cars helps the consumers receive alerts on the new models. Therefore, these features help the consumers to get information on their needs, increase loyalty, and improve the quality perceptions.
2.5.3 Maslow Theory of motivation
Abraham Maslow established Maslow;s hierarchy of needs to help in explaining the relationship between human desires and basic human needs. The hierarchy is in the form of a pyramid, and it has five categories. They include psychological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs (Maslow et al., 1987). Additionally, these needs are built using the concept of being interlinked in a way that one must satisfy one of the needs before moving to the next level. One must meet the dominating need to help in activating the next needs.
The psychological needs are the underlying needs that human beings cannot leave without like water (Maslow et al., 1987). Additionally, all human being needs safety need for them to feel safe like having a job security. In regarding the social needs, people usually look for connection in family and friends (Maslow et al., 1987). The esteem needs are where human beings want to get respected and be recognized by other individuals. Self-actualization needs entail one realizes his or her full potential. Therefore, if the marketers know the needs of their target market, then Maslow hierarchy can be used to help in determining their selling point. However, this theory has been criticized because fundamentally, human beings are never satisfied with what they have. Thus, it is hard for them to reach self-actualization stage.
2.5.4 Generational Theory
According to this theory, the consumers are born from the same generation. The generation is a 20-year period in which they have common behaviors and attitudes due to the shared experiences, which influenced their childhood and shaped the way they view the world (Webster ; Foschi, 1988). The importance of generalization theory in electronic marketing in through the ways where every generation communicates in online places that marketers can reach them. In a 2010 study, the Millennial are considered as the people who have access to wireless activities. Additionally, there is an increase in homogeneity among the groups looking for information on shopping health, and travel arrangements.