Many questions have arisen regarding the underlying dimensions of luxury consumption. yet today, following the last economical crisis, new spending habits have evolved and redefined this product and lifestyle segment.This section provides an introductory view on the luxury market, its appeal and various perceptions and as well as underlines the notion of exclusivity. The motivation of pleasure is today the primary motivation for the purchase of luxury amongst traditional purchasers. According to a study done by Microsoft Advertising, there are four motivations that underline the benefits of purchasing luxury goods:What marketers and retailers refer to as “exclusive” consumers could be subdivided into two distinct categories: the discreet consumers who can afford any kind of luxury goods but tend to value the idea of an understatement. and those that are over-indulgent, purchasing extremely high-priced goods (and generally limited edition goods) for their personal satisfaction and further down the line, international recognition. This trend of ultra-luxury stems from emerging markets, such as China, Russia and the Middle East due to a rise of high-net-worth individuals (billionaires, multimillionaires, etc) and their demand for goods that are unreachable to other luxury consumers. Luxury is the art of trading down or understatement in some ways.Luxury according to Oscar Wilde is all that exceeds the necessary, “We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.” Voltaire saw in it essential support of the economy and Rousseau a principle of exploitation of the masses and a resort to all perversions because luxury is made to be admired.Luxury is eternal. It has always been part of human civilisation and it holds an intrinsic bond with time. In the past, the essence of luxury went beyond materialistic artefacts. It was about the exchange of gifts, gaining honours and titles, ensuring community bonds, etc. It was about concrete and useful luxury.Modern luxury as we know it dates back to the Renaissance. Indeed, that period of history fostered a keen sense of appreciation for culture and love of antiquities.
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