Ive Wanted A BMW Since I Was A Kid: An Exploratory Analysis Of The Aspirational Brand

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Philip J. Trocchia
Ruby Q. Saine
Michael G. Luckett


Aspirational Brands, Luxury Brands, Millennials, Baby Boomers


Although aspirational brands are commonly referred to in the business literature, no consistent definition exists for the term. Further, aspirational brand is often used interchangeably with the term luxury brand. This study aims to conceptually define the term aspirational brandand delineate it from the well-established term luxury brand. A sample of 452 consumers were asked to provide five examples of luxury and aspitational brands. Responses from Baby Boomers and Millennials, males and females, and high-income and low-income consumers were compared. By asking a diverse group of consumers to provide examples of the two types of brands, we provide quantifiable evidence for the existence of two related but separate concepts. Sixty three percent more brands were named as aspirational than as luxury, lending support to the notion that a consumers classification of a brand as aspirational is more a function of internal influences than his or her classification of a brand as luxury. Further, differences were found between Millennials and Baby Boomers, men and women, and upper and lower income participants in terms of which brands they consider to be aspirational.


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