Journal of Brand Management

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 291–303 | Cite as

Luxury brands pursuing lifestyle positioning: effects on willingness to pay

  • Francesco MassaraEmail author
  • Daniele Porcheddu
  • Robert D. Melara
Original Article


Under the lens of construal level theory (CLT), this paper offers a new perspective on lifestyle advertising practiced by luxury brands clarifying both its value and its limitations. We find that under conditions of high brand familiarity (BF) lifestyle advertising is inconsistent with high-level construals, diminishing consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the advertised brand. Using a measure of language-induced abstractness, we show that lifestyle advertising is detrimental to WTP when consumers are familiar with the brand (condition involving saliency of low-level construals), but not when they are new to the brand (n = 180). In a follow-up study, we find support for a moderated mediation model in which abstractness mediates the effect of advertising type on WTP, whereas BF moderates the mediation, depressing abstractness when familiarity is high and enhancing it when low. In conclusion, our evidence suggests to managers in the luxury industry that low construal levels are key to using price as a tactical tool in positioning their brands. We conclude with a discussion of implications of these results for luxury brands research and management.


Luxury brands Lifestyle advertising Product-centered advertising Abstractness Brand familiarity Willingness to pay 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Massara
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Daniele Porcheddu
    • 3
  • Robert D. Melara
    • 4
  1. 1.IULM UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Toulouse Business SchoolUniversity of ToulouseToulouseFrance
  3. 3.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, City CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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