Conceptualising luxury brand attachment: scale development and validation

  • Anwar Sadat Shimul
  • Ian PhauEmail author
  • Michael Lwin
Original Article


This paper aims to conceptualise consumer’s luxury brand attachment by developing and validating a psychometric scale through five studies. Study 1 generates and selects potential scale items through literature review, thesaurus search, and expert surveys. Study 2 reduces the items and assesses the dimensionality of the scale. Study 3 validates the dimensionality of the scale. Next, study 4 assesses the four types of validities (convergent, discriminate, predictive, and nomological) for the scale. Finally, study 5 examines two behavioural indicators of luxury brand attachment. The results show a parsimonious seven-item luxury brand attachment scale. The studies confirm that there are major differences among luxury brand attachment, emotional attachments to brands, and the brand attitude scales. Besides, this research demonstrates that the luxury brand attachment is a unique construct that captures the essence of consumers’ emotional connection with luxury brands. The development and validation of luxury brand attachment scale fulfil an important gap in the luxury branding literature. The scale will provide meaningful insights for the luxury practitioners. The luxury brand attachment scale provides an improved measure and better understanding of consumer’s attachment to the luxury brands which was not accurately measured by using general attachment scales in past studies.


Luxury brand attachment Consumer emotion Scale development Validation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Ainsworth, M.D. 1982. Attachment: Retrospect and prospect. In The place of attachment in human behaviour, ed. C.M. Parkes and J. Stevenson-Hinde, 3–30. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  2. Aksoy, L., T.L. Keiningham, A. Buoye, B. Larivière, L. Williams, and I. Wilson. 2015. Does loyalty span domains? Examining the relationship between consumer loyalty, other loyalties and happiness. Journal of Business Research 68(12): 2464–2476.Google Scholar
  3. Albert, N., D. Merunka, and P. Valette-Florence. 2008. When consumers love their brands: Exploring the concept and its dimensions. Journal of Business Research 61(10): 1062–1075.Google Scholar
  4. Alleres, D. 1990. Luxury-strategies marketing. Paris: Economica.Google Scholar
  5. Aron, A., and E.N. Aron. 1986. Love and the expansion of self: Understanding attraction and satisfaction. New York: Hemisphere Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Atwal, G., and A. Williams. 2009. Luxury brand marketing–The experience is everything! Journal of Brand Management 16(5): 338–346.Google Scholar
  7. Bain, M. 2017. In 2017’s “new normal,” luxury brands will have to work a lot harder to sell their pricey goods. Quartz. Accessed 25 Jan 2017.
  8. Ball, A.D., and L.H. Tasaki. 1992. The role and measurement of attachment in consumer behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology 1(2): 155–172.Google Scholar
  9. Batra, R., A. Ahuvia, and R.P. Bagozzi. 2012. Brand love. Journal of Marketing 76(2): 1–16.Google Scholar
  10. Belaid, S., and A.T. Behi. 2011. The role of attachment in building consumer-brand relationships: an empirical investigation in the utilitarian consumption context. Journal of Product & Brand Management 20(1): 37–47.Google Scholar
  11. Belk, R.W. 1988. Possessions and the extended self. Journal of Consumer Research 15(2): 139–168.Google Scholar
  12. Ben-Shahar, T. 2007. Happier: Learn the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfilment. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.Google Scholar
  13. Bowlby, J. 1979. The making and breaking of affectional bonds. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar
  14. Brakus, J.J., B.H. Schmitt, and L. Zarantonello. 2009. Brand experience: what is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty? Journal of Marketing 73(3): 52–68.Google Scholar
  15. Briggs, F. 2016. Luxury brands fail to segment and target customers strategically in email marketing, study finds. Forbes. Accessed 12 July 2016.
  16. Cacioppo, J.T., and W. Patrick. 2008. Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection. New York, NY: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  17. Carroll, B.A., and A.C. Ahuvia. 2006. Some antecedents and outcomes of brand love. Marketing Letters 17(2): 79–89.Google Scholar
  18. Cheah, I., I. Phau, C. Chong, and A.S. Shimul. 2015. Antecedents and outcomes of brand prominence on willingness to buy luxury brands. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 19(4): 402–415.Google Scholar
  19. Chelminski, P., and R.A. Coulter. 2011. An examination of consumer advocacy and complaining behavior in the context of service failure. Journal of Services Marketing 25(5): 361–370.Google Scholar
  20. Chen, Q., and W.D. Wells. 1999. Attitude toward the site. Journal of Advertising Research 39(5): 27–38.Google Scholar
  21. Churchill Jr., G.A. 1979. A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing constructs. Journal of Marketing Research 16: 64–73.Google Scholar
  22. Cichowski, H. 2015. Jennifer Lawrence’s new ad campaign proves frizzy hair and simple makeup can be stunning. The Gloss. Accessed 11 Aug 2015.
  23. Cristini, H., H. Kauppinen-Räisänen, M. Barthod-Prothade, and A. Woodside. 2017. Toward a general theory of luxury: Advancing from workbench definitions and theoretical transformations. Journal of Business Research 70: 101–107.Google Scholar
  24. D’Arpizio, C., Levato, F., Kamel, M., de Montgolfier, J. 2017. Luxury goods worldwide market study, Fall–Winter 2017: The new luxury consumer why responding to the millennial mindset will be key. Accessed 10 March 2018.
  25. De Barnier, V., S. Falcy, and P. Valette-Florence. 2012. Do consumers perceive three levels of luxury? A comparison of accessible, intermediate and inaccessible luxury brands. Journal of Brand Management 19(7): 623–636.Google Scholar
  26. Delgado-Ballester, E., J.L. Munuera-Aleman, and M.J. Yague-Guillen. 2003. Development and validation of a brand trust scale. International Journal of Market Research 45(1): 35–54.Google Scholar
  27. DeVellis, R.F. 2003. Scale development: Theory and application. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Dolich, I.J. 1969. Congruence relationships between self-images and product brands. Journal of Marketing Research 6(February): 80–84.Google Scholar
  29. Dubois, B., and G. Laurent. 1994. Attitudes toward the concept of luxury: An exploratory analysis. Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research 1(2): 273–278.Google Scholar
  30. Eastman, J.K., R.E. Goldsmith, and L.R. Flynn. 1999. Status consumption in consumer behavior: Scale development and validation. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 7(3): 41–52.Google Scholar
  31. Erdem, T., and J. Swait. 2004. Brand credibility, brand consideration, and choice. Journal of Consumer Research 31(1): 191–198.Google Scholar
  32. Esch, F.R., T. Langner, B.H. Schmitt, and P. Geus. 2006. Are brands forever? How brand knowledge and relationships affect current and future purchases. Journal of Product & Brand Management 15(2): 98–105.Google Scholar
  33. Fornell, C., and D.F. Larcker. 1981. Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research 18: 382–388.Google Scholar
  34. Fournier, S. 1998. Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research 24(4): 343–373.Google Scholar
  35. Gibbs, A. 2016. Why the luxury sector has to adjust to a ‘new normal’. CNBC.
  36. Gomelsky, V. 2016. 10 thought leaders on what luxury brands must do to stay relevant. Luxury Society. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  37. Hair, J.F., R.E. Anderson, B.J. Babin, and W.C. Black. 2010. Multivariate data analysis: A global perspective, vol. 7. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Google Scholar
  38. Hazan, C., and P.R. Shaver. 1994. Attachment as an organizational framework for research on close relationships. Psychological Inquiry 5(1): 1–22.Google Scholar
  39. Hennigs, N., K.P. Wiedmann, C. Klarmann, S. Strehlau, B. Godey, D. Pederzoli, and K. Taro. 2012. What is the value of luxury? A cross-cultural consumer perspective. Psychology & Marketing 29(12): 1018–1034.Google Scholar
  40. Holt, D.B. 2002. Why do brands cause trouble? A dialectical theory of consumer culture and branding. Journal of Consumer Research 29(1): 70–90.Google Scholar
  41. Hu, L.T., and P.M. Bentler. 1999. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 6(1): 1–55.Google Scholar
  42. Hudders, L. 2012. Why the devil wears Prada: Consumers’ purchase motives for luxuries. Journal of Brand Management 19(7): 609–622.Google Scholar
  43. Hung, K.P., A. Huiling Chen, N. Peng, C. Hackley, R. Amy Tiwsakul, and C.L. Chou. 2011. Antecedents of luxury brand purchase intention. Journal of Product & Brand Management 20(6): 457–467.Google Scholar
  44. Jacoby, J., and J.C. Olson. 1977. Consumer response to price: an attitudinal, information processing perspective. Moving Ahead with Attitude Research 39(1): 73–97.Google Scholar
  45. Japutra, A., Y. Ekinci, and L. Simkin. 2014. Exploring brand attachment, its determinants and outcomes. Journal of Strategic Marketing 22(7): 616–630.Google Scholar
  46. Jiang, L., and V. Cova. 2012. Love for luxury, preference for counterfeits–A qualitative study in counterfeit luxury consumption in china. International Journal of Marketing Studies 4(6): 1.Google Scholar
  47. Kapferer, J.N., and V. Bastien. 2009. The luxury strategy. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  48. Kapferer, J.N., and P. Valette-Florence. 2018. The impact of brand penetration and awareness on luxury brand desirability: A cross country analysis of the relevance of the rarity principle. Journal of Business Research 83: 38–50.Google Scholar
  49. Kaufmann, H.R., D.A. Petrovici, C. Gonçalves Filho, and A. Ayres. 2016. Identifying moderators of brand attachment for driving customer purchase intention of original vs counterfeits of luxury brands. Journal of Business Research 69(12): 5735–5747.Google Scholar
  50. Keller, K.L. 2017. Managing the growth tradeoff: Challenges and opportunities in luxury branding. In Advances in Luxury Brand Management. Journal of Brand Management: Advanced Collections, ed. J.N. Kapferer, J. Kernstock, T. Brexendorf and S. Powell. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  51. Kim, J., and H.M. Joung. 2016. Psychological underpinnings of luxury brand goods repurchase intentions: Brand–self congruity, emotional attachment, and perceived level of investment made. Journal of Global Scholars of Marketing Science 26(3): 284–299.Google Scholar
  52. Lacœuilhe, J. 2000. L’attachement à la marque: Proposition d’une échelle de mesure. Recherche et Applications en Marketing 15(4): 61–77.Google Scholar
  53. Liu, F., J. Li, D. Mizerski, and H. Soh. 2012. Self-congruity, brand attitude, and brand loyalty: A study on luxury brands. European Journal of Marketing 46(7/8): 922–937.Google Scholar
  54. Magids, S., A. Zorfas, and D. Leemon. 2015. The new science of customer emotions. Harvard Business Review 76: 66–74.Google Scholar
  55. Malär, L., H. Krohmer, W.D. Hoyer, and B. Nyffenegger. 2011. Emotional brand attachment and brand personality: The relative importance of the actual and the ideal self. Journal of Marketing 75(4): 35–52.Google Scholar
  56. Malhotra, N.K. 2010. Marketing research: An applied orientation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Google Scholar
  57. Martin, I.M., and D.W. Stewart. 2001. The differential impact of goal congruency on attitudes, intentions, and the transfer of brand equity. Journal of Marketing Research 38(4): 471–484.Google Scholar
  58. Mason, R.S. 1992. Modelling the demand for status goods. Journal of Consumer Research 12(3): 341–352.Google Scholar
  59. Mikulincer, M., and P.R. Shaver. 2007. Boosting attachment security to promote mental health, prosocial values, and inter-group tolerance. Psychological Inquiry 18(3): 139–156.Google Scholar
  60. Mittal, B. 2016. Retrospective: Why do customers switch? The dynamics of satisfaction versus loyalty. Journal of Services Marketing 30(6): 569–575.Google Scholar
  61. Moses, L. 2013. Rich people are less loyal to specific brands. Adweek. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  62. Moussa, S. 2015. I may be a twin but I’m one of a kind: are brand attachment and brand love different names for the same construct? Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal 18(1): 69–85.Google Scholar
  63. Murray, P.N. 2016. The emotions of luxury. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  64. O’cass, A., and H. Frost. 2002. Status brands: examining the effects of non-product-related brand associations on status and conspicuous consumption. Journal of Product & Brand Management 11(2): 67–88.Google Scholar
  65. Oliver, R.L. 1980. A cognitive model of the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction decisions. Journal of Marketing Research 17: 460–469.Google Scholar
  66. Oliver, R.L. 2010. Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer. New York: ME Sharpe. Inc.Google Scholar
  67. Orth, U.R., Y. Limon, and G. Rose. 2010. Store-evoked affect, personalities, and consumer emotional attachments to brands. Journal of Business Research 63(11): 1202–1208.Google Scholar
  68. Park, C.W., D.J. MacInnis, and J. Priester. 2006. Brand attachment: Constructs, consequences, and causes. Foundations and Trends® in Marketing 1(3): 191–230.Google Scholar
  69. Park, C.W., D.J. MacInnis, J. Priester, A.B. Eisingerich, and D. Iacobucci. 2010. Brand attachment and brand attitude strength: Conceptual and empirical differentiation of two critical brand equity drivers. Journal of Marketing 74(6): 1–17.Google Scholar
  70. Parrott, W.G. (ed.). 2001. Emotions in social psychology: Essential readings. Hove: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  71. Phau, I., and G. Prendergast. 2000. Consuming luxury brands: The relevance of the ‘rarity principle’. Journal of Brand Management 8(2): 122–138.Google Scholar
  72. Plutchik, R. 1980. A general psychoevolutionary theory of emotion. Theories of emotion 1(3–31): 4.Google Scholar
  73. Pourazad, N., and V. Pare. 2014. Emotional brand attachment : Antecedents and consequences for luxury brands. In 28th Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management Conference, (December), 1–43.Google Scholar
  74. Price, L.L., L.F. Feick, and A. Guskey. 1995. Everyday market helping behavior. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 14: 255–266.Google Scholar
  75. Rindfleisch, A., J.E. Burroughs, and N. Wong. 2009. The safety of objects: Materialism, existential insecurity, and brand connection. Journal of Consumer Research 36(1): 1–16.Google Scholar
  76. Romaniuk, J. 2013. What’s (Brand) Love Got to do with it? International Journal of Market Research 55(2): 185–186.Google Scholar
  77. Roux, E., E. Tafani, and F. Vigneron. 2017. Values associated with luxury brand consumption and the role of gender. Journal of Business Research 71: 102–113.Google Scholar
  78. Roy, S.K., A. Eshghi, and A. Sarkar. 2013. Antecedents and consequences of brand love. Journal of Brand Management 20(4): 325–332.Google Scholar
  79. Sahin, A., C. Zehir, and H. Kitapçı. 2011. The effects of brand experiences, trust and satisfaction on building brand loyalty; an empirical research on global brands. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 24: 1288–1301.Google Scholar
  80. Sarkar, A., A. Ponnam, and B.K. Murthy. 2012. Understanding and measuring romantic brand love. Journal of Customer Behaviour 11(4): 324–347.Google Scholar
  81. Sarkar, J. 2017. Young buyers to represent 40% of global market for personal luxury goods by 2025. The Economic Times. Accessed 23 Feb 2018.
  82. Schmalz, S., and U.R. Orth. 2012. Brand attachment and consumer emotional response to unethical firm behavior. Psychology & Marketing 29(11): 869–884.Google Scholar
  83. Seo, Y., and M. Buchanan-Oliver. 2015. Luxury branding: The industry, trends, and future conceptualisations. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics 27(1): 82–98.Google Scholar
  84. Shukla, P., M. Banerjee, and J. Singh. 2016. Customer commitment to luxury brands: Antecedents and consequences. Journal of Business Research 69(1): 323–331.Google Scholar
  85. Sirgy, M.J. 1982. Self-concept in consumer behavior: A critical review. Journal of Consumer Research 9(3): 287–300.Google Scholar
  86. Sirgy, M.J., D. Grewal, T.F. Mangleburg, J.O. Park, K.S. Chon, C.B. Claiborne, and H. Berkman. 1997. Assessing the predictive validity of two methods of measuring self-image congruence. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 25(3): 229–241.Google Scholar
  87. So, J.T., A.G. Parsons, and S. Yap. 2013. Corporate branding, emotional attachment and brand loyalty: the case of luxury fashion branding. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal 17(4): 403–423.Google Scholar
  88. Sreejesh, S., A. Sarkar, and S. Roy. 2016. Validating a scale to measure consumer’s luxury brand aspiration. Journal of Product & Brand Management 25(5): 465–478.Google Scholar
  89. Straker, K., and C. Wrigley. 2016. Emotionally engaging customers in the digital age: The case study of “Burberry love”. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management 20(3): 276–299.Google Scholar
  90. Sung, Y., S.M. Choi, H. Ahn, and Y.A. Song. 2015. Dimensions of luxury brand personality: Scale development and validation. Psychology & Marketing 32(1): 121–132.Google Scholar
  91. Tajfel, H. 1974. Social identity and intergroup behaviour. Information (International Social Science Council) 13(2): 65–93.Google Scholar
  92. Thomson, M., D.J. MacInnis, and C.W. Park. 2005. The ties that bind: Measuring the strength of consumers’ emotional attachments to brands. Journal of consumer psychology 15(1): 77–91.Google Scholar
  93. Tsai, S.P. 2005. Impact of personal orientation on luxury-brand purchase value. International Journal of Market Research 47(4): 429–454.Google Scholar
  94. Vigneron, F., and L.W. Johnson. 2004. Measuring perceptions of brand luxury. Journal of Brand Management 11(6): 484–506.Google Scholar
  95. Wells, W.D., C. Leavitt, and M. McConville. 1971. A reaction profile for TV commercials. Journal of Advertising Research. 11(December): 11–17.Google Scholar
  96. Willcox, G. 1982. The feeling wheel: A tool for expanding awareness of emotions and increasing spontaneity and intimacy. Transactional Analysis Journal 12(4): 274–276.Google Scholar
  97. Wischhover, C. 2011. Good Morning! Tom Ford’s Neroli portofino ads feature a steamy shower scene. Fashionista. Accessed 29 Nov 2016.
  98. Wong, N.Y., and A.C. Ahuvia. 1998. Personal taste and family face: Luxury consumption in Confucian and Western societies. Psychology and Marketing 15(5): 423–441.Google Scholar
  99. Xie, Y., and S. Peng. 2009. How to repair customer trust after negative publicity: The roles of competence, integrity, benevolence, and forgiveness. Psychology & Marketing 26(7): 572–589.Google Scholar
  100. Young, V.M. 2017. Coach’s Victor Luis Talks Kate Spade, modern luxury and acquisitions. WWD. Accessed 10 October 2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MarketingCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Western Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations