Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Marketing (BBA)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Jacqueline K. Eastman


This paper focuses on millennial consumers’ perceptions about the motivation to purchase luxury and status items for the young working professional. It defines and addresses the relationship between status symbols and what drives the millennial generation’s purchases and desires to purchase. Research was conducted through a detailed literature review, qualitative pre-test and focus group. Through the pre-test, themes of luxury and status items were found. Common product categories to represent status items included: accessories, clothing, technology, travel, pet ownership, home ownership, expensive cars, and entertainment. The focus group was conducted in a classroom setting discussion with thirty students. Students participating in the focus group were asked various open-ended questions regarding what products and brands they consider luxury and status items for the young working professional as well as questions regarding perceptions and motivations when it comes to the purchase of these products. The results of the focus group matched well with the themes provided in the pre-test and provided more specific products as well as information regarding perceptions of those who purchase these items and the motivation behind the purchase. When it came to how focus group participants perceive those who buy and display these status items to the public, both positive and negative opinions were expressed. When asked what participants think about young working professionals who display status items, the collective opinion tended to be more negative than positive. However, when asked how participants would feel about themselves if they owned these status items, reactions were more positive.

Included in

Marketing Commons