Perceptions of Status Consumption and the Economy

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Journal of Business & Economics Research


This paper looks at the relationship between status consumption, economic perceptions, price consciousness, brand consciousness, and value consciousness. Based on a convenience online sample of adults in the Southeast USA, most consumers are not motivated by status. There was a significant negative relationship between the level of status consumption and levels of price consciousness and value consciousness. Additionally, there was a significant negative relationship between level of status consumption and the view that it is frivolous to buy status products in an economic downturn. There was a significant positive relationship between status consumption and brand consciousness, indicating that those more motivated to consume for status are both more brand-name conscious and more likely to see a higher price as indicative of higher quality. For managers of luxury brands in this economy, the results suggest that although the status market may be smaller, status consumers are brand conscious and not price conscious. Consumers, however, may also feel that inexpensive products and discount stores can meet their status needs.