Posted at 10.11.2018
This article specializes in the understanding of luxury food consumer perception as well as on the creation of your multisensory experience. The empirical analysis is exploratory in aspect and depends on consumer narratives regarding luxury food consumer experiences. Based on relevant theories and the insights uncovered through the face-to-face interview, this information aims to judge the various factors that influence the creation of an memorable consumer experience, which give attention to the five senses experience, particularly, sight, reading, touch/feeling, tastes and smell encounters. As unveiled from the results, it is apparent that the more an extravagance food brand excites the five senses, the more likely it will produce a memorable consumer experience; therefore, a lot more a consumer will be faithful to the luxury food brand. Building on these studies, this article contributes to the creation of an extravagance food consumer experience from a consumer-centred perspective.
Luxury food consumer experience, multisensory experience, experiential marketing
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Experiential marketing is an evergrowing trend worldwide. You can find ample proof to suggest that more and more companies are staging memorable consumer experience to be able to keep up competitive benefit. The IKEA experience is about making better life using their co-creators by providing well-designed furniture with affordable prices as well as excellent and unique store experience. The Starbucks experience is about writing their great espresso with their friends: the warm sense of a neighbourhood store, the intimate interconnection and the sense of the community, a location for inspiration and talk. The Ritz-Carlton experience is about ladies and gentlemen serving women and gentlemen - staffs are not only the co-designers of service delivery and of guest experience but also the designers of WOW reviews for guests (Nixon and Rieple, 2010).
Experience economy was initially unveiled by Pine and Gilmore (1998) within their work. From a long-term point of view, they distinguished four phases in the progression of financial value: commodities, goods, services and experiences. They argued that the economical value has progressed through three phases and that people are now stepping into a fourth stage - the knowledge economy. On the new era of experience overall economy, the highest-value economical offerings are experience. Companies are expected to stage memorable encounters for consumers in order to make it through in the competitive industry. Experiences will be the groundwork for future financial growth.
Schmitt (1999) shared the same perspective with Pine and Gilmore, directing out that traditional marketing originated in response to the industrial age, not the info, branding and marketing communications revolution we have been facing today. In a fresh age, we have to shift away from the original marketing approach, which focuses on product features and consumer benefits. We have to consider new principles and techniques that capitalize on the experiential market. One such procedure is experiential marketing that views consumers as psychological human beings in the quest for pleasurable activities.
Surprisingly, experiential marketing is generally applied by many leading-edge companies in many sectors; however, marketing in the luxury industry does not may actually have explicitly engaged the theoretical issues included. Although luxury is a relative concept and for that reason is rarely extensive, the natural development of luxury, with luxury brands formerly being the conserve of the privileged few then today becoming less expensive to mass-market consumers, increases great problem for marketing experts. Many organizations suggest that they are using experiential marketing for luxury brands, when the reality is that they are simply duplicating the mantra of traditional marketing strategies (Atwal and Williams, 2009). Hence, it is necessary to apply new marketing tools and methods to be able to stand before the new luxury consumers.
Bellaiche et al. (2010) explained that in addition to two traditional types of luxury - hard luxury (i. e. watches and jewellery) and smooth luxury (i. e. fashion and clothing), luxury reaches experience in the new world of luxury, such as alcohol and food, as well as travel, hotels and technology. The global market for luxury products is approximated to near 1 trillion, where alcoholic beverages and food representing around 50 billion. The blissful luxury grocery store is evaluated to achieve 5. 3 billions in 2011, making its one of the market segments that are not afflicted by the economic downturn; on the other hands, it is likely to increase steadily in the approaching years, thanks to the initial luxury food characteristics - pleasing consumers with compelling culinary experience.
In conditions of food, luxury conveys an elaborate message. First, it isn't simply just enough to be desired, to be costly or to be considered a qualitative refinement. Luxury foods are not specific items of foods, but as foods offering a refinement of a basic food that is widely desired and a means of differentiation (vehicle der Veen, 2003). However, different from basic foods and gastronomy, luxury foods tend to be thought to be indulgence, luxurious and pointless, which are just consumed specifically place and time for particular purposes, such as family party and commercial feast. Second, as a way of variation, luxury foods stress on the pleasure of possession and the powerful experience (i. e. sense, feel, think, work, etc. ). This total experience involved should be positive, interesting, memorable and convincible, because the duration of this consumption and ownership lasts only a few mere seconds or minutes. Not merely luxury foods should fulfil consumers' instrumental need (Berry, 1994), but also the surroundings that are reachable to consumers (i. e. presentation, presentation, atmosphere, etc. ) should be studied into consideration to enhance the concept of exclusivity and brilliance.
Postmodernity has radically improved and expanded modern-day understandings towards luxury consumer behaviour. Consumers' subjective connection with luxury and their sense of individuality have somehow improved significantly in the postmodern culture. Besides, as luxury foods are becoming increasingly more accessible, luxury food consumers are looking for other means to distinguish themselves from other consumers. As Tsai (2005) argued that the traditional product/service value proposition is no more adequate for attaining consumers or creating significant differentiation. Business must accomplish the enhancement of your seamless total experience for consumers, which determines whether products or services maintain competitive edges. This urge is even more critical for luxury food brands.
This study is aimed at analysing luxury food consumer experience and revealing the way to create valuable consumer experience in order to assure the greatest success of luxury food brands. Within an exploratory research using qualitative interviews, this research investigates luxury food perceptions and experience creation from a consumer-centred point of view. Building on these empirical studies, the way luxury food brand may use to build a engaging and persuasive multisensory experience has been unveiled.
In order to develop effective experiential marketing in the area of luxury food brands management, it is necessary to have an knowledge of the conceptual issues related. This area of the paper describes the conceptual foundations, which include specifying the relevant meanings of the primary conditions and on that basis explaining the experiential marketing framework, which could provide to luxury food brand consumer experience building. Finally, the opportunities and obstacles faced by luxury food brands will be provided.
Luxury is part and parcel of mankind and of life in culture (Kapferer and Bastien, 2009). Since the beginning of mankind, there were extraordinary items and symbols, luxurious lifestyles and increasing central ability, organized societies restricted to the leading organizations. The appearance of luxury hails from the symbols and items specific to these leading organizations.
The term luxury comes from the old France luxurie so this means "rankness, exuberant expansion; surplus, dissipation, extravagance". Reaching again further, it is due to the Latin luxus, indicating "excess, extravagance". This negative traditional point of view of luxury, positing luxury as "vicious indulgence", strains on its the non-essential aspect. In the framework of his famous proposal to study the type of justice and injustice in the individual, Plato broached the main topic of luxury by contrasting the necessary desire for food, what Plato called "need" and the unneeded hunger as "desire" [in Cooper (1997)]:
"Certain of the pointless pleasures and appetites I get pregnant to be unlawful After all those that are awake when the reasoning and real human and ruling electric power is asleep; then the crazy beast within us, gorged with meat or drink, starts up and having shaken off sleep, will go forth to meet his desires "
Plato sustained, in this booklet The Republic (Greek: Politeia) [in Cooper (1997)], to encourage men to control his "desire" because a life with luxury is unworthy:
"Whenever a man's pulse is healthy and temperate, so when before going to sleep he has awakened his logical powers, and fed them on commendable thoughts and enquiries after having first indulged his appetites neither too much nor inadequate, but just enough to lay those to sleep, and stop them and their enjoyments and pains from interfering with the higher principle "
The decisive reason for the negative evaluation of luxury in traditional thought has its roots in historical constructions of the social hierarchy. Aristotle placed luxuriousness at one extreme from hardiness with stamina [in Saunders (1981)]. Individuals whose lives received over to a soft, luxurious life was not capable of defending themselves. The luxurious man was thus so "soft" that he could undergo no pain. Luxury produced armed service weakness. These men were effeminate since it was of fact of humanity to fight and also to risk fatality [in Dark brown (2009)].
Luxury was slowly but surely becoming a politics issue and individual desire was regarded as potentially disruptive electric power. By admitting the impossibility to meet the insatiable cravings, which comes from human nature, Seneca [in Stewart (1900)] stated that:
"He who restrains himself within the restrictions prescribed naturally, will not feel poverty; he who surpasses them will be poor, however great his riches may be. "
According to Seneca, the wants of your body are few. It wishes safety from the cold, and the means of allaying cravings for food and thirst; however, all wants beyond these are vices, not needs. Body needs could be achieved by the Nature, that happen to be small, few, and inexpensive [in Ruler (1927)]. Luxury is on the contrary fine, or qualitative distinctions where in Nature there are no supply.
Luxury use is dangerous and therefore would have to be regulated. In order to restrain luxury or extravagance, sumptuary laws and regulations was born to regulate personal consumption, specifically, of food, dress and ornamentation (Hunt, 1996). For instance, one law that was enacted on May 31, 1517, announced that a cardinal might have nine meals at one food; but a duck archbishop, marquis, earl or bishop can have seven food at meals; a lord, earl, lord mayor of London, knight of the garter and abbots might well have six dishes; individuals who made around Ј40 to Ј100 could only be offered three dishes at meals (Alison, 1998). The enactment of these laws were determined by the try to not only preserve social variation, but also limit luxury usage among common people, so that, their fortunate could be of help if the sovereign was looking for it.
It is in the context of trade that people can discern a significant shift in this is of luxury (Berry, 1994). Through the eighteenth and nineteenth decades, following a Industrial Trend, which increased substantially the living benchmarks, increasingly more individuals obtained the financial power to luxury goods, because of the trade both in countrywide and international levels. The eighteenth century was a period when the debate over luxury arrived to prominence.
Adam Smith (1776) theorized the nature of luxury in his work "the Riches of Countries" by associating it with goods that are in limited source, difficult to acquire and expensive:
"When the amount of any item, which is brought to market falls less than the effectual demand some of them will be happy to give more. A competition will immediately start among them, and the marketplace price will grow pretty much above the natural price "
Hume (1752) distinguished innocent from vicious luxury on the basis that one was beneficial, and the other pernicious, to political contemporary society. Innocent luxury produces "economic and social goods", while vicious luxury is the "socially unproductive utilization of a small elite" (Marshall, 2000). Luxury is assumed as uniqueness, scarcity, ancestral history, personal history, looks and social variation, which are relevant to the fulfilment of individual beings' dream of becoming area of the superior category.
In his newspaper A Theory of Man Inspiration, Maslow (1943) used the conditions "Physiological, Protection, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, and Self-Actualization" must rationalize the design that human being motivations generally move through. Maslow' Hierarchy of Needs is often portrayed in the form of the pyramid (Body 1), with the major and most fundamental levels of needs in the bottom, and the necessity for self-actualization at the top. Maslow recommended that the most basic degree of needs must be found before the person will strongly desire or concentrate the secondary or more level needs; specific tends to value more and more his moral aspects' fulfilment once he climbs to a higher level needs.
Figure 1. Abraham Maslow (1943) theorized that individuals have five basic needs that may be rated in hierarchical order.
As can be seen from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Human's needs are restricted by a series of social and monetary variables. However, everyone is thought to be equally ambitious and this "the desire to better one's condition" is a significant motivational drive for human beings (Smith, 1776). Referred to as the "natural needs and needs of mankind" in his Lectures on Jurisprudence (1762), relating to Adam Smith, these innate individual characteristics in the aspiration of luxury ingestion clarify the progress of individuals civilization:
"Man alone of most animals is the only one who respect the dissimilarities of things Humans value the aesthetic qualities of objects - their color and form, variety or similarity to other items These desire and refinement will be the foundation of all minute, and to more thoughtful persons, frivolous distinctions to gratify which one thousand arts have been invented. "
This love of refinement and beauty is "natural", and it is "well" that character leading men to desire "to amuse and entertain their most frivolous wishes" (Smith, 1759) and therefore promote the economic development, because when luxuries aren't available, or not sought, people produce no more than enough to live on (Brewer, 1998). By observing ordinary people who tended to esteem the man of riches and by outcome produce economic development in order to talk about this pleasure and warm feeling of esteem, Hume (1752) argued, in his first part of "Of Refinement in the Arts" that communal and economic ramifications of luxury are beneficial to the average person and to culture most importantly:
"Men are kept in perpetual occupation, and enjoy, as their praise, the profession itself, as well as those pleasures which will be the fruits with their labour. "
In comparison to the traditional thought, which respect luxury as deleterious and unsafe, luxury, in the modern day context, is given more positive so this means and understanding. The rules of luxury, reserved to a little group of interpersonal elite, make reference to the sensation of superiority, the ultimate contentment, the desire and the ability to become what the first is, worth, durability, self-esteem and self-confidence and are little by little producing into a wish for common people. Through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, there were a growing number of people who were in possession of the financial methods to find the money for luxury items plus they were prepared to "cultivate the pleasure of your brain as well as those of your body" (Hume, 1752). From your twentieth century onward, this luxury, whose pleasure and delights that were once isolated from all of those other world, is becoming accessible to a larger inhabitants. Globalization, communication, increasing spending electric power, as well as democratization are the key drivers for this change (Kapferer and Bastien, 2009).
In the new century, changes in modern-day consumer behaviour in western societies have resulted in the introduction of a new meaning and perception of luxury. Dubois, Laurent and Czeller (2001) carried out an important analysis to demonstrate luxury perceptions over a cross-cultural level. They performed qualitative and quantitative cross-cultural consumer-based studies in American Europe, USA and Asia Pacific and selected luxury, in the managerial literature, as a combo of the next six dimensions: "Price, Quality, Uniqueness, Looks, Personal Background and Superfluousness".
This type of thought goes forwards in the contemporary era. Modern dictionaries such as Cambridge dictionary, require human's well being within the definition of luxury:
A special subject: "something expensive which is pleasant to own but is not essential";
A approach to life: "great comfort, especially as provided by expensive and beautiful things";
A tag of distinction: "something which offers you a whole lot of pleasure but that you cannot often do".
Yet a review of the recent books reveals that there surely is too little consensus regarding the description of luxury in the marketing framework, due to the continually growing understandings towards sociology and psychology which have been developed. Veblen (1899) affirmed that luxury depends upon both product characteristics and the buyer; luxury is whatever is socially most attractive, since it places you at the summit of the hierarchy. Yet special subject that is considered as luxury in a social-economic framework might be just a typical one in another context. Psychologists examined the partnership between need and luxury, and said that different people have different tips of view concerning the meaning of luxury, despite their similar track record (Lunt and Livingstone, 1992; Matsuyama, 2002). Kapferer and Bastien (2009) brought into light the duality of luxury: luxury fulfils the symbolic want to belong to an excellent course ("luxury for others") and at the same time promises a solid personal and hedonistic connect to self-pleasure ("luxury for oneself"). From this viewpoint, in their book "The Luxury Strategy", Kapferer and Bastien asserted (2009):
"Luxury is about being, for oneself and for others, not about having. "
For this reason, Pierre Berg, CEO of the Pierre Berg - Yves Saint-Laurent Foudation, remarked that luxury offers things rather than products; luxury is an area of enjoyment rather than use (Kapferer and Bastien, 2009). Luxury subject has a heart and soul inside it: this is a natural creation and it talks for itself. Luxury creates a gap, signifying position and culture; however, an artisanship of extremely high quality will not actually make it a great name eternally and globally. This is the difference between luxury and luxury brands. A luxury brand is to begin with a brand and secondly luxury.
Civilization begins with agriculture. When our ancestors started out to stay and develop their own foods, real human society is forever changed. Not merely do villages, towns and cities get started to flourish, but so do knowledge, arts and technological sciences. That is the reason why the greatest ancient civilization is often built around the greatest rivers, which provide to the irrigation and transport of foods. The lowest lever of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is made up of the essential physical requirements like the dependence on foods, water, sleeping and warmness. Basic foods are essential for survival; it is thus regarded as a basic dependence on all human beings. Humans discover gradually different methods to prepare food with different ingredients for different events such as, harvest, religious offerings and funerary rites. These foods are consequently attributed with various symbolic meanings: they are being used in an attempt to express the hopes of humans, to please God, to memory the deceased or help in their afterlife.
The cuisine was becoming more and more sophisticated in the centre Time, and chefs were identified by their honourable occupation and did often cook only for the royal households. The skill of the table first made an appearance around 1530 in the upper-class modern culture, following publication of the reserve Civilitas morum puerilium of Erasme. The word gastronomy is derived from Ancient Greek "gastro": stomach and "nomy": laws and regulations that govern, and therefore literally means "the art work or rules of regulating the stomach" (Vitaux, 2007). Brillat-Savarin (1988), the father of gastronomy, looked after that food preparation is a level of true knowledge; excellence is dependant on the intrinsic quality of elements prepared with care. He directed to make connections between food and its own results on not only the body and health, but also the mind and soul:
"Give me what you take in, and I'll let you know what you are. "
Basic foods are at the building blocks of gastronomy. Gastronomy changes the essential foods into a kind of art, by learning how to increase the freshness, the display, the flavours, the colors of ingredients and the entire message of the foods. Gastronomy is much deeper than basic foods, for this integrates real human insights into culinary aspects. Gastronomy is hence different from basic foods. Basic foods are essential for human being's survival. They could be referred to as non-intentional or universal, in that they don't refer to this requirement of a person, but to the general needs of most human beings (Berry, 1994). On the other hand, gastronomy is a request infinite of quality, a manifestation of tastes, a pleasure for eating; it reflects the mentality of men and women getting involved, the partnership between the characteristics and human beings, as well as the culture it represents. Matching to Jean Vitaux (2007), the difference between gastronomy and basic foods is evident:
"Gastronomy emphases on the flavour, the products, the preparation and the alliance between food and drink. It is the pleasure [of getting ready and eating food] that comes first. Gastronomy insists on the variety and the grade of products, while [basic] foods are more repeated. "
The modern understanding about gastronomy is greatly inspired by several French texts printed in the eighteenth century. Brillat-Savarin (1826) included in the gastronomy the knowledge and knowledge of all that relates to man as he eats, its goal is to guarantee the conservation of men, using the best food possible. He insisted that the true gastronomy is approximately the natural record, physiology, chemistry, commerce, politics, economy, drugs and sociology. Gastronomy is recognized as the analysis of food and culture, with a particular focus on gourmet dishes by modern scholars and experts. It really is a challenging multidisciplinary art describing food itself along using its context, presentation, freshness, and record. Revel (2007) pointed out:
"The delicacies is a efficiency of foods, gastronomy is a efficiency about the food. "
Gastronomy is seemingly synonymous with "haute cuisine" and "quality" associated with dearness, or even luxury. It is known as the draw of social elite, which is incorrect. Certain gastronomy may be a little pricey, with regards to the price of the substances or the name of the chef. Yet this is not always the case. The difference of communal classes, nations, regions, and fashion are fundamental determinants for the varieties of gastronomy. Gastronomy is a sociable and ethnical practice rather than luxury foods - a manner of "humanism of the table" (Cesergo, 2008).
Luxury foods differentiate from both basic foods and gastronomy. Luxury foods are object of desire (Berry, 1994), which propose physical or bodily satisfaction and sensory pleasure. Predicated on Berry's work, truck der Veen (2003) conceptualized luxury foods in the following way:
"Luxury foods are those foods that are extensively desired because they offer a refinement or qualitative improvement of a simple food and a way of distinction because they are not yet greatly attained. "
Under this meaning, luxury foods have a few characteristics:
Luxury denotes foods that aren't essential for human being nutrition. Additionally, luxury foods often concentrate on technical superiority, considerably exceeding consumers' expectation.
Luxury foods go to town in conditions of aesthetical and sensual prices. They are simply things that offer pleasure and excitement and are characterized by a qualitative refinement of a simple food: they represent an indulgence.
Luxury foods are relatively rare in terms of production, resource, or circulation, reflecting luxury lifestyle and representing consumers' social status and differentiation. Luxury foods tend to be associated with elites: they are really symbols of the upper classes, who use expensive and incredible foods to indicate social position, to identity variation.
Luxury foods require high spending, and for that reason being greatly desired yet hard to be obtained. If the quantity of people who have access to a luxury increases, the position of these goods changes; they turn into commonplace goods and may ultimately become needs (Berry, 1994).
Kapferer and Bastien (2009) believed that, in luxury, the product always comprises one (or more) things and a service. An extravagance service should become materials in an object, and an extravagance object is actually along with a service, or is even the appearance of it.
Vickers and Renand (2003) developed a 3d meanings of luxury goods in terms of "functionalism, experientialism and symbolic interactionism". Functionalism is referred to as product features which could "solve a present-day problem" or "prevent a potential one", by fulfilling consumers' utilitarian performance needs, such as superior quality, well-selected elements, a bit of work that is not only eye-catching but also tasteful. Experientialism includes features that could induce sensory pleasure and hedonic usage, such as traditional artisanship and the fantastic name of the maker, special richness and tone of decoration, elegance of days gone by. Symbolic interactionism indicates product components related to position and self-recognition, such as esteemed name or recognizable producing style. Although both luxury and non-luxury foods can be conceptualized in a similar way, there is a distinctive difference in the mixture of these components. As opposed to basic foods, luxury foods are those whose ratio of functional energy to price is low as the ratio of intangible and situational energy to price is high (Nueno and Quelch, 1998). The useful dimension is where the luxury food brands "does" in the material world, alternatively than what it "presents" (Berthon et al. , 2009). Thus luxury food brands make outstanding products of great functionality: significantly exceeding consumers' expectation. Basic foods match a need; the role of basic foods is to meet up with the need as fast as possible at the lowest cost compatible with a minimal level of quality. Luxury foods match a fantasy. Dreams are beyond need or desire; the DNA of luxury foods is the symbolic want to belong to a superior class; the role of luxury foods is to react to individual's dreams to live in a multisensory experience over time. Further dialogue on the symbolic interactionism and experientialism of luxury foods will be lengthened as follow.
There is ample evidence that interpersonal or external factors with regards to symbolic interactionism, such as views, influences, acceptance and suggestions of or interaction with others, are posited to be a major motivation for luxury goods consumption (Groth and McDaniel, 1993). The communal and psychological characteristics of luxury foods has aroused increased and greater understanding; it is argued to be always a major factor adding to the consumers' purchasing decision (Gardner and Levy, 1955). Many anthropologists and sociologists have showed how luxury foods are used as a semiotic device, signalling ranking and rivalry, solidarity and community, personal information or exclusion, and intimacy or distance. Popular literature views luxury food ingestion as a complex interplay of ethnic, economic, social, politics, and technological pushes. Its current strategy seems to highlight on its dual character as both an thing of artwork and a metaphor (Kniazeva and Venkatesh, 2007). As Levy (1959) observed in her article Icons for Sales:
"People buy products not only for what they can do, also for what they mean. When people speak about the items they buy and why they get them, they show a variety of logics They make an effort to satisfy many aims, feelings, desires, and circumstances. "
Luxury foods often perform a robust form of individuals appearance used to quantify love and respects from others. The extravagant feasts and banquets are perfect example for this insight. During these occasions, menus composed of various spectacular and luxury foods for the rich are costly, yet only small servings are used. Beautiful objects are being used and great stand is set to gain back the prosperity and the reputable status of the coordinator. Guests are invited strictly based on their differentiation and fortune in the communal hierarchy. There is absolutely no marvel that luxury foods are in some instances recognized as the blissful luxury symbols to keep up social rates and commendable privilege in history, as well as clothing and jewellery.
Experientialism is most likely the main dimensions of luxury foods. The distinguishing feature of luxury foods is the fact luxury foods are transient: it is consumed and thus generally disappears, and assimilated by the body (truck der Veen, 2003). Style is one of the five senses as well as sight, reading, touch and smell. The flavour is also the most difficult to identify and reproduce, because humans cannot track record it as perception and hearing, neither can we clarify it as touch and smell. Researchers have found out that preference is not the sole determinant to get a consumer's favour (Hunter, 2002). Although style can influence just what a consumer may call a flavour, other senses might provide other important sensory information that defines a food's flavour (O'Donnell, 2011). For example, we smell the aroma of freshly cooked cake by luxury house and our taste buds are titillated; our cravings is whetted when we pass by the luxury chocolate house where the hand-made macarons are attractive to the eye; we expect to hear the fine bubbles that happen in a freshly poured cup of champagne; we benefit from the firm structure of lobsters, a pricy product but essential for prestigious restaurants. Alternatively, individual distinctions in taste understanding are stunning: some individuals may respond to some certain tastes (or odour) by being it is too strong; among others, too weakened. Some organizations enjoy high-impact, high-flavour, almost unpleasant sensory activities when they eat a food; others favour more delicate, quiet sensory experiences. The understanding about tastes varies from one country to another, from one individual to another. First of all, social-demographic variables including age, gender and education attainment are highly related to luxury food conception and experience. For example, women are delicate when it comes to emotional ups and downs than men. Therefore, they may be more emotional involved with sensory connection with luxury food usage than men. Second, another main factor influencing consumer encounters is consumers' cultural background. Incredible luxury products excite more international consumers than local ones. The consumption of luxury foods creates and requires considerable mental activities on the part of consumers. Yet the comprehensive dimensions about the experiential areas of luxury food consumers in the marketing research are little explored or accounted for.
Individual variations are challenging to food technologists. As a matter of fact, the changing environment is one factor that contributes to various studies and researches about the partnership between individual differences and exterior environment as well as the next decision-making. The Perfect Arousal Level (OSL) is a property that characterizes a person in conditions of his standard respond to environmental stimuli (Raju, 1980). The OSL platform proposes that each organism most prefers a certain level of stimulation, which might be termed "Optimum Stimulation". When the surroundings stimulation (which depends upon properties such as novelty, ambiguity, complexness, etc. ) is below perfect, a person will attempt to increase stimulation; when it is above perfect, he/she will make an effort to reduce it. Consumers OSLs are systematically related to curiosity-motivated behaviour, variety seeking, and risk taking (Steenkamp and Baumgartner, 1992). Zuckerman (1979) implied in his results that consumers with high OSLs would place better concern on hedonism, self-direction and arousal values. On one hand, excitement and self-direction require intrinsic interest in novelty and mastery (Schwartz, 1994). Schwartz et al. (1992) argued "stimulation prices derive form the presumed organismic dependence on variety and stimulation in order to maintain an optimal level of activation". The motivational goal of arousal is enjoyment, novelty and task in life. Choosing, creating, and exploring through independent thought and action characterise self-direction. Raju (1981) suggested that high OSL consumers were more inquisitive. Zuckerman (1979) shared the same opinion by claiming that high discomfort seekers were more self-employed. Thus, stimulation principles may are based on OSL and should correlate highly with any measure of it, at least. On the other hand, hedonism has surfaced as a motivational value type that functions higher-order openness to change and self-enhancement goals, relating to Schwartz (1994). Zuckerman (1979) claimed that high sensation-seekers are characterized by a lifestyle that emphasises hedonistic self-fulfilment. From the above studies and researches, it is figured consumers seeking thrills, excursion, disinhibition, new encounters, escape from boredom, unfamiliarity and alternation among familiar things have been discovered as engaging in consumer behaviours in order to raise their level of arousal in life (Hirschman, 1980; McAlister and Pessemier, 1982; Raju, 1981; Zuckerman, 1979).
Luxury foods usage is therefore a hedonic response somewhat than utilitarian demand, illuminating consumer behaviour in relation to goods or characteristics whose selection and use is guided by emotional needs rather than useful needs (Khan et al. 2004). Basic foods, on the other hand, are primarily instrumental and their purchase is encouraged by practical product aspects. Compared to utilitarian use, hedonic consumption may be perceived as relatively more discretionary (Okada, 2005). Dubois and Laurent (1996) remarked that emotional value is a vital attribute of luxury products. They stated that:
"A the greater part subscribes to the hedonic purpose one buys luxury goods main for one's pleasure. "
Hedonic ingestion designates those facets of consumer behaviour coupled with the multisensory, fantasy and emotive aspects of one's experience with products (Hirshman and Holbrook, 1982). Luxury food brand marketers are suggested to provide high external environmental stimulations to arouse luxury food consumers' attention, to activate consumer experiences and therefore to motivate consumers to acquire and repurchase. The more an extravagance food product excites the multiple sensory of tastes, sounds, scents, hearing, touch, tactile impressions and visual images, the more likely it will be charm to consumers.
The modern understanding of a brandname is consumer and identification oriented. A brandname is defined as "a name, term, mark, or design, or mixture of them which is supposed to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers also to identify them from those of challengers" (Kolter, 1991). Luxury brands are regarded as one of the purest types of branding in the current current market (Keller, 2009). Predicated on the definition of luxury brands by Heine (2011), we can conceptualize luxury food brand in the next way:
"Luxury food brands are regarded as images in the heads of consumers that comprise associations in regards to a high level of price, quality and aesthetics, extraordinariness in conditions of taste; authenticity and rarity in conditions of elements, and a higher amount of non-functional relationship. "
The Colbert Committee is an connection founded in 1954 by Jean-Jacques Guerlain, who added to the communication of French luxury industry in the world. Till today, the Committee has 75 luxury maisons as users, including Pierre Herm Paris, La Maison du Chocolat and Lenґtre as the most amazing luxury food brands. Colbert Committee may have a phrase in deciding who are the most prestigious luxury maisons in the blissful luxury industry; however, this does not prevent those food brands that aren't delivered with luxury rules from employing a luxury food brand strategy. de Barnier et al. (2006) in their article argued that a non-luxury food could turn into a luxury one depending on the atmospherics. It is associated, in the first place, with the extremely high criteria of services that are from the advertising skills and images of vendors. The principal goal of suppliers is to build an appropriate luxury shopping experience for the consumers. Boutique home design and merchandise presentation are believed as important components to build atmospherics and luxury experience (Atsmon et al. , 2011).
Hence, there are present different kinds of luxury food brands. Jean-Nol Kapferer's (2008) luxury pyramid (Physique 2) provides further perception in this field. At the top of the pyramid, there is the griffe - the creator's signature engraved on a unique work. Pierre Herm Paris is a maison founded by the fantastic name of Pierre Herm, a gifted French pastry chef dubbed "The Picasso of Pastry". The second level is that of luxury food brands produced in s mall series inside a workshop. Qwehli, the queen of the shrimps well known in the culinary world, the superstar of the dish on the table, conducts a firmly annual production insurance policy in order to manage the quality and keep maintaining its exclusivity. The 3rd level is that of upper-range brand, between luxury food brands and industrialized food brands. The fourth level is that of streamlined mass creation. At this level of industrialization, the brand's fame generates an aura of intangible added prices for expensive and perfect quality products, which nonetheless slowly but surely have a tendency to look more and more like the remaining market. Hence its name equals to mass prestige.
Figure 2. Luxury Pyramid (Kapeferer, 2008)
Luxury food brands management is to keep the extremism of most limits, raise a doctrine of design, manufacture, syndication and communication to spell it out luxury, with the only real goal of satisfying the palate of consumers and create multisensory experience (Sicard, 2003). The luxury food brands cultivates its uniqueness; it prefers to be traditional to an identity in its pursue of brilliance and superiority in ingredient selection, aesthetics and quality, and the ultimate pleasure for selected consumers by placing a higher price.
Recent areas of Western life generally and of ingestion in particular have mirrored the existence of a significant current: the postmodern. The term "postmodernism" was initially used in structures to stress the chance in the 1960s with modern useful and logical thinking. Today it has been found in all domains of knowledge and knowledge.
Firat et al. (1995) offered a thorough picture of the postmodernity to marketing and proposed an alternative point of view on utilization; their studies highlight six categories that characterize the conditions of postmodernism:
(1) Hyperreality manifests in consumers' demand of hyppereal experience and their perception in the brand promise. Numerous contemporary examples of the hyperreal are grounded in usage experiences. The dream of theme recreation area, computer games and films includes the loss of a feeling of authenticity and the transformation of virtual truth to simple fact that consumers are willing to accept. (2) Fragmentation details the fragmented occasions of intake experience, especially, in marketing and sales communications such as TV commercials that previous 30 secs or 15 seconds. Further, individuals today have every means of social communication expressing their existence on earth which is full of information and fragmented moments. Postmodernism is an interval of extreme individualism. (3) The reversal of utilization and development arises when individuals positively explain their self-images for themselves as well concerning others through consumption - the consumer is the developer of his / her own experience. Consumers are motivated not limited to purchasing the utilitarian aspects, but, most importantly, wanting the symbolic and experiential aspects of the product. (4) The decentering of the subject, such as functionality and price of the merchandise once thought to be the only real interest of logical consumers, is the consequence of the brands attempts to create experiences and heroes, irreverently worshipped by consumers. (5) Paradoxical juxtapositions of opposites show that consumers of postmodern culture appreciate and enjoy the paradox and the playfulness; they are prepared and in a position to not only liberate themselves constrained in one single role in the contemporary society but also symbolize different self-images in fragmented occasions. (6) Loss of commitment happens due to the lack of ability of the brand to deliver its claims, and the growing willingness of consumers to see differences.
The analysts' proposition keeps that age postmodernism makes image the substance of the product (Firat et al. , 1995). Within the postmodern market place, luxury foods do not job images; they fill up images that are related to the consumers' fantasy and desire. Cova (1996) provides further rationale in detailing "Postmodernity = the age of the image + the age of experience". He claimed that postmodern individuals are not eating products; they are consuming the images of those products - the symbolic meanings. The images, symbolized through the organized interplay of a variety of signs, emerge and be the centre the buyer seeks in adopting a product. Technological innovations are substituted by the aesthetic sizes; in another term, The functional meanings disappears behind the cosmetic dimension. Technology is merely there to favor the creation of images.
The luxury food product will probably become less and less a "finished" subject of desire; consumers reject to simply accept the dominant value and anything that is normal. They want to participate. They demand a process so they can immerse themselves and can provide inputs. They condition, reshape, alter and make a deal until their "participation" allows them to achieve a graphic for themselves. There can be an focus on the consumers' multisensory activities in luxury food brand marketing. Therefore, the original determinants including beliefs, attitudes, preference, incomes, social class and so forth, which are being used in describing consumers' behaviours are no longer helpful. These demographic and psychographic characteristics do not change momently, and by consequence, consumers are believed to be simple, rational and faithful in their choices. This aspect of view is, however, no long appropriate to understand, in full opportunity, consumers who expose themselves in the postmodern culture. There's a necessity in finding out new determinants of luxury food consumption that might be of help for luxury food brands to understand postmodern consumers.
In the new time, luxury food brand marketing practitioners has to are the consumer much less a aim for but as a originator of experiences. The ability of postmodern individuals to twist or divert meanings in order to accomplish their own self-image sometimes shows a danger to the blissful luxury food brands, specifically, in the new period where a tiny consumer grievance may by manifested as large scandals by sociable networking in the international level. To be able to better control this individualized and unintended process of creation, new marketing techniques are essential. Cova (1996) provides, in his article, a simple equation aimed at proposing a postmodern marketing solution: "Postmodern marketing = image marketing + experience marketing". The postmodern perspective seeks never to replace traditional theories of consumption but rather to increase and improve their applicability.
Image marketing can be thought to be anything visual. It can be gourmet ads and poster, boutiques, decor, presentation of luxury foods in cosmetic ways and so forth. These visuals work constantly on the surface, transferring to consumers the meanings that the business wishes to delivery. Companies want to get involved actively in to the development of image of consumers in order to strengthen the brand note and image.
Experiential marketing responds to the brand's work in the continual creation of meanings, in which consumers are fully participated. Experiential marketing stresses "interactivity, connection, and creativity", which are the core beliefs of postmodernism (Atwal and William, 2009). This is what Regis Mckenna (1995) identifies as "real-time marketing" or "participatory marketing". Staging an memorable consumer experience is recognized as one element of the luxury food brands, alongside the food products and the service related in the boutique. The blissful luxury food products are transient, as the experience can live in the memory for a long period. Therefore, the blissful luxury food consumer who's eating is also becoming liberated from the only real role of a consumer and is now a company of his own experience. That is why the postmodern marketing has to include the consumers not as a goal for luxury foods but a developer of experiences. Although in much present consumer research there can be an increased attention in the importance of consumer encounters, this field has received limited analysis in the context of luxury food brands.
Experiential marketing is an evergrowing style worldwide in the twenty-first century in the context of postmodernism. The shift from owing a luxury to experiencing an extravagance is accelerating. More and more luxury companies are changing their strategy from retailing the products and services to offering the experience to consumers. Experiences are in higher demand in luxury industry then in other establishments.
Experience economy was initially released by Pine and Gilmore (1998) within their work. From a long-term perspective, they distinguished four phases in the development of economical value (Physique 3): commodities, goods, services and encounters. They argued that the economic value has advanced through three phases and that people are now stepping into a fourth level - the knowledge economy. With the new age of experience current economic climate, the highest-value monetary offerings are activities. Companies are anticipated to level memorable activities for consumers in order to survive in the competitive software industry. Experiences are the base for future financial growth.
Figure 3. The Progression of Economic Value (Pine and Gilmore, 1998)
Current dictionaries specify the term "experience" in a variety of ways. The various definitions may be positioned into two categories:
Some of them refer to days gone by: something that happens for you that influences how you are feeling;
Others refer to the ongoing perceptions and thoughts and immediate observation: (the procedure of getting) knowledge or skill from doing, viewing or being things.
In no matter which category, it is noteworthy that "experience" includes an important so this means: personal involvement - experiences come from the interaction of one's personal brain and the happenings in it, there will be therefore no two equivalent experiences.
Pine and Gilmore (1999) described the intriguing characteristic of "experience" within the mean time emphasizing on its original aspect:
"While goods are fungible, goods tangible, and services intangible, activities are memorable".
Yet being "memorable" is not enough to differentiate all natural experience from dreadful experience. To be able to better appreciate and delineate the idea in terms of commercial purpose, Poulsson and Kale (2004) conceptualized commercial experience as:
"An engaging function of co-creation between a service provider and a consumer wherein the consumer perceives value in the utility in the face and in the subsequent memory of this encounter. "
As Poulsson and Kale (2004) further clarified in their paper, an experience is because the relationship between a subject (the consumer) and an subject (the knowledge company) and the work of co-creation between the two. Under this idea, consumers do not receive products or services in a passive way any longer; they can be value co-creators, associates or friends. The recognized value in commercial experience should be high enough for a consumer to want to cover it. The experience provider functions on the premise that the experience will be engaging enough to manifest in more sales or income for the goods or services is deigned to market.
Pine and Gilmore (1998) have identified four types of activities: educational, esthetic, entertainment, and escapist that they termed the "4Es", by crossing two proportions: customer contribution and connection (Physique 4). At one end of the spectrum of "customer contribution" lays passive participation, where customers don't impact the performance whatsoever, with the other end is active participation, in which customers play key functions in creating the performance or event that produces the experience. The second dimension of experience details the bond, or environmental romance, that unities customers with the function or performance. At one end of the connection spectrum is absorption, and at the other end, immersion. Absorption is "occupying a person's attention by providing the experience in to the mind" and immersion is "becoming literally (or virtually) an integral part of the experience itself" (Pine and Gilmore, 1999).
Figure 4. The Four Realms of an Experience (Pine and Gilmore, 1998)
Educational experience: Consumers increase knowledge and/or skills by absorbing information within an interactive way, in which consumers engage his mind and/or body.
Esthetic experience: Consumers enjoy the multi-sensory environment by being immersed in or surrounded by the environment without active participating.
Entertainment experience: Customers' attention is occupied by the actions, the function or the environment without being part of the contributors to the environment.
Escapist experience: Consumers actively participate in a meeting or activities.
Experiences occur at various phases including information collection, decision, and consumption. Experts and scholars presented various sizes of consumer experience predicated on different understandings of consumer behaviour. Davis and Longoria (2003) shown a "brand touchpoint steering wheel" including per-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase experience period:
Pre-purchase touchpoints include advertising, pr, internet sites, new media, direct mail/samples, coupons and incentives, deals and special offers.
Purchase touchpoints include presentation, point-of-purchase exhibits, store and shelf placements, salespeople and sales environments.
Post-purchase touchpoints include product and package deal performance, customer service, newsletters and devotion programs.
Touchpoints exist in each one of the five consumer experience engagement stages, identified by Howard and Sheth (1969).
Discover: i. e. the consumer recognizes products and services to meet specific desires and needs
Evaluate: i. e. the buyer examines the possible choices identified, compares them and using various decision and choice guidelines, narrows them down to a preferred choice
Acquire: i. e. the buyer expands time and money to look for and buy the product
Integrate: i. e. the consumer integrates the purchase into his / her daily life, e. g. by using services around the product
Extend: i. e. the carrying on relationship and bonds a consumer makes with a brand
Remarkably enough, experiences may occur because of this of online or offline activities, that are not only limited to interactions, interactions, or occurrences contexts. As is seen from the talk above, it is assumed that experience is usually broadly thought as any form of customer-focused marketing activity that create a link with customers (Schmitt, 2010). Gentile et al. (2007) shown the following definition of the client experience in a more detailed way:
"The customer experience originates from a couple of interactions between a customer and a product, a business, or part of its business, which provoke a effect. This experience is strictly personal and means the customer's participation at different levels: rational, mental, sensorial, physical, and spiritual. Its evaluation is determined by the contrast between a customer's goals and the stimuli coming from the interaction with the company and its own offerings in correspondence of different moments of contact or touch-points. "
Experiential marketing is about marketing initiatives that hook up the substance of the merchandise offerings integrating multisensory elements to produce holistic encounters for consumers, which reinforces the product offerings. The purpose of experiential marketing is to establish the emotional interconnection in such a way that the buyer is willing and will purchase or take in a product offering predicated on both rational and mental level.
Schmitt (1999a) contrasted both marketing methods to be able to get a much better understanding of the experiential marketing (Table 1).
Table 1: Traditional marketing versus. Experiential marketing (Schmitt, 1998)
Focus on features and benefits
Focus on customer experiences
Rational and psychological animals
Narrow explanation of product category and competition
Focus on intake as alternative experience
Analytical, quantitative and verbal
Intuitive and qualitative, verbal or visual
Traditional marketing views consumers as logical decision-makers who value efficient features and benefits; while experiential marketers view consumers as rational and emotional humans who are concerned with achieving enjoyable activities. Indeed, traditional marketing has provided a very important set of strategies, implementation tools and methodologies for the professional years. Yet this regular marketing and its own business ideas have problems in offering any instruction to capitalize on the growing experience current economic climate, where new marketing tools and approaches are needed in response to "information, branding and marketing communications revolution" that people are facing today (Schmitt, 1999b). However, as Holbrook and Hirschman (1982) recommended in their newspaper, abandoning the traditional marketing approach is unwanted but supplementing and enriching it with mixture of the experiential point of view can be hugely fruitful.
Bauer et al. (2011) have conducted a study to better understand the experiential luxury from a consumer point of view. They provided a thorough overview and a comparison of the major assumptions root the traditional versus the consumer-centred approach to luxury (Desk 2).
Table 2: Traditional vs. consumer-centred procedure of luxury (Bauer et al. , 2011)
Brand professionals define and develop luxury brands
Consumers defines what they perceive as luxury
Used in enslaved luxurious areas or context
Integrated in consumers' day-to-day lived experiences
Luxury is part of any lifestyle
Luxury purchase and consumption comes with an escapist character
Luxury is luxurious across situations; no differentiation between usage contexts
Luxury is a situation-specific and therefore, appropriate or inappropriate
Luxury is used to demonstrate position and conspicuousness
Disconnectedness to social course and conspicuousness
Strong open public dimension
Strong private interconnection; luxury helps consumers' selves, e. g. : with transformative experiences
Their findings expose that luxury experience more often than not own a few characteristics:
Consumers were found to demonstrate some type of unlocking power to new worlds and "forbidden places".
Luxury allows consumers to experience something incredible in their standard lives, to flee from the profanity of everyday life.
Rather than demonstrating prosperity or position, luxury products play an important role for self-satisfaction.
Luxury consumption is situational/contextual specific: a consumer might also perceive something or brand as luxurious in a single situation/context while keeping it covered in another situation/framework that is known as inappropriate.
Luxury products have the energy to alter one's self-understanding for the time of the merchandise use.
The fact of luxury food brands is associated with the perceived high quality and contribution to an extravagance experience. Luxury foods are not merely specific components of foods; they are simply symbolic of refinement of basic foods and a means of difference. If we take into account the board definition of luxury goods to include the "experience" category (i. e. travel, food, hotels, etc. ), in addition to hard luxury (such as wrist watches and jewellery) and tender luxury (such as fashion and clothing), the global market for luxury products is estimated to close to 1 trillion (Bellaiche et al. , 2010), where alcohol and food representing around 50 billion. The blissful luxury grocery store is evaluated to achieve 5. 3 billions in 2011, rendering it one of the markets that are not damaged by the economical downturn; on the other hand, it is expected to increase gradually in the upcoming years, because of the unique luxury food characteristics - pleasing consumers with engaging culinary experience.
Recent changes in the global framework have resulted in some business challenges experienced by luxury food mangers: the growth of client base, the blurred boundary between luxury and common, the changing consumer behaviours and practices, the rise of new communication and technology, and the ever more extreme competition including real players and traditional marketers such as Monoprix expanding their product range to luxury food consumers. With growing product competition and the market globalization, luxury food suppliers and luxury boutiques seek to differentiate their product offerings. In the mean time, increasingly more companies have attempted to increase the level of added value in their product position by using the title of "luxury", or have specifically chosen to put their products in the luxury food niche. These market dynamics are changing the blissful luxury food landscape, and therefore luxury food management techniques require revisiting and refining to support these paradoxes.
As discovered earlier, postmodernity has radically modified and expanded contemporary understandings towards luxury consumer behaviour. Consumers' subjective experience of luxury and their senses of identification have somehow transformed significantly in the postmodern culture. Besides, as the blissful luxury foods have become increasingly more accessible, luxury food individuals are looking for other means to distinguish themselves from other consumers. Hence, the previous few years have observed a veritable boom in expenses on experiential luxury. Matching to Boston Consulting Group (BCG), experiential luxury now makes up almost 50% of total luxury spending worldwide, which takes on an increasingly important role in experience luxury such as food and alcohol. Increased demand for experience, as opposed to hard experience goods, has benefited the blissful luxury food industry enormously. Luxury experience have become position symbols, allowing consumers to personal information themselves as connoisseurs as opposed to simple consumers.
The characteristics of luxury foods talked about earlier claim that marketing within the sector differs from many other