People who feel powerless seek status to restore their power. Although researchers have shown consumers who feel powerless prefer luxury products, it is difficult to draw practical implications from previous studies due to the research design and methods used. Through three experiments, this study confirmed the power deprivation effects on luxury consumption and provided practical implications for luxury brand managers and retail mall managers. Specifically, the present study found that people in the low power (vs. high power) condition 1) prefer bigger sizes and more brand logos (i.e., conspicuous) on luxury clothing and handbags and 2) prefer status-associated luxury brands and dislike status-effacing mass market brands. Furthermore, power (vs. powerlessness) was elicited by going up (vs. down) an escalator and looking down (vs. up) the shopping mall from above (vs. below).
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- Conspicuous consumption