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Encouraging brand loyalty among young Millennials for the luxury appliance brand Gaggenau

  • Despite the growth the luxury industry has experienced in recent years, marketers are increasingly facing the emergence of a younger luxury consumer that has different values, priorities, and attitudes. Since these consumers are soon to replace the current luxury clientele as the primary luxury consumer due to their size and purchasing power, successful luxury brands have changed their strategies in order to stay relevant. Being faced with a considerable decrease in brand loyalty, a deeper understanding of the drivers of brand loyalty among this clientele is of utmost importance. Whereas loyalty has often simply been defined as repeat behavior of purchasing one single brand, the literature suggests a more complex definition, which emphasizes the importance of a favorable attitude toward the brand in order for a consumer to be considered truly loyal. Since this attitudinal part of brand loyalty does not necessarily presuppose actual brand usage, Gaggenau as a luxury appliance brand needs to find ways to attract and establish a pre-purchase bond with these consumers even before they have reached their peak buying power, which will create the basis for enduring brand loyalty. This thesis was set out to explore the complex process of loyalty creation in view of a different luxury consumer, which is increasingly gaining strategic importance. Focus of this thesis was to provide the luxury appliance brand Gaggenau with advice on how to create the basis for enduring brand loyalty among young Generation Y consumers. As a basis for the analysis, the term “luxury” including its different facets and the role aspirations play in the consumption motives for luxury goods has been investigated. This was followed by an examination of the important role of a new type of luxury consumer, characterized by different traits and attitudes. These consumers are likely members of the Generation Y cohort. Due to decreasing loyalty levels, particular emphasis has been put on understanding how to establish an enduring customer-brand relationship. For this, the formation of loyalty, including different degrees and types of loyalty, has been thoroughly investigated. The importance of truly knowing the consumer’s values, desires, and preferences in the creation of brand commitment or in other words the attitudinal part of loyalty as an ultimate milestone to creating enduring brand loyalty, has also been pointed out. Therefore, the next step was to understand Generation Y consumers. The investigation has mainly focused on the opportunities for creating aspiration or an emotional bond with the consumer at the early stage of the consumer journey. Then, the specific challenges Gaggenau is facing with regard to this new luxury consumer and due to the difficulty of reconciling its status as luxury and appliance brand have been presented. The insights gained throughout this dissertation have then been summarized in a recommended course of action. Finally, based on the development of a Weighted Average Scoring Model for potential Gaggenau consumers, a selection of specific touch points has been evaluated on their effectiveness of creating the basis for enduring brand loyalty at the early stages of the consumer journey.

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Author:Selina Melissa Kiefer
Advisor:Christoph Mergard
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2015
Year of first Publication:2015
Release Date:2015/11/26
Tag:Generation Y; brand loyalty; luxury brands
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Marketing