On Thursday August 25th, Marie-Cécile Cervellon and Marie-Catherine Mars had the pleasure to present their latest research on “The influence of online product presentation” in the Luxury sector, during EDHEC alumni refresher. The conference was followed by a roundtable with Marie Soudré-Richard, EDHEC 1997, talented founder of Little Fashion Galery, now mentoring for start ups in fashion digital retail. Soon to come…the link to the conference, discussion and slides.
On April 8th, EDHEC researchers (Marie-Cécile Cervellon, Marie-Catherine Mars, Virginie de Barnier) presented their paper entitled “Should luxury be described in concrete language?” at the Monaco Symposium on Luxury. The paper tests experimentally how product display and verbal descriptions, such as presenting products using abstract or concrete language, affect online purchases. It explains the psychological mechanisms that are at play when browsing internet for a gift or booking a hotel or a restaurant. In addition to insightful research papers, The Monaco Symposium on Luxury was the stage for business presentations, among others Bentley, L’Oreal luxury division, Jean Patou, Wally Yacht, Air France or Accor.
See the website http://monaco-symposium-on-luxury.com/
Abstract. This research uses the Construal Level Theory framework (Trope & Liberman, 2010) to understand the influence of product description on purchasing luxury vs. accessible products online. In a field experiment, French participants (n = 368) were recruited online, three weeks or three days before Christmas 2014, as they were shopping for a gift. Results show that the nearer the goal (Christmas), the nearer the gift recipient (similar other), and the more distal the product category (luxury), the higher the intention to purchase the product based on detailed product description. In a second experiment, students (n= 353) had to make a choice between two hotels described similarly side-by-side in concrete or abstract language. The chances to choose the concrete description are enhanced the more distal the product category (luxury), the more likely the trip and the more experienced the respondent with booking online luxury hotels. Although luxury brands might enhance brand desirability using allusive or abstract description, our results indicate that detailed and concrete product descriptions might be a stronger factor of sales conversion online.
An academic research published in Journal of Business Research this month advances the theory and practice of luxury brand advertising. It is co-authored by Jae-Eun Kim and Stephen Lloyd (AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand) and Marie-Cécile Cervellon (EDHEC Business School, Nice and Lille, France). Luxury clients (n=270) from three countries (France, Korea and Australia) were exposed randomly to global ads from luxury brands. Through projective techniques, respondents produced narratives which were analyzed with thematic and text analysis. Results indicate that implicit messaging is effective in creating engagement through narrative transportation; however, when the message is explicit and straightforward, it impedes the transportation process and leads to lower engagement across cultures. The authors identify seven dominant themes in the narratives produced by respondents in relation to luxury ads: “1) Status aspirations; 2) Romance, seduction and porn-chic; 3) Involvement with a fantasy world or adventure; 4) Other-directedness; 5) Self-esteem, power and success; 6) Sensory world of beauty, nature, body and feelings; 7) Activation” (Kim, Lloyd and Cervellon, 2015).
“Narrative-transportation storylines in luxury brand advertising: motivating consumer engagement”, Journal of Business Research, 2015
Download the article (if you are an EDHEC student, you have access through BU Vauban): http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296315003392