Topic: female millennials (18-35) psychology and motivations behind buying luxury bags

Instructions for the write:
“Hi, thanks for your help. This is written by me.
In objectives, I am only doing the first 4, not the 5th one. I have also changed my working title a little bit, I have done some of my literature review. I did an extensive review on luxury and its symbolism, then I talked a bit about the booming luxury industry. I am working on the section “Millennials”. I will upload my sections when they are ready. Please see the literature review section for this assignment. My dissertation is based on this proposal.”
Please see the references sections, they might be useful. There is one in particular. “Grotts, A. and Johnson, T. (2013) “Millennial consumers’ status consumption of handbags”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 17 (3), pp.280-293, https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-10-2011-0067”
I will upload some references that are regarding psycology of luxury consumer. Please let me know if you can’t access the journal articles through links, Then I will send you pics.
Please send me the link of questionnaire when you upload it and also the graphs and results.
Working Title:
Female Millennials (18-35) psychology and motivations
Towards buying luxury bags in the UK.

Introduction:
The purpose of this research is to understand the notion of luxury for female millennials regarding consumption of luxury fashion goods, to study the consumer behavior of Female millennials (18-35) and the driving factors impacting their purchasing decision of luxury bags in the UK. In addition to that, what are the different individual value perceptions, female millennials
associate with these luxury bags?
If the female Millennials buying attitudes towards luxury bags is different as compared to other luxury fashion goods including behavior of affluent and upper middle-class consumers then these findings could be useful for marketers to exercise different marketing strategies for this distinctive target market.

Objectives:
To critically review the literature available on the concept of luxury and factors influencing the consumption of luxury fashion goods (bags, clothes, shoes etcetera).
To study female Millennials psychology, perspectives, beliefs, motivation, feelings and intents towards purchasing luxury bags in the UK?
Do they prefer to shop for bags at the store to enjoy the experience or like online
shopping?
Moreover, to study what does luxury mean to female millennials and what do attaining these bags mean to them?
How are the buying stimuli Affluent Female Millennials/elite consumers and upper middle-class female millennials different for luxury bags in the UK?
LITERATURE REVIEW:
Millennials are a very significant demographic group in any country. According to Williams (2018) Millennials in the US have a good market share as they represent 25 % of the US population. Researchers argue that Millennials tend to be different consumers because they are more inclined towards variety, genuineness, inventiveness, and distinctiveness. The experimental nature of Millennials makes them a unique market segment for many industries. Each generation, particularly Millennials are becoming more and more indulged into materialistic and consumerist culture. According to Noble et al (2009) most of the Millennials consumers are studying in college and regard themselves as modernizers and therefore, they have the power to revive the US economy. Some of the Millennials are starting to become successful in the workforce but regardless of their low income, they tend to be brand conscious and willing to buy these luxury products (Fernandez, 2009 ; Giovannini et al., 2015). They are very loyal to a few particular fashion brands because for them it’s a way to express themselves through them (Beaudoin, Moore and Goldsmith , 1998).They are specifically attracted to products that imitate their values, life and personality (Belk , 1988). American luxury consumers also like to experiment a great deal (Williams, 2018). Millennials are regarded as the new main luxury consumers and seen as a unsettling force (Giovannini et al., 2015). In the US market, their buying power has reached to up 600 billion dollars per annum (Kennedy, 2001 ; Giovannini et al., 2015). The reason for such spending number is that they consider having luxury as more of a right than as a source of pride (Silverstein and Fiske, 2008 ; Giovannini et al., 2015). This suggests that Millennials are an important segment and are becoming power spenders.
Millennials also react differently to marketing messages. A study reveals the behavior and reaction of Millennials towards marketing communications. Research shows Millennials do not react positively to advertising or marketing communications that does not seem genuine to them and become detached to it (Mintel, 2015). To be able to connect with them better, it’s important for marketers to understand and foresee their needs. It would be beneficial to comprehend what gives them gratification and a feeling of fulfilment. Marketers can help luxury businesses generate great profits if they can understand what kind of marketing techniques positively affects them (D’Arpizio et al. 2017).
Millennials tend to be more materialistic and prefer unique products (Hannah, 2004). Research shows that millennials as compared to other generations were introduced to and developed materialistic nature and shopping habits at a much earlier age. They link the material belongings with their identity and hence provides them with the feeling of satisfaction, this is especially true for Millennials acquiring fashion goods (Bakewell and Mitchell, 2003).In addition to that, research gives indication consumers who position high in materialism level, are definitely likely to buy products that can signal wealth or prosperity to others. This could be one of the reasons they want to acquire handbags so to imply their status and success to others (Ryan and Dziurawiec, 2001 ; Grotts and Johnson , 2013 ; Phau and Leng, 2008). In addition to that, Millennials purchasing power in the UK is increasing every year. Millennials purchasing power is likely to exceed the buying power of all the generations that were before them (Marketing week, 2017; Athwal, 2018). This indicates that because of the materialistic nature of Millennials and their increasing buying power, they are likely to indulge into buying more luxury products than other demographic segments which makes them a great market to focus on.
Research has shown different thinking pattern used by men and women. Gender can have a significant impact on a consumer’s decision-making conduct. The reason for that is scientific research has shown that men and women have diverse motivations, opinions and thoughts which are also reflected in their shopping patterns (Guided selling.org, 2015). According to Stokburger-Sauer and Teichmann (2013) luxury brands necessarily do not always have higher functional value compared to regular brands however, luxury brands have higher prices as compared to other brands in the market. Further to this, female luxury brands are much more expensive as compared to male equivalents. Their research shows that as compared to men, women have higher buying intent towards luxury brands versus regular brands than men. The reason being, for women these goods means more exclusivity, standing and hedonism than regular brands. Additionally, acquiring these goods could mean greater perceived value and symbolism socially. This suggests that separate marketing strategies are effective for male and female consumers because not only their shopping behavior is different, but they may also attach different symbolic values to luxury brands as well.

Millennials shopping for handbags is much more different as compared to other generations. According to Grotts and Johnson’s (2013) research conducted in the US, Millennials purchase handbags to express their identity and status to other people. They argue that as handbags are used daily as compared to clothes or other fashion accessories that cannot be worn more than once or twice a week, consumers are willing to pay a heavy price for bags and they think its justified. Their study suggests materialistic behavior is linked with collecting belongings and marketers need to target this segment to market handbags. Furthermore, the study points out that Millennials want to be different and be recognized among their peers that’s why there is a strong connection among materialism and status consumption.
. A research shows that quality is one of the top key definers of luxury currently in the UK and globally as well. In the UK, there is a trend of luxury becoming less of a status symbol and the trend is boosted among Millennials. This review has found that fair amount of research has been performed on Millennials regarding their purchasing behavior for different luxury brands and products, and their behavior has been evaluated against characteristics like conformity, materialism, status consumption etcetera in the US and other countries. However, that research cannot be used to generalize the buying behavior of female Millennials in the UK regarding luxury handbags because buying behavior is significantly influenced by cultural, social and economic conditions of a country (Chadha and Husband, 2006). In addition to that, there is limited research on the journey of female millennials consumer behavior regarding handbags, on their thinking process, motivations and time and research female consumers spend during the buying process which could be beneficial for the marketers to construct effective strategies in a bid to target females for consuming luxury bags.
Overall approach:
For the research, the work will be divided into two parts. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be scrutinized to study the factors influencing female millennials purchasing conduct towards luxury bags.
A theoretical section: where the analyzation of literature review and conclusions drawn from it will be stated.
An empirical section: Mix method research involving qualitative and quantitative will be conducted and results will be examined.
Types of investigation:
Quantitative:
I will be starting with the quantitative analysis in which I will use a sample of 300 people, this research will be conducted in the UK. First, I will approach the female Millennials through an online questionnaire in which they will be asked a series of questions regarding their perception of luxury, value perception of these bags and what are the driving factors and motivations behind the consumption of these? In addition to that, PRECON scale will be used in questionnaires as well to measure the individual customer value preference for these bags. Furthermore, the respondents will be given the option to participate in an interview in a qualitative survey.
Qualitative:
I will take a sample of 15 people from 300 respondents who will have taken part in answering the questionnaires. Face to face interviews will be conducted with these 15 respondents in a qualitative analysis. Depending upon the location of the respondent, these interviews can either be conducted at Brookes University, Bicester Village or in a coffee shop if they are in a different city. These detailed interviews will be beneficial in further understanding the mindset of female millennials regarding their purchasing behavior and the factors influencing it. Single interview should be completed in an hour.
Quality consideration:
This study will be focused on female Millennials customer behavior and perception of luxury handbags in the UK and will not describe the purchasing behavior of all the other female segments towards luxury bags and goods. Further studies should concentrate on other female consumer segments regarding their attitudes towards these bags in the UK and/or other countries. Furthermore, smaller sample size is a limitation and therefore, this cannot be generalized for all British Female consumers
Ethical consideration:
During my qualitative analysis, I will be preserving my respondent’s identities by referring to them as numbers and if I record the interview, informed consent will be taken from them. Additionally, this research will be free of any kind of deception of respondents including any financial incentives, mental stress, access to any confidential data or material and any type of special circumstances.
Time scale and resources:
I intend to start my dissertation in February to give myself plenty of time to finish the theoretical section. I will be done with it by the end of May. Afterwards, I will begin with the empirical section of the dissertation and will be finished with the investigation section in two months that is by the end of July. Ideally, I would prefer to get the findings that is, responses from 300 people and interviews from 15 people by 31st July. For analyzing the data, I will be using SPSS and Microsoft Excel. My qualitative analysis will be completed in eight days as I plan to conduct two interviews a day, two interviews per day will give me an ample time with interviewees to get in-depth answers.
References:
Athwal, N., Istanbulluoglu, D., and  McCormack,S. (2018) “The allure of luxury brands’ social media activities: a uses and gratifications perspective”, Information Technology & People, https://doi.org/10.1108/ITP-01-2018-0017
Bakewell,C. and Mitchell, V. (2003) “Generation Y female consumer decision‐making styles”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 31 (2), pp.95-106, https://doi.org/10.1108/09590550310461994

Belk, R. (1988), “Possessions and the extended self”, Journal of Consumer Research, 15 (2), pp. 139-168

Chadda, R. and Husband, P. (2006), “The Cult of the Luxury Brand: Inside Asia’s Love Affair with Luxury”, Nicholas Brealey, London.

D’Arpizio, C., Levato, F., Kamel, M.-A. and de Montgolfier, J. (2017), “Insights: the new luxury consumer: why responding to the millennial mindset will be key”, Bain and Co., available at: www.bain.com/publications/articles/luxury-goods-worldwide-market-study-fall-winter-2017.aspx (accessed 9 December, 2018)
Fernandez, P. (2009), “Impact of branding on Gen Y’s choice of clothing”, Journal of the South East Asia Research, 1 (1), pp. 79-95
Giovannini,S., Xu, Y., and Thomas, J. (2015) “Luxury fashion consumption and Generation Y consumers: Self, brand consciousness, and consumption motivations”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 19 (1), pp.22-40, https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-08-2013-0096
Grotts, A. and Johnson, T. (2013) “Millennial consumers’ status consumption of handbags”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 17 (3), pp.280-293, https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-10-2011-0067
GUIDED SELLING.ORG Available at: https://www.guided-selling.org/women-vs-men-gender-differences-in-purchase-decision-making/ (Accessed : 1 December 2018).
Hanna, J. (2004), “Luxury isn ‘ t what it used to be”, HBS Working Knowledge , Available at : https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/luxury-isnt-what-it-used-to-be (Accessed:7th December 2018).

Kennedy, L. (2001), “The up & coming generation”, Retail Merchandiser, 41 (8), p. 66. 
Marketing Week (2017) Available at: https://www.marketingweek.com/knowledge-bank/white-paper/understanding-buying-power-millennial-consumers/?message=1&action=adresponse&status=success (Accessed: 1 December 2018).
Mintel (2015), “Leisure habits of millennials – UK – August”, available at: http://academic.mintel.com.oxfordbrookes.idm.oclc.org/display/715827/ (accessed December 9, 2018)
Noble, S., Haytko, D. and Phillips, J. (2008), “What drives college-age generation Y consumers”, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 62 No. 6, pp. 617-628.
Phau, I. and Leng, Y.S. (2008), “Attitudes toward domestic and foreign luxury brand apparel”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 12 (1), pp. 68‐89
Beaudoin,P. Moore,M., and Goldsmith,R. (1998) “Young fashion leaders’ and followers’ attitudes toward American and imported apparel”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, 7 (3), pp.193-207, https://doi.org/10.1108/10610429810222831
Ryan, L. and Dziurawiec, S. (2001), “Materialism and its relationship to life satisfaction”, Social Indicators Research, 55 (2), pp. 185‐197
Silverstein, M. and Fiske, N. (2008), Trading Up: The New American Luxury, Portfolio, New York, NY.
Stokburger-Sauer, N. and Teichmann, K. (2013),” Is luxury just a female thing? The role of gender in luxury brand consumption”, Journal of Business Research, 66 (7), pp. 889-886. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2011.12.007
Williams,A., Atwal,G. and Bryson,D (2018) “Luxury craftsmanship – the emergent luxury beer market”, British Food Journal, https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-02-2018-0092