13th June 2024

The Psychology Behind Buying Luxury Goods

There are so many things you think are necessities but are luxuries. Instead of having a phone repair in Layton, you’ll be off to the nearest Apple store to get the latest iPhone. If you ever wondered where the need for the latest and most expensive trend is coming from, a neuroscientist from the University of Oxford has the answer.

According to Sundeep Teki’s theory, the human brain is genetically wired to seek security and social status. Exploring and realizing one’s desire triggers activity in the striatum—a region in the brain that is in charge of the reward network. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, is then released. Once the need is addressed, the dopamine levels increase. If not, excessive means of reward is sought, such as addiction.

The appeal of luxury is undeniable. A bag that is worth a thousand dollars is considered a classic. Because of its top quality, it can last for a decade compared to the bags in the department store. The design of an expensive pair of shoes can feel more comfortable when worn than a cheap pair. However, there are instances when a steep price point is not tantamount to high quality. Nonetheless, people will still go for the most luxurious goods like the latest gadgets, designer bags, and European cars.

Here is a list of reasons why people consider luxury as a necessity:

  1. Luxury goods increase one’s mood and self-esteem.

Every luxury item serves as a status symbol. Arriving in a fancy event while carrying a designer, handbag makes you walk a little taller and feel prouder.

For those who can barely afford these items, a luxury good can increase their self-esteem by giving them a sense of belonging in the upper echelons of society. The act of purchasing such an item does not belong in the lower-middle-class life. There is also a sense of accomplishment that one gets after the purchase. An item that a person cannot afford on a normal basis can feel like a reward after working a tough job.

  1. Luxury goods are seen as legitimate items.

As mentioned earlier, non-luxury items are considered as inferior. Brand names associated with luxury are more appealing to the consumers despite the dent they may leave in your bank account. There is some sort of legitimacy that these brand names have. For instance, a smartphone from a popular brand will always garner more buyers than the one from a lesser-known brand, even if the specs are infinitely better. People will opt for the pricier option regardless of the specs.

It could be a matter of history or mere marketing. Luxury brands, except for gadgets, are backed by numerous classic pieces. People think that the history and timelessness of the items are priceless.

  1. Luxury goods are considered as investments.

There is this belief that luxury items have better quality than non-luxury items. It’s because luxury items are marketed as hand-crafted using premier materials or made using cutting edge technology that competitor brands do not have. In addition, luxury items carry a certain designer’s name to add to their quality.

Quality means it can stand the test of time. Luxury goods are believed to have the knack to serve their function for a long time, making them a good investment, especially if the items appreciate at a price throughout the years.

Before purchasing anything, consider first if the old item you have can still be fixed. Who knows? It might buy you some time before you can finally purchase the luxury item you’ve always wanted to have.