II.1. The Characteristics of Luxury Products
As explained above, the characteristics of luxury products rely on relevant literature and an empirical study (as outlined in part II of the paper). The results suggest that consumers perceive that luxury products have six major characteristics including price, quality, aesthetics, rarity, extraordinariness and symbolism. The characteristics were categorized into typical sub-characteristics, which are not necessarily relevant for all luxury products. Size, for instance, can be considered as especially product category-dependent. The table below gives an overview of the characteristics of luxury products. They are ranked in order of relevance according to the number of times they were mentioned by the respondents (Heine and Phan 2011, p. 111; see also Hoffmann 1986, p. 78).
The Characteristics of Luxury Products
The characteristics are also categorized into manufacturing, concrete and abstract characteristics. Concrete characteristics refer to physical product attributes and are directly observable. A combination of several concrete attributes yields to an abstract attribute such as comfortability (Olson and Reynolds 1983, p. 80).
The category of manufacturing characteristics was added because it proved to be very relevant to the respondents (see also Dubois et al. 2001, p. 40). These characteristics refer to the specific manufacturing process that allows for the creation of concrete and abstract product characteristics.