Perception and Consumption of Global Luxury Brands in Russia and Romania: Comparative Cross-Cultural Aspects

Marina OCHKOVSKAYA

Abstract


The present paper compares the luxury consumption in Russia with that in the post-communist countries of the former Soviet bloc. The aim of this research is to find out the common and specific about an attitude to global luxury brands in Russia and Romania. We investigate the motives for buying luxury brands in these two countries, as well as the brands’ preferences for Russian and Romanian consumers. Furthermore, the portrait of an average luxury consumer in Russia and Romania is introduced and analyzed in the study. The current investigation consisted of two parts. First, it was qualitative research, as in-depth interviews with luxury brands consumers. It allowed us to formulate the hypotheses. Then to verify the hypotheses, we conducted on-line survey in which 45 female respondents from each country took part. As can be seen from the study, Russian and Romanian luxury brands connoisseurs have much in common. Both of them prefer global brands to local ones. The majority of Russian respondents agree that luxury brands are bought to demonstrate the status and welfare or at least it is a kind of reward for being hard working. As for Romanians, the key reason for luxury consumption is a very high quality and perfectionism in details. Although the consumers from the countries have shown some common characteristics, they are different in their attitude to Louis Vuitton (LV is not № 1 in Romania). What is more, the brands ratings and products choice are completely different in Russia and Romania. All our respondents have very strong cultural background: they visit opera, museums, listen to classical music and read serious books. Furthermore, their touristic destinations have cultural purposes as well. It means that people appreciate not only material brands, but also try to do their best to follow the cultural life style. This research contributes to some extent to the understanding of luxury brands consumption in Russia and Romania. The study can be useful for luxury companies, which plan to do business in these countries or already have been presented there.

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