In the past, high end retailers like those commonly found on High Street in London used to segment their most relevant customers by needs and lifestyle, along with resource availability depending on their social class. However, with rising competition from fast fashion, lower-end retailers acting like high-end fashion retailers, this philosophy has changed. Western models of segmentation such as the VALS2 Network which describes eight different lifestyle and resource tendencies of key markets are not as effective as they once were. This model describes active lifestyles versus more sedentary buyers with traditionalist values, as two examples, in order to help marketers identify with key needs, values and attitudes (Boone & Kurtz 2007). However, the current recession is changing even the buying behaviours of the most elite of customers who are looking for more value in their fashion purchases.
Banister & Hogg (2004) identify that self-esteem has been one of the most important motivators for the consumption of symbolic goods, including fashion. Self-esteem, as related to high end fashion merchandise, involves how a consumer feels about the enhancements that fashion clothing adds to their lifestyle or image that directly impacts their final decision to select key branded merchandise. Self-esteem is also comparative to others in society, their own reference groups such as peers and celebrities, that provides the motivation to make high-dollar purchases in order to fit their own mould of what constitutes success and wealth. ...Show more