The Value of Luxury Poseurs | New Yorker

The Value of Luxury Poseurs; Paul Hiebert; In The New Yorker; 2014-06-27.

tl;dr → [Brand] Tourists OK; [Brand] immigrants not so.
and → yet more social “truth” manufactured through Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Original Sources

Silvia Bellezza, Anat Keinan; Brand Tourists: How Non–Core Users Enhance the Brand Image by Eliciting Pride; In Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 41, No. 2 (August 2014); pages 397-417 (21 pages); Oxford University Press; doi10.1086/676679; paywall.

  • Silvia Bellezza, [then-] doctoral candidate, Business School, Harvard University.
  • Anat Keinan, professor, marketing, Business School, Harvard University.

This research examines how core consumers of selective brands react when non–core users obtain access to the brand. Contrary to the view that non–core users and downward brand extensions pose a threat to the brand, this work investigates the conditions under which these non–core users enhance rather than dilute the brand image. A distinction between two types of non–core users based on how they are perceived by current users of core products is introduced: “brand immigrants” who claim to be part of the in-group of core users of the brand and “brand tourists” who do not claim any membership status to the brand community. A series of studies show that core consumers respond positively to non–core users when they are perceived as brand tourists. The brand tourism effect is mediated by core users’ pride and moderated by brand patriotism and selectiveness of the brand.


  • Brand Citizen (an archetype model)
  • Brand Immigrants
  • Brand Tourists
  • Core  Users
  • Selective brands
  • Brand patriotism
  • anger, Core User Anger
  • pride, Core User Pride
  • Prestige image
  • Something about Brand Extensions
  • Brand Emigrants
    <quote>the “brand emigrants”: those who could claim in-group status but willingly decided not to claim it. These would include, for instance, a consumer who owns a Ferrari car but decides to replace it with a different luxury sports car or a full-time undergraduate student at Harvard who transfers to another institution (e.g., MIT) to complete the degree. Brand emigrants inspire negative reactions from core users of the brand, just as citizens might feel betrayed by compatriots who decided to leave the country and live elsewhere.</quote>
  • Something about Brand Counterfeits.

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