Comparing conspicuous consumption across different experiential products: Culture and leisure

Fred Bronner*, Robert de Hoog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Consumer behavior recently underwent three main developments: a shift from material purchases to immaterial experiences, a shift from signaling status and wealth by means of consumer behavior to signaling identity, and increased social visibility due to the growing importance of social media. These trends did arouse a renewed interest in the concept of conspicuous consumption in the area of experiential purchases. Seven different types of experiential purchases are compared as regards the role of conspicuous consumption: the main summer holiday and participation in six different types of cultural events. In the culture study, the same measurement tools were used as in the leisure study. It was found that conspicuous consumption plays a role in these types of purchases. This holds true for status demonstration as well as for identity demonstration. However, there are substantial differences between the different types of cultural events. Conspicuous consumption is important to those who attend festivals, classical music concerts, and pop concerts and is of minor importance as regards going to movies. Based on these findings, we propose a tentative theory about the relationship between conspicuous consumption and type of experiential purchase. Practical implications for marketing are sketched out. In cultural marketing for museums, the performing arts, and cinema, attention should be paid not only to the quality of the event for the self-experience, but also to its status and identity-signaling potential to relevant others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-446
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of market research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Arts and culture marketing
  • Conspicuous consumption
  • Cultural participation
  • Experiential purchases
  • Identity demonstration
  • Status demonstration


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