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Designing the geography of luxury: Online perceptions and entrepreneurial options

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This research applies the Design Thinking approach to explore the online perceptions of luxury and place experienced by potential purchasers and other interested parties. A netnographic study, encompassing observations and interviews, was conducted using a product purity framework developed from the analysis of over 3000 online-posted commentaries. The findings indicate that online users perceive luxury product purity and place of origin in three principal ways. First, uncertainty can breed scepticism of product purity. Second, some users expand their horizons to embrace the reality. Third, some use the information to develop their own definitions of luxury product purity. Designing suitable models to map the complexity of product purity is likely to enhance the effectiveness of companies and operators in managing the place-related perceptions surrounding their products, resulting in an increased brand equity value and a more effective responsiveness to the market.
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Keywords: Design Thinking; cognitive purity; delocalization; luxury brand management; luxury goods; netnography; place indicators

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sotheby’s Institute of Art 2: Regent’s University London

Publication date: October 1, 2018

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  • The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a peer-reviewed scholarly publication for business leaders, managers, policy-makers, service-providers and design experts. It examines the complex nature of design and design thinking in relation to its effective application to solving real-world problems across commercial and broader societal contexts. It aims to promote cross-disciplinary design research which engages specialist and generalist stakeholders via qualitative, quantitative, visual or applied research methodologies, ultimately leading to tangible implications for current practice or clear direction for future work.
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