Moving luxury brands online: dose website design play a role?
A great challenge for luxury marketers is how to harness the Internet's incredible reach to and influence on customers while still maintaining and adhering the customer-based brand equity (CBE) of luxury brands. This study aims to investigate the effect of website design on the CBE of luxury brands. Particularly, we will develop and empirically validate a research model, specifying that two aesthetic design dimensions (aesthetic formality and aesthetic appeal) will stimulate a strong sense of luxury which in turn leads to a positive evaluation of the CBE. Furthermore, the effect of aesthetic design on sense of luxury is contingent upon brand familiarity prior to the exposure of a luxury brand website. The research model was validated with 201 participants. Only aesthetic appeal was significantly related to the sense of luxury of a brand and such an effect was weakened when consumers were more familiar with the brand.