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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Millionaire Micro-Celebrities Personal Branding Strategies on Instagram

Published: May 28, 2019


Marina Leban, ESCP Europe; Benjamin Voyer, ESCP Europe


conspicuous consumption; visual social media; personal branding


Millennials are widely considered to be the next generation of luxury consumers. Avid social media users, they rely on online information, more so than previous generations, in a purchasing context. Very little is however known about millennials as a luxury consumer segment. Drawing from personal branding theory, the present study explores how millionaire millennial micro-celebrities represent luxury consumption on Instagram, using content analysis and netnography. Results suggest that millionaire micro-celebrities on Instagram distinguish themselves from other Instagrammers through four personal branding strategies: (1) exclusivity, (2) immateriality, (3) performativity, and (4) carnality. Overall, experiential luxury, rather than tangible luxury products appears to be the main focus of luxury consumption for this new generation of luxury consumers.